Alan G. Mathew, professor and head of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Tennessee since 2003, will return to Purdue University to lead its animal sciences department. Mathew's appointment, announced Monday, becomes effective March 1.
"I am very enthusiastic about the future of animal sciences under Alan's leadership," said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture. "He is an experienced leader with a deep passion for our land-grant mission."
Mathew earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1976 and a master's degree in 1978 and doctorate in 1991 in animal science, all from Purdue.
Before becoming a professor and head of animal science at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Mathew was involved in research, teaching and Extension activities as an assistant professor and associate professor at the university.
Mathew's research has been in the areas of animal gastrointestinal function and animal nutrition, control of antibiotic resistance, and food-borne pathogens in livestock. His research focuses on determining the effects of antibiotic use, nutrition and animal management on antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria and on carriage and shedding of food-borne pathogens such as salmonella.
He has authored 35 peer-reviewed publications and five book chapters.
Mathew has led study-abroad and exchange programs with Thailand, which provided international opportunities for more than 120 U.S. and Thai students and more than a dozen faculty members. The program resulted in several research collaborations, graduate mentorship opportunities and outcomes for his own research with investigators from several Thai universities. He and his department also have been involved in programs with Argentina, Ghana, Jamaica, Mexico and Vietnam.
Mathew taught courses that have included pork production, advanced topics in animal health, advanced animal nutrition, biotechnology and animal production, and animal ethics. He has mentored 18 graduate students to degree completion and served on committees of 31 more.
Mathew has been owner-operator of a cow-calf beef operation in Philadelphia, Tenn., since 1995 and owner of a grain operation in Wolcott, Reynolds and Goodland, Ind., since 1993. He was owner-operator of a farrow-to-finish swine operation and another grain operation in Wolcott from 1978-1993. Mathew also was a member of the board of directors of Farmers Co. in Wolcott from 1986-1993.
"While he has a strong basic science background, his years as a livestock producer provide a perspective that will serve the animal sciences department and our state well," Akridge said. "I am confident Dr. Mathew will do a great job in developing even deeper relationships between the industry and the department."
Akridge thanked Alan Sutton for leading the department as interim head since October 2009. "I could not have asked for a more committed, tireless advocate for the department," he said.