Student Spotlight: Christian Posbergh
May 13, 2019
Christian Posbergh is a doctoral student in animal science from Branchburg, New Jersey. After attending Cornell University as an undergraduate, he chose to continue his studies at Cornell due to its program flexibility and research opportunities.
What is your area of research and why is it important?
I study animal genetics and genomics, focusing on sheep and goats. My dissertation work has identified genetic differences among sheep associated with year-round lambing, mature body size, and coat color. I’m also looking at dairy production in goats. By identifying differences at the DNA level, we can then select animals with natural DNA differences associated with improved production, better health, etc., and ideally end up with more efficient animals. As the world population continues to grow, we need to produce more food, and genomic selection in livestock is one tool we can use to increase production to match population growth.
What inspired you to choose this field of study?
I grew up with sheep and became fascinated with a sheep we bought while I was in high school that had a unique color pattern. I wanted to learn how I could breed more sheep like that which lead me to learn more about simple mendelian genetics. As I progressed through high school and then undergrad, I kept wanting to learn more about animal genetics. I was fortunate enough to work with several excellent mentors in both the sheep industry and academia that helped me decide to pursue a graduate degree.