Daniel L. Fletcher, internationally recognized poultry researcher, teacher, mentor and administrator, died July 16, 2012, at age 63.
He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida and joined the University of Georgia Department of Poultry Science as an assistant professor in 1977. He was promoted to associate professor in 1984 and full professor in 1990. While at the university, he received 11 awards for teaching and research from his department and college. He taught numerous courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and served as Graduate Coordinator for the Poultry Science Department.
His research on egg yolk and broiler skin color work led to improved analysis of egg yolk and broiler skin color and evaluation of pigment sources. His research on early rigor, antemortem stress and early processing factors has contributed to the understanding of the effects of production and processing methods on poultry meat color, texture, shelf life and overall quality. The research also addresses regulatory and animal welfare concerns in the poultry processing industry. Over one million dollars of research support and grants were awarded to support his work, which also led to the publication of 143 refereed journal articles and 292 abstracts, proceedings, invited papers and trade publications. Daniel was active in professional societies, serving on the editorial and review boards of nine journals and contributing to WATT PoultryUSA.
After 30 years of service to the University of Georgia, he became professor and department head of the Animal Science Department at the University of Connecticut. He was the recipient of the American Egg Board Research Award, Broiler Research Award, the Continental Grain Poultry Products Research Award, the Merck Award for Achievement in Poultry Science and he was elected a Fellow of the Poultry Science Association.
He did a sabbatical at Spelderholt Institute in the Netherlands, participated in European poultry symposia, and cooperated with the University of Bologna and the University of Helsinki. He received the University of Helsinki Medal and was elected into the International Poultry Hall of Fame in 2008.
Daniel was a devoted husband and father with an unforgettable sense of humor.