My research aims at improving animal health and performance by investigating the genetic regulation of traits related to performance, production, behavior, disease, and adaptation. In addition, I explore population structure and admixture to better understand selection, breed development, and conservation. I use modern genomic tools and analyses to identify markers, genes, and biological pathways affecting traits, and their potential incorporation into animal management and selection programs.
My research is very species and trait specific with long-term goals for application to improve the lives of animals and their owners alike. Broadly, I have projects spanning dogs, cattle, sheep, goats, birds of prey, and musk ox. My main expertise and interest is in working dogs and dairy cattle.
My team is comprised of a diverse group of individuals including laboratory and animal husbandry technicians, post-graduate and graduate level students and an “army” of undergraduates. I teach courses on animal genetics and applied dairy cattle genetics and am the director of the Cornell Raptor Program which promotes education, conservation, propagation, and research of birds of prey.
Heather J. Huson, Ph.D.