New Faculty Member

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Jennifer Owen has been named assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife and large animal clinical sciences. (view larger image)

AgBioResearch is pleased to welcome a new faculty member.

Jennifer Owen, was named assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife and large animal clinical sciences in June. Her current research focuses on the role that migrating birds play in the spread of zoonotic disease—illnesses that can be transmitted from other vertebrate animals to humans—particularly viruses borne by arthropods (e.g., mosquitoes and ticks). Owen is interested in how environmental and physiological stressors affect an animal’s ability to mount effective immune responses and how that reduced immune response influences both the animal’s susceptibility to disease and its ability to serve as acarrier and disperser for zoonotic pathogens. Her research program is beginning to explore the role of wild birds in the spread of avian influenza both at a local and a global scale.

Before coming to MSU, Owen spent four years as a postdoctoral research associate at University of Southern Mississippi (USM) on an NSF-funded project investigating the role of birds in the overwintering of both West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses. She received her doctorate at USM in biological sciences in 2004 and her bachelor’s in wildlife biology from University of Montana, Missoula in 1993.

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