Alumni Profiles - Meet Robert Alphin
Hometown: Stanton, DE
Years of Graduation: B.S. 1975, M.S. 1978
Major: Animal Science/Virology
Alpha Zeta, Ag College Council, Resident Student Association
Current Position of Employment or Education:
Instructor and Allen Lab Manager in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences at the University of Delaware
Describe your best Ag experience:
I had many great experiences, but the one that had the most lasting impact was doing my undergraduate research in Dr. John Rosenberger's virology lab. This led to my decision to do a Degree with Distinction and later a Masters Degree under Dr. Rosenberger who was also our Department Chair at that time.
Which Ag course was your favorite and why?
I had some excellent instructors and courses, but I would have to say that my favorite was Anatomy and Physiology lecture and laboratory.
Tell us about your current position or program of study and what led you to that field.
Poultry disease research has primarily been my area of interest. My involvement with the 2004 low pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in the broiler industry on the Delmarva Peninsula led to my emphasis on emergency poultry disease response including developing and improving methods for emergency disease depopulation, disposal and decontamination.
In addition, with new LED light bulbs becoming available, I have recently been doing research with new lightning technologies for the poultry industry including LED lighting. LED bulbs offers lower energy costs and additional areas of study looking at the impact of these new lighting technologies on poultry welfare, physiology and production efficiencies.
How did your College of Ag experiences prepare you for your current job or post-graduate education?
When I started my undergraduate studies, I intended to become a veterinarian. My College of Ag experiences gave me the opportunity to explore different career opportunities and ultimately led me to post graduate studies and my career in poultry science.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?I highly recommend to all my advisees that no matter what field they are interested in, that they need to gain experience doing undergraduate research and to do an internship in their area of interest. Both of these will greatly increase your career and education opportunities. They will help you determine what you like and don't like. Both are important and take you one step closer to your future career.