About John B. Cole

I am a Research Geneticist (Animal) at the Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, which is a part of the Department of Agriculture's in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service. At AIPL we discover, test, and implement improved genetic evaluation techniques for economically important traits of dairy cattle and goats. My research focuses primarily on genetic improvement of health in dairy cattle. I've worked on a number of projects, including a national genetic evaluation for stillbirth, development of a data exchange format for producer-recorded health event data, and revisions to best prediction to accommodate lactations longer than 305 days. Recently, I've been working with genomic data lately, and my colleagues and I have proposed a mechanism underlying a putative QTL on BTA autosome 18 which affects dystocia, conformation, longevity, and lifetime economic performance. I'm currently working on methods for comparing chromosome-specific genetic covariance matrices to identify markers with moderate additive effects that may be acting epistatically on groups of traits.

I received a PhD in animal breeding and genetics from Louisiana State University (LSU) under the supervision of Dr. Don Franke. My dissertation research was funded by The Seeing Eye, Inc., and focused on population genetic structure in a large colony of dog guides. I've also worked with discrete time survival analysis of longevity, and linear and threshold modeling of trainability.

Before joining AIPL, I was the data manager for the Southern Regional Climate Center and a computer analyst (webmaster) in the College of Education, both at LSU. I also spent four years in the Department of Animal Science on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.