PhD graduations

Wageningen Animal Breeding & Genomics is proud to announce the graduations and upcoming PhD defences of their PhD candidates.

The public PhD defences and graduations of Wageningen University & Research are in the Aula and can be viewed (again) online at WURtv.

Jovana Marjanović

On Friday April 20 at 16:00 hours, Jovana Marjanović will defend her thesis entitled 'Genetics of inherited variability: Increasing uniformity by reducing competition'.

Summary: In livestock populations, there is often a desire to not only improve the mean value of a trait, but also modify its variability. The avoidance of negative outliers, for example, is important for animal health and welfare. The variability of trait values of a genotype, also known as inherited variability, has been studied as a quantitative trait for about two decades.

However, variability may be determined not only by the genes of the individual itself, which has been the research focus so far, but may also depend on genes in the social partners of an individual. This idea comes from observations on aquaculture populations and some plants, where competition inflates variability of trait values among individuals. This phenotypic relationship strongly suggests an underlying genetic mechanism. In her thesis, Jovana focusses on the genetic relationship between competition and variability, and develops a quantitative genetic model that integrates both phenomena.

In addition, she shows how genetic effects of competition on variability can be captured with existing statistical models, and how they can be utilized in breeding programs that aim to increase uniformity. The research presented in her thesis is a result of collaboration between Wageningen University & Research, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and WorldFish.

Floor Biemans

On Wednesday May 9 at 13:30 hours, Floor Biemans will defend her thesis entitled 'Transmission of digital dermatitis in dairy cattle: population dynamics and host quantitative genetics'.