Aviagen Turkeys is pleased to announce that Dr. Esther van der Heide has been named Research Geneticist for its pedigree program in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Reporting to Paige Rohlf, Research and Development Manager, Dr. van der Heide will be conducting research projects to evaluate novel selection methods and techniques for the pedigree breeding program.

 Dr. van der Heide comes to Lewisburg from The Netherlands where she studied at Wageningen University. There she earned her BSc in biology, MSc in Quantitative Genetics and PhD in Animal Breeding and Genomics. She also spent time in the U.S. conducting research at The University of Georgia as part of her master’s thesis work.

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 According to Rohlf, “Dr. van der Heide’s education and research background make her uniquely qualified to support our team in Lewisburg as well as Aviagen’s Global Research and Development Group. She is solution oriented and her research included leveraging knowledge from other fields to produce results. Dr. van der Heide’s experience in applying machine learning methods in animal science will also be an asset to the group. We are proud that Dr. van der Heide is joining our talented team of scientists in raising the standards of sustainable turkey performance.”