Rebecca Cockrum has been appointed assistant professor in the Department of Dairy Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Cockrum is one of 19 new faculty members that were recently appointed in the college. New positions were identified to bring new talent to its focus areas, including food and health, infectious disease, biodesign and processing, and agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.  

She received her doctoral and master's degrees from the University of Wyoming in breeding and genetics, and her bachelor's degree in animal science from Arkansas State University. As a graduate student she was awarded the Outstanding Ph.D.Student of the Year by Gamma Sigma Delta. 

Her service as a graduate student extended to the Western Section of American Society of Animal Science where she was graduate student director and also president of the University of Wyoming Animal Science Graduate Student Association.

Before coming to Virginia Tech, Cockrum was a postdoctoral fellow in beef cattle breeding at Colorado State University.

Cockrum’s long-term research goal at Virginia Tech is to develop tools and strategies that can be used to select for traits of economic relevance in dairy cattle. Complex traits such as feed efficiency, productive life, and disease resistance will be the focus of her lab. 

In addition to her research, she teaches professional development, applied dairy genetics, and management and analysis of livestock experiments. Cockrum foresees integrating her research interests with teaching to better equip students with the tools to succeed in the dairy industry.

She is currently a member of American Society of Animal Science and the Society for the Study of Reproduction.



Written by Amy Loeffler.

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