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Margaret Dentine Named To CALS Research Post

Margaret R. Dentine, a dairy cattle geneticist, has been named associate dean for research and executive director of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

“Margaret Dentine has served in an interim role in this position since the summer of 1997. She has given outstanding service in that role,” CALS Dean Elton Aberle said. “I am looking forward to her leadership contributions to the College and to its research programs.”

Dentine will be administering all state and federal research funds for CALS and oversee all external research support, according to Aberle.

“This position plays a pivotal role in the future of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences,” Dentine said. “I look forward to working with faculty and staff on research priorities and funding issues in agriculture, human health, rural communities and natural resources.”

A faculty member in the Department of Dairy Science since 1985, Dentine has taught classes on animal breeding and selection. She is known nationally and internationally as one of the country”s outstanding young geneticists and animal breeders.

Dentine was among the first to combine traditional approaches to animal breeding, which rely on quantitative genetics, with the recent advances in molecular genetics. She used sophisticated mathematical techniques to sharpen the tools breeders employ in evaluating animals. Her research has paid off in the artificial insemination industry by reducing the costs of testing animals and accelerating the identification of animals with desirable traits.

A Montana native, Dentine received her bachelor”s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She earned her master”s and doctorate in animal breeding from North Carolina State University before joining the UW-Madison.

Dentine replaces Robert D. Steele, who resigned in 1997 to become dean of the College of Agriculture at Pennsylvania State University.