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I am intrigued by complex characters of animals that are influenced by both genes and the environment and how they are transmitted over generations. I combine statistical genetics with next-generation sequencing tools to improve our understanding of these complex traits. Milk, meat, and wool of domestic animals are in very high global demand. Unfortunately, the breeding of cattle, pigs and sheep is also a burden on the environment. My research aims at reducing the ecological footprint of domestic animals by assessing ways to select for more environmentally friendly traits.

 

Currently, I focus on how pigs can be bred that utilize protein in their feed more efficiently. Consequently, imports of soy for pig feed from South America could be reduced and less nitrogen compounds will be released into the environment when their manure is spread on fields. Due to my training as an evolutionary geneticist, I am also very interested in the genetic underpinning of social behaviours – in fish and house mice – which I investigate as side projects.

I joined/revived 500WS to contribute to the visibility of women scientists with diverse careers. I have the desire for a group in which members lift each other up and in which women facing similar challenges exchange ideas frequently. I want to create a network for support and growth beyond programs provided by universities and funding agencies.

Dr. Claudia Kasper

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