J. L. Lush 2019 Award for D4Dairy partner Professor Nicolas Gengler

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On June 24th, in Cincinnati (USA), Nicolas Gengler, Professor of Numerical Genetics, Genomics and Modelling at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech - University of Liège, was presented the 2019 J. L. Lush Award in Animal Breeding awarded by the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA). D4Dairy congratulates!

"I am deeply honoured by this award, which rewards many years of hard work," said Nicolas Gengler. "I dedicate this Lush 2019 Award to all the people who have worked and are working with me at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech and CRA-W, in Wallonia (AWE), Belgium and around the world. I have had the privilege of training many talented people, students becoming often distinguished researchers, over the years. These former students are now working in France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Morocco, New Zealand and Belgium in administrations, livestock associations, companies, universities and research centres."

The J. L. Lush Award was created to recognize outstanding research in the field of animal breeding and is awarded annually. It highlights researchers who have contributed to science and industry. Nicolas Gengler has been a longtime scientific collaborator of the AIPL (now AGIL) lab of the USDA-ARS (United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service) and has developed and maintained their genetic evaluation tools for conformation of non-Holstein dairy cows. He is also the scientific responsible for the genetic evaluations of dairy and dual-purpose cows and Pietrain pigs in Wallonia. He is also active in horse and honeybee breeding.

Nicolas Gengler, who is also a former FNRS researcher and Honorary Senior Research Associate, is the author of more than 140 peer-reviewed articles. These publications contain important theoretical contributions, including in the field of genomic selection. He continues his fundamental research through ongoing FNRS projects. He is currently leading various research projects applied to pig and cattle breeding. For example, he works to reduce boar taint to avoid castration of piglets.

In the bovine field, his recent work focuses particularly on the use of fine milk composition, collaborating with Prof. Hélène Soyeurt from Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech and colleagues from CRA-W who specialize in infrared analysis and the prediction of traits of interest. This research is being conducted to improve the well-being, the robustness and the efficiency of dairy cows while reducing their environmental impacts (especially methane) and improving the quality of their products.

He has participated and is participating in various European projects (FP7, ERA-NET, INTERREG).

He is also strongly involved in efforts to conserve animal genetic resources and is one of the protagonists in Walloon and interregional efforts concerning local dual-purpose Belgian Blue and Eastern Belgian Red-Pied cattle breeds.

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