Enjoy current and past issues of Upchurch Update, our newsletter for the Department of Animal Sciences. To submit news and material for future issues, please email

Current Issue Fall 2017

Dr. Leanne Dillard

Dr. Leanne Dillard, faculty of the Department of Animal Scienes

Dr. Leanne Dillard was raised in Calhoun, GA, where her parents owned and operated a broiler farm with a small commercial cow-calf herd. Dillard earned her B.S. (2007) in Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her M.S. (2009) and Ph.D. (2013) in Forage-based Ruminant Nutrition from the Department of Animal Sciences at Auburn University. After graduating, she spent a semester as an adjunct faculty at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN, before completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at the University of Georgia. In 2015, she moved to State College, PA and worked as a Research Animal Scientist at the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit of the USDA-ARS. There she investigated different forage systems for reduction of enteric methane emissions from pasture-based dairy cattle. Dillard joined Auburn University as Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Forage Systems in August 2017 with a joint appointment between the Department of Animal Sciences and the Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. Her research and extension focus is the use of annual forages in creating a sustainable, year-round grazing system for Alabama.

Listing of Recent Publications

See a listing of our faculty’s recently published research journal articles, book chapters, presentations and more.

Holland, C.M., K.B. Marchant, L.A. Kriese-Anderson, B.E. Gamble and R.B. Muntifering. 2017. Stockpiled ‘Tifton 85’ bermudagrass for cow-calf production as influenced by nitrogen fertilization. Journal of Animal Science 95: In press. 

Bivens, K.R., M. K. Mullenix, J. J. Tucker, B. E. Gamble, and R. B. Muntifering. 2017. Stockpiled Tifton 85 bermudagrass for backgrounding stocker cattle. Journal of Animal Science 95: In press. 

Sechler, S.R., M. K. Mullenix, C. M. Holland, and R.B. Muntifering. 2017. Fiber and protein degradation characteristics of stockpiled Tifton 85 bermudagrass. Journal of Animal Science 95: 9: 3922-3931.

Picture of that states Happy BirthdayHappy Birthday 

October 17th- Dr. Sonia Moisa

October 17th- Grey Parks

January 30th-   Sarah Lino

Department Highlights
AU Decals are For Sale
  •  All proceeds will directly benefit Animal Sciences Graduate Student Association. You can purchase your decal today in Upchurch Hall 210 or 317. 

Department of Animal Sciences decal

  • The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: A Small Contribution from Auburn University

    On October 4th, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Joachim Frank (Columbia University), Jacques Dubochet (University of Lausanne) and Richard Henderson (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.) Two researchers from the Department of Animal Sciences, Drs. Iwona and Jacek Wower, collaborated with Dr. Joachim Frank for four years. Using cryo-electron microscopy, these three researchers and their students visualized the structure of transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA)  as it transits the ribosome. The tmRNA molecule is a key component of multiple quality control pathways in bacteria that ensure proteins are synthesized with high fidelity. The transformative work of Drs. Frank and Wowers have been published in EMBO Journal (2010) and RNA Biology (2011).

Department of Animal Sciences Newsletters