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Graphic element depicting a cell, strand of dna, and holstein cow and the words "Dairy Science".

Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Dairy Science at Virginia Tech should correspond directly with a faculty member listed on this page or write to:

Dr. Ben Corl
Graduate Studies Chair
Department of Dairy Science (0315) 
175 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA  24061 

phone (540) 231-2422


Fall 2022 Undergraduate Research Opportunities:



Dr. Kristy Daniels

Krisy Daniels
Rumen biology to better characterize morphological, metabolic, and microbial growth and development. Mammary biology to characterize and manipulate actions of the extracellular matrix proteoglycan decorin to study the effects on mammary growth and differentiation.

Dr. Christina Petersson-Wolfe

Christina Petersson-Wolfe
Milk quality and the prevention of mastitis. Research involving the etiology of Enterococcus spp.; understanding survival and transmission of organism; examining infectivity of organism; mechanisms involved in control of disease including antimicrobial treatment.

Nutrition & Feeding

Professional photo of Dr. Ben Corl.

Benjamin Corl
Nutritional biochemistry and metabolism.  Research on lipid metabolism-molecular/cellular regulation of milk and body fat synthesis and composition.


Mark Hanigan
Nutritional physiology and metabolic modeling. Current research is focused on the regulation of major nutrient metabolism with emphasis on nitrogen effieciency.

Dr. Katharine Knowlton

Katharine Knowlton
Ruminant Nutrition and Nutrient Management. Nutritional and management approaches to minimizing environmental impact of dairy farms.

Breeding Genetics

Dr. Rebecca Cockrum

Rebecca Cockrum
Identification of markers and pathways associated with economically relevant traits in dairy cattle for marker-assisted selection.

Forage Evaluation & Management

Dr. Gonzalo Ferreira

Gonzalo Ferreira
Evaluation of how agronomic practices and abiotic stresses affect the nutritional composition of forages, as well as dairy cattle production performance and nutrient utilization.

Other faculty and staff members contribute significantly to graduate programs as experienced consultants 

Shane Brannock
Director, Virginia Tech Dairy Complex. Coordinator and manager of research, teaching, and extension activities at the Dairy Cattle Center.

Dave Winston
Lecturer in Dairy Science, Extension Dairy Scientist, 4-H Youth Coordinator of state dairy youth program. Youngstock management practices for dairy producers and professional dairy heifer growers.