Alves, Thorson presented awards at physiology of reproduction luncheon

COLLEGE STATION — The Department of Animal Science Physiology of Reproduction section held their annual Holiday Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Dec. 13 at the College Station Community Center.

Bruna Alves was presented the 2011 Mauro Procknor Memorial Award. This award is presented annually to a physiology of reproduction graduate student who best exemplifies excellence in academics and research, patience in teaching, and innovation in the laboratory.

“Bruna was selected in recognition of her commitment to conduct research, teach and assist her colleagues in their research and educational endeavors,” said Dr. Tom Welsh, professor and section leader.

Alves, from Araxa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is currently seeking a doctoral degree in physiology of reproduction working under the direction of Dr. Marcel Amstalden. Her research focuses on nutritional programming of neuroendocrine pathways controlling the onset of puberty in heifers.

Alves received a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2006 and a master of science in animal reproduction in 2008.

The award was established in memory of Dr. Procknor who received a doctorate in physiology of reproduction in the 1980s. Shortly after his graduation, Mauro was killed in a traffic accident near his animal research station in his home country of Brazil. His fellow students established the Procknor Memorial Award in 1986.

Jennifer Thorson, from Surrey, N.D., was presented the 2012 A.M. “Tony” Sorensen, Jr. Achievement Award. This award was established in memory of Dr. Sorensen to recognize an individual’s outstanding ability and potential.

“Jenny was selected as the graduating doctoral student in the physiology of reproduction degree program who excelled as a student, as a teacher and as a researcher,” Welsh said.

Thorson works under the direction of Dr. Williams and Dr. Amstalden and her research focuses on the role of the neuroendocrine peptides GnRH and RFRP-3 in regulating reproductive cyclicity in the mare. She earned a bachelor’s degree in equine science and agricultural business from Colorado State University in 2006 and a master of science in physiology of reproduction from North Dakota State University in 2008.


For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at or (979) 845-1542.

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