College of Ag Honors Distinguished Alum

October 31, 2006

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Noelle E. Muggli Cockett, a professor and administrator at Utah State University, has been chosen as an Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences Distinguished Alumnus for 2006. Cockett is a leading expert in ovine (sheep) genetics and has had a central role in determining the ovine genome map.

After receiving her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Breeding and Genetics from OSU, Cockett spent five years as a Research Geneticist at the USDA, ARS U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb. She joined Utah State University as an assistant professor in 1990, was promoted to associate professor in 1993, and to full professor in 1996.

Cockett is currently the vice president for Extension and Agriculture and the dean for the College of Agriculture at Utah State University. She has also served as the interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies, vice provost for Academic Affairs and most recently as interim provost for the university.

Cockett’s research program has centered on the identification of genetic markers associated with economically important traits in livestock. Her current projects include characterization of the callipyge gene causing muscle hypertrophy in sheep and identification of genetic markers for parasite resistance in sheep. She has published more than 85 refereed articles and book chapters, and more than 150 abstracts, technical reports and proceedings. She is currently the chief editor for the journal Animal Genetics and has been the U.S. Coordinator for Sheep Genome Mapping since 1993.

“Cockett's papers have been on the cutting edge of genomics in sheep and have added considerably to our knowledge of the genetics of skeletal muscle growth in animals,” said Jim Males, professor and department head of OSU’s Department of Animal Sciences. “She has trained many young scientists in the field.”

The College of Agricultural Sciences will present Cockett her award at the Dean's Dinner on Friday, Nov. 3, at the Camp Adair Officer’s Club, in Adair Village, north of Corvallis.

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Jim Males