Eminent US Scientist visits University of Stellenbosch
Prof Ignacy Misztal of the University of Georgia in Atlanta
recently visited the Department of Animal Sciences at the
University of Stellenbosch. Prof Misztal gained recognition
for his work on dairy cattle, beef cattle and pigs. He was
closely involved in research on the genetics of heat stress
and reproduction in dairy cattle, pre-weaning survival in
pigs and across-herd-evaluations in beef cattle. Prof Misztal
visited South Africa as part of an extended study tour. During
his visit he gave software demonstrations at Irene (ARC: Livestock
Business Division) and at the University of Stellenbosch,
while he also paid informal visits to the University of the
Free State, Oudtshoorn Research Farm and the Institute for
Animal Production: Elsenburg.
On 16 November 2007, Prof Misztal gave a very informative
software demonstration at the Department of Animal Sciences.
In the process he dealt with two algorithms for estimating
genetic parameters and predicting multi-trait breeding values
for livestock using Restricted Maximum Likelihood (REML) procedures.
He also demonstrated the genetic analysis of threshold traits
by using Gibbs sampling. Genetic correlations between normally
distributed data and binary response variables can be estimated
by these procedures.
Three members of the personnel and four postgraduate students
at the MSc and PhD levels attended the software demonstration.
All attendees experienced the informal course as very interesting
and the software that was demonstrated as applicable to common
livestock breeding problems experienced by them.
From left to right:
Front row: Prof Ignacy Misztal, Dr Carel Muller, Keogetsile
Raphaka, Edgar Dzomba, Gail Jordaan
Second row: Willem Olivier, Anel Engelbrecht, Prof Chrisjan
Cruywagen (Departmental Chairman), Prof Schalk Cloete