» Dr. Chris Boyer- Assistant Professor Farm Management and Production Economics

Chris Boyer earned his Ph.D in 2011 from Oklahoma State University. He attended Texas A&M University for both his M.S. and B.S. degrees in 2008 and 2006, respectively. His focus is on farm managment and production economics as it relates to Natural Resources.

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (865) 974-7468

» Dr. David Butler- Assistant Professor Organic, Sustainable, and Alternative Crop Production

Dr. Butler earned his Ph.D. in Agronomy with a focus in Soil Science from the University of Georgia and his M.S. in Crop Science from North Carolina State University. Dr. Butler's research program emphasizes sustainable management systems for specialty crop production, including non-chemical alternatives to soil fumigation, reduced-tillage organic production systems, and integration of cover crops into production systems. Current research projects also focus on developing practical organic forage production systems for the Southern region, for both organic ruminant livestock production and for integration into sod-based crop rotations for improved soil quality and crop productivity

Plant Sciences Department (865) 974-7324

» Dr. Marc Caldwell- Assistant Professor Large Animal Field Services

Dr. Caldwell is developing a research career focused in infectious diseases of food animals and is particularly interested in bacterial pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. As a doctoral student Dr. Caldwell has garnered an extensive background in epidemiology, diagnostic microbiology, molecular biology, and infectious diseases that will serve as a platform to conduct herd disease outbreak investigations and conduct applied research addressing problems relating to infectious disease diagnosis, control and prevention. Specific areas of research pertaining to biosecurity initiatives relevant to Homeland Security include the development of equine source polyclonal hyperimmune plasma designed for the passive immunization and treatment of Bacillus anthracis. This research is anticipated to result in several publications in the near future.

The College of Veterinary Medicine (865) 974-8387

» Dr. Andrew Griffith- Assistant Professor Livestock Marketing and Commodities

Andrew Griffith earned his Ph.D in 2012 from Oklahoma State University and his M.S. from The University of Tennessee in 2009, both degrees concentrating in Agricultural Economics. He attended Tennessee Technological University for his B.S. in 2007 focused on Agriculture. His professional interests include livestock marketing, production and managment economics, commodity markets. He currently prepares the weekly market publication for the state.

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (865) 974-7480

» Dr. Jennie Ivey- Assistant Professor  Extension Equine Specialist

Dr. Ivey grew up in a coastal region of New Jersey, but began her career with horses through numerous 4-H projects and avid lessons, shows and training trips. She began her professional animal science career by completing a B. S. focusing on equine science at Rutgers University. Her experiences in undergraduate research led her to pursue a M. S. at West Virginia University, where she studied the effects of resveratrol on mature, moderately-exercised horses. After, Dr. Ivey elected to remain at WVU to complete a Ph.D., where her dissertation focused on the influence of weight loss on metabolic and mitochondrial function in the horse. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Equine Science Society, was recognized as a ASAS Midwest Section Animal Science Young Scholar, along with working closely in extension based programming while in West Virginia. Based on her experiences, she elected to combine her academic training and desire to impact and educate the public with the knowledge gained through research via Extension at UT. Specifically, she strives to translate research findings into programs and education for youth and adults in order to improve equine health and well-being.

Animal Science Department (865) 974-3157


» Dr. Patrick Keyser- Director Native Grass Production and Management

Dr. Keyser earned his B.S. in Forestry in 1982 from Virginia Tech and his M.S. in Wildlife from Louisiana State University in 1984. In 2001, he completed his Ph.D at Clemson University. He has initiated work on the integration of forage production, biofuels, and wildlife habitat with a team of UT researchers. Director for the Center for Native Grasslands Management that provides regional and national leadership in the development of comprehensive research and outreach programs focused on a broad range of issues pertinent to the management of native grasslands.

Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department (865) 974-0644

» Dr. David Kirkpatrick- Professor Beef Cattle Evaluation Programs

David Kirkpatrick earned his Ph.D in 1971 from The University of Tennessee Animal Science Program, his M.S. in 1967 from New Mexico State University and B.S. in 1965 from Oklahoma State University with both degrees concentrating in Animal Science. He is currently an Extension Specialist focusing on providing leadership to statewide cattle and performance evaluation programs such as the Central Bull Evaluation Center, Master Beef Producer Program, Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program, and 4-H Animal Science Programs.

Animal Science Department (865) 974-7286

» Dr. Peter Krawczel- Assistant Professor Dairy Cattle Reseach and Extension

Dr. Krawczel’s focus is on the effect of a dairy cow’s physical environment and her ability to meet her behavioral needs, understanding the relationship among behavior, milk yield, and milk quality, and establishing animal-based methods to assess the welfare of dairy cows. On the extension side, his focus is on maintaining the sustainability of the dairy industry in Tennessee.

Animal Science Department (865) 974-7286

» Dr. Karen Lewis- Assistant Professor Agricultural and Resource Economics

Dr. Karen Lewis focus is in livestock economics, agricultural policy, international trade, and experimental economics. Ph.D., Business Administration (Agribusiness), Arizona State University, 2014; M.S., Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, 2010; B.S., Economics and Mathematics, Western Michigan University, 2008.

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (865) 974-7465

» Dr. Travis Mulliniks- Assistant Professor Beef Nutrition and Management

Dr. Mulliniks earned his Ph.D and M.S. in Range Nutrition from New Mexico State University, 2012 and 2008, respectively. He attended Oklahoma State University and completed his B.S. in 2006 concentrating in Animal Science. His research goals are to discover new technologies and practices that improve livestock efficiency and sustainability of beef cattle production without increasing costs. This includes objectives consist of developing an applied cow-calf research program that emphasize sustainability and economically viable management options through enhanced efficiency, productivity, and strategic nutritional management in beef cattle production.

Plateau Research and Education Center (931) 484-0034

» Dr. Phillip Myer- Assistant Professor Rumen Microbiology

Dr. Myer, education: Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-ARS, Nutrition and Environmental Management Research Unit, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE, 2013-2015, Ph.D., Microbiology, Purdue University, 2013, B.S., Biology Pre-professional, Bradley University, 2008. Area of interest will include Research examining the nutritional status of the ruminant with the aim of optimizing efficiency of feed utilization is therefore of increasing importance as the cost of beef cattle production rises. 

Animal Science Department (865) 974-3184

» Dr. Renata Nave- Assistant Professor Forage Production and Management

Dr. Nave completed her Ph.D at Ohio State University in Crop Science during 2012. She is a researcher native of Brazil, where she completed her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Sao Paulo University in 2004 and 2007, respectively. In Brazil, she studied Forages and Grasslands focusing on evaluating different grazing strategies to improve forage productivity and forage nutritive value. Her research goal is to develop science-based solutions to address livestock and crop systems, focusing on forage production management problems by increasing sustainability through improved forage quality and management practices.

Plant Sciences Department (865) 974-7324 Video- Renata Nave

» Dr. Ky Pohler- Assistant Professor Fertility and Reproductive Efficiency in Cattle

My research interest are focused around understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms that control reproductive efficiency in cattle. More specifically my lab is interested in the mechanisms that lead to embryonic and fetal mortality in cattle and development of management strategies to overcome these losses. Increasing profitability of a beef or dairy herd is dependent upon increasing reproductive efficiency. His education: Ph.D. (Animal Science) - University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2015, Ph.D. Minor (College Teaching) - University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2015, M.S. (Animal Science) - University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2011, B.S. (Animal Science) - Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2009.

Animal Science Department (865) 974-3182

» Dr. Justin Rhinehart- Associate Professor Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

Dr. Rhinehart was raised in east Tennessee working with livestock and tobacco. He earned his B.S. in Agriculture and Extension Education from the University of Tennessee. He received his M.S. in Reproductive Physiology from the University of Kentucky where he investigated the use of dietary fat supplementation to alleviate the negative effects of endophyte-infected tall fescue on reproductive performance of beef heifers. He then earned his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Reproductive Physiology at West Virginia University where his dissertation focused on pregnancy loss in cattle associated with changes in steroid hormone concentrations and placental development.

Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center (931) 486-2129

» Dr. Agustin Rius- Assistant Professor Ruminant (Dairy) Nutrition     

RiusAgustin Rius, orginally from Buenos Aires in Argentina where he earned a DVM in Veterinary Medicine at the National University of La Plata. His MS in Animal Science from the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign, and then his PhD in Dairy Science from Virgina Tech University. The overall goal of his research program is to understand the role of nutrients, hormones and regulatory mechanisms of key metabolic pathways to increase nutrient use efficiency in growing and lactating animals.  This goal is pursued at molecular, tissue, and animal level with funding driving specific research projects.

Animal Science Department (865) 974-3150

» Dr. Neil Rhodes- Professor Forage and Pasture Weed Control

Dr. Rhodes received his Ph.D in Weed Science from North Carolina State University. Dr. Rhodes was a member of the faculty of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in the 1980's and 1990's, and has worked in each aspect of the landgrant mission, extension, research and teaching. Dr. Rhodes served as department head of the Department of Plant Sciences from 2002-2008. He first served as interim head of the Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Systems, formed in 2001 with the merger of Ornamental Horticulture & Landscape Design and the plant scientists of Plant & Soil Sciences On April 1, 2008, Neil returned to his job as Extentionist Specialist.

Plant Sciences Department (865) 974-7324

» Dr. Jason Smith- Assistant Professor Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

Jason SmithJason was raised in northern Virginia, where he showed beef cattle at the local, state and national levels. Throughout that time, Jason worked for a number of commercial and seedstock beef cattle producers, and developed a small cow herd with his family. After receiving his B.S. and M.S. from West Virginia University, he spent 2 years as a ruminant nutritionist and biologist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's medicated feeds team. Jason then furthered his education at Virginia Tech, where his Ph.D. research was focused toward better understanding the long-term implications of early nutritional management strategies on feed efficiency and marbling development.

Animal Science Department (865) 974-7286

» Dr. Lew Strickland- Assistant Professor DVM, MS, DACT Bovine     

LewLew Strickland is a graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary medicine. After graduation Lew was in private practice in Tennessee and Pennsylvania. After seven years of large animal practice, he entered and completed a theriogenology residency at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. He also received a Master of Science degree in theriogenology from Auburn, and is a diplomate of The American College of Theriogenologist.  After completion of the residency, Lew served as an interim Extension Veterinarian for The State of Alabama Extension System. Lew then returned to private practice for three years. Currently, he is Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Animal Science.

Animal Science Department (865) 974-3150

» Dr. Brian Whitlock- Assistant Professor Large Animal Clinical Sciences

BrianWhitlock attended Campbellsville University where he received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1997 and Michigan State University for his M.S. in Animal Science in 1999. After earning his D.V.M. from Auburn University in 2003, Brian worked at Sterner Veterinary Clinic in Ionia, Michigan almost exclusively on dairy and beef cattle. In 2007 he completed a residency at Auburn and became a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists (veterinary reproduction specialists). Dr. Whitlock recently earned his Ph.D. from Auburn (working with Dr. James L. Sartin) with an emphasis in reproductive neuroendocrinology and is now an assistant professor at The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Currently, most of his time is spent with Field Services teaching and mentoring students in the areas of theriogenology, large animal medicine, surgery, and production medicine.

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences (865) 974-5701