Statement of Purpose

Please provide between 400 and 800 words

This Statement of Purpose will appear as a To-Do list item in your Application Center with instructions for uploading to the university. The Graduate School will evaluate your application without this component, but the Department may need this in order to make an appropriate decision.

Please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your area of specialization, including your preparation for this field of study, your academic plans or research interests in your chosen area of study, and your future career goals.

Please consider in your writing which faculty / research area you are interested in from the listing below. Because the primary limiting factor to acceptance into the program is having a professor agree to be your major advisor before you are accepted, you need to be clear in your purpose.

1. Animal Welfare

  • Dr. Karen Christensen - Associate Professor/Extension Specialist - Conducts applied research on new products and equipment for broiler production; broiler welfare. kc014@uark.edu

2. Avian Parasitology

3. Avian Physiology

  • Dr. Walter Bottje - Physiologist - Conducts research on mitochondrial function in health and disease of poultry with particular emphasis on antioxidants and oxidative stress. wbottje@uark.edu
  • Dr. Annie Donoghue - Research Leader USDA/ARS Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit. Involved in several research areas including intestinal development and pathogen interaction, reproductive efficiency and development of assisted reproductive technologies for poultry and endangered avian species. donoghue@uark.edu
  • Dr. Dan Donoghue - Physiologist/Food Safety - Conducts research to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of drug, pesticide and other contaminant transfer into poultry and their potential to promote the development of antibiotic resistance. ddonogh@uark.edu
  • Dr. Sami Dridi- Molecular and Cellular Biologist-Conducts research on the peripheral and central molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis and fat metabolism in avian species. dridi@uark.edu
  • Dr. Narayan Rath - Physiologist - USDA-ARS, Poultry Production and Product Safety Unit. His current research interests include skeletal tissue physiology relating to poultry leg problems and acute phase response in poultry. nrath@uark.edu
  • Dr. Wayne Kuenzel - Physiologist/Neurobiologist - Conducts research in the area of avianneuroendocrinology with emphasis on the neural regulation of early sexual maturation, food intake and hypothalamic function. wkuenzel@uark.edu
  • Dr. Xiaolun (Jack) Sun – Host-microbe interaction at gut - Investigate dynamic interaction between host molecular signaling, cellular events and the microbiome on gastrointestinal homeostasis as well as the initiation and resolution of intestinal diseases. xiaoluns@uark.edu

4. Avian Virology

  • Dr. Byung-Whi Kong – Functional Genomics and Molecular Virologist – His current research focus is on the host-virus interactions and genetically engineered vaccine development to prevent avian infectious viruses. bkong@uark.edu
  • Dr. Karen Christensen - Associate Professor/Extension Specialist - Conducts applied research on new products and equipment for broiler production; broiler welfare. kc014@uark.edu
  • Dr. Xiaolun (Jack) Sun – Host-microbe interaction at gut - Investigate dynamic interaction between host molecular signaling, cellular events and the microbiome on gastrointestinal homeostasis as well as the initiation and resolution of intestinal diseases. xiaoluns@uark.edu

 5. Food Safety/Microbiology

  • Dr. John Marcy - Extension Food Scientist - Coordinates educational opportunities in the poultry industry for microbial improvement/safety in poultry products and processing and conducts research in poultry processing and meat science. jmarcy@uark.edu
  • Dr. Yanbin Li - Food Safety/Food Processing - Conducts research in the area of food processing and engineering. Current research includes biosensors-based rapid detection methods, microbial predictive modeling and quantitative risk assessment, and antimicrobial intervention technologies for food safety and quality. yanbinli@uark.edu
  • Dr. Dan Donoghue - Physiologist/Food Safety - Conducts research to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of drug, pesticide and other contaminant transfer into poultry and their potential to promote the development of antibiotic resistance. ddonogh@uark.edu
  • Dr. Young Min Kwon Microbiologist his research program is focused on genetic analysis of bacterial pathogens important in poultry. ykwon@uark.edu

6. Immunology

  • Dr. Gisela Erf - Immunologist - Conducts research in avian immunology with emphasis on cell-mediated immunity, autoimmunity and immunology of the skin. gferf@uark.edu
  • Dr. Narayan Rath - Physiologist - USDA-ARS, Poultry Production and Product Safety Unit. His current research interests include skeletal tissue physiology relating to poultry leg problems and acute phase response in poultry. nrath@uark.edu
  • Dr. Xiaolun (Jack) Sun – Host-microbe interaction at gut - Investigate dynamic interaction between host molecular signaling, cellular events and the microbiome on gastrointestinal homeostasis as well as the initiation and resolution of intestinal diseases. xiaoluns@uark.edu

7. Molecular Biology

  • Dr. Sami Dridi- Molecular and Cellular Biologist-Conducts research on the peripheral and central molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis and fat metabolism in avian species. dridi@uark.edu
  • Dr. Byung-Whi Kong – Functional Genomics and Molecular Virologist – His current research focus is on the host-virus interactions and genetically engineered vaccine development to prevent avian infectious viruses. bkong@uark.edu
  • Dr. Young Min Kwon Microbiologist his research program is focused on genetic analysis of bacterial pathogens important in poultry. ykwon@uark.edu

8. Poultry Breeding and Genetics

  • Dr. Nick Anthony - Poultry Breeding & Genetics - Serves as teaching program coordinator and conducts research on poultry breeding and selection for traits of economic importance. Research emphasis is placed upon patterns of growth in relation to carcass composition and reproductive performance. He also serves as the director of the Bumpers College Honors Program. nanthony@uark.edu
  • Dr. Craig Coon - Poultry Nutritionist - Conducts research in the utilization and partitioning of nutrients between maintenance, gain, and egg production, environmental interactions with nutrition, feedstuff evaluation and amino acid metabolism.  ccoon@uark.edu

9. Poultry Economics

  • Dr. Harold Goodwin - Agricultural Economist - Has research and extension responsibilities in economic and business issues related to the poultry industry. haroldg@uark.edu

10. Poultry Enterprise Operations

  • Dr. Susan Watkins - Extension Poultry Specialist - Major emphasis in area of drinking water quality and sanitation, working primarily with the broiler and turkey industries. swatkin@uark.edu
  • Dr. Keith Bramwell - Extension Reproductive Physiologist – Conducts research to determine the causes of the declining fertility and hatchability and increasing embryonic mortality in breeders.  Also provides educational opportunities for alternative poultry production systems as exhibition and small flock producers.  Raises several breeds of chickens to provide fertile eggs to Science teachers and Extension 4-H leaders for their embryology projects. bramwell@uark.edu
  • Dr. Karen Christensen - Associate Professor/Extension Specialist - Conducts applied research on new products and equipment for broiler production; broiler welfare. kc014@uark.edu

11. Poultry Health

  • Dr. Annie Donoghue- Research Leader USDA/ARS Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit. Conducts research on developing alternative approaches for antibiotics, research is focused on reducing intestinal, respiratory and reproductive pathogens donoghue@uark.edu
  • Dr. Gisela Erf - Immunologist - Conducts research in avian immunology with emphasis on cell-mediated immunity, autoimmunity and immunology of the skin. gferf@uark.edu
  • Dr. Billy Hargis - Director, Poultry Health Lab and Veterinarian - Involved in several research areas related to health and well being of poultry through improved understanding of disease resistance mechanisms and alternative means for treatment and protection. Areas include infectious and non-infectious disease problems affecting performance, as well as areas relating to food safety and quality. bhargis@uark.edu
  • Dr. Byung-Whi Kong – Functional Genomics and Molecular Virologist – His current research focus is on the host-virus interactions and genetically engineered vaccine development to prevent avian infectious viruses. bkong@uark.edu
  • Dr. Xiaolun (Jack) Sun – Host-microbe interaction at gut - Investigate dynamic interaction between host molecular signaling, cellular events and the microbiome on gastrointestinal homeostasis as well as the initiation and resolution of intestinal diseases. xiaoluns@uark.edu

12. Poultry Meat Quality

  • Dr. Casey Owens - Protein Chemist - Conducts research to evaluate the effect of preslaughter environmental conditions and processing techniques on muscle metabolism and meat quality of poultry. cmowens@uark.edu

13. Poultry Nutrition

  • Dr. Sami Dridi- Molecular and Cellular Biologist-Conducts research on the peripheral and central molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis and fat metabolism in avian species. dridi@uark.edu
  • Dr. Susan Watkins - Extension Poultry Specialist - Major emphasis in area of drinking water quality and sanitation, working primarily with the broiler and turkey industries. swatkin@uark.edu
  • Dr. Craig Coon - Poultry Nutritionist - Conducts research in the utilization and partitioning of nutrients between maintenance, gain, and egg production, environmental interactions with nutrition, feedstuff evaluation and amino acid metabolism. ccoon@uark.edu
  • Dr. Sam Rochell - Assistant Professor, Nutrition - Conducts research in poultry nutrition with a primary focus on amino acid, mineral, and energy utilization in broilers.  Emphasis is also placed on nutritional evaluation of feed ingredients and the interaction between nutrition and commercially-relevant poultry diseases such as coccidiosis. rochell@uark.edu

14. Poultry Product Technology

  • Dr. John Marcy - Extension Food Scientist - Coordinates educational opportunities in the poultry industry for microbial improvement/safety in poultry products and processing and conducts research in poultry processing and meat science. jmarcy@uark.edu
  • Dr. Yanbin Li - Food Safety/Food Processing - Conducts research in the area of food processing and engineering. Current research includes biosensors-based rapid detection methods, microbial predictive modeling and quantitative risk assessment, and antimicrobial intervention technologies for food safety and quality. yanbinli@uark.edu

15. Turkey & Egg Production/Management

  • Dr. Susan Watkins - Extension Poultry Specialist - Major emphasis in area of drinking water quality and sanitation, working primarily with the broiler and turkey industries. swatkin@uark.edu
  • Dr. Keith Bramwell - Extension Reproductive Physiologist – Conducts research to determine the causes of the declining fertility and hatchability and increasing embryonic mortality in breeders.  Also provides educational opportunities for alternative poultry production systems as exhibition and small flock producers.  Raises several breeds of chickens to provide fertile eggs to Science teachers and Extension 4-H leaders for their embryology projects. bramwell@uark.edu