Fred C. Davison Early Career Scholar Award 2020
Daniela Lourenco, assistant professor of animal breeding, genetics and genomics in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is already a global leader in developing statistical models and computational tools for improving animal genetics, with the goal of increasing animal production, health and efficiency. She helped develop a one-step method that integrates animals’ genomic information with their phenotype and lineage to produce an estimated breeding value (EBV), which producers can use to make selection decisions. Lourenco implemented this method for the American Angus Association for genetic evaluations of Angus and Charolais beef cattle. She has also helped design genetic evaluations for chicken, dairy cattle, fish and pigs. Commercial companies and breed associations can use the software to increase production of various traits based on DNA information. Working with a team in the UGA Animal Breeding and Genetics Group, Lourenco helped to develop methods and tools that are now used all over the world.