Dr. Rachel Hawken, who has extensive global experience in genomic research in a range of farm animals, has been appointed director of biotechnology for Cobb.

For the past 10 years Hawken has been working for the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, latterly as principal research scientist, leading a seven-year project exploring the genetics of bovine fertility to develop molecular tools for selecting superior breeding stock in beef cattle adapted to the country’s tropical and subtropical environments. “Her vast experiences in state-of-the-art research programs focused on improving genetic performance in a wide variety of food animal species make her uniquely qualified,” said Dr. Mitch Abrahamsen, vice president of research and development. “Importantly, [Hawken] has led several initiatives employing genomic tools to better understand and improve animal breeding programs, and she will be key in leading our efforts in applying genomic technologies to achieve further advances in our industry-leading poultry breeding program.”