Sperm, Egg, and Embryo Development

The Sperm, Egg, and Embryo Development group focuses on basic and applied research in gamete, embryo, and reproductive physiology that serves as a foundation for the development of new technologies, experiential teaching, and targeted outreach that benefits animal and human reproductive health. 


The Sperm, Egg, and Embryo research focal group is comprised of world-class expertise with access to exceptional graduate students and facilities to enhance continued success in research programs. The group fosters collaborations with a wide range of stakeholders, including international organizations, industries, and conservation groups. The group engages in cross-disciplinary research fields, such as environmental reproductive toxicology, human reproductive medicine, bioengineering, and wildlife conservation. The SEED group conducts research in areas that can enable more efficient food production, enhance reproductive management, improve global dissemination of genetics, define maternal and paternal factors that impact offspring health, and mitigate environmentally-induced reproductive problems. These strategies will address the global challenges of sustainable animal production, while minimizing ecological destruction and improving the reproductive health of animals and humans.

Research Areas

Improve reproductive efficiency and success through advances in assisted reproductive technologies, animal reproductive management, oocyte maturation, embryo culture procedures, and novel treatments in animals or in the lab.

Develop methods to assess and to mitigate maternal/paternal and environmental factors (such as aging, obesity, heat stress, and environmental toxins) on gamete and embryo quality.

Establish methods to preserve gametes, embryos, and genetics for domestic and exotic animals and endangered wildlife.

Use various and comparative animal models to study vital reproductive problems relevant to human and domestic animal species.

Develop models which can reduce animal use or aid in the study of species with limited gamete availability.

Evaluate noninvasive techniques to assess oocyte and embryo developmental potential and embryo genetic characteristics.

Group Members

Elaine Carnevale

Group Chair | Specialty: Assisted Reproductive Technology

Jennifer Barfield

Specialty: Reproductive Physiology

James Graham

Specialty: Male Reproductive Physiology

Thomas Hansen

Specialty: Establishment and Maintenance of Pregnancy; Fetal Development in Response to Maternal Infection; Translational Reproductive Biotechnologies

Jennifer Hatzel

Specialty: Assisted Reproductive Technology

Fiona Hollinshead

Specialty: Small Animal Reproduction

Patrick McCue

Specialty: Assisted Reproductive Technology

Pablo Pinedo

Specialty: Dairy Systems​

Dawit Tesfaye

Specialty: Molecular Regulation of Early Embryo Development​

Rao Veeramachaneni

Specialty: Andrology and Reproductive Toxicology

Quint Winger

Specialty: Genetic Regulation of Mammalian Reproduction

Ye Yuan

Specialty: Reproductive Biology