Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Poultry Science (MS)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Nicholas B. Anthony

Committee Member

Charles F. Rosenkrans, Jr.

Second Committee Member

Gisela F. Erf


Biomedical model, Conservation, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Poultry, Scleroderma, Systemic Sclerosis


The loss of biodiversity is a topic gaining popularity both in the political and scientific forums. Nearly 30 years ago researchers and politicians congregated in Rio de Janeiro (1992) to attend the first Earth Summit. It was the first meeting of its kind discussing the tangible pressing consequences of biodiversity loss as well as the potential long term ramifications. Many of the countries represented at this summit implemented short and long term plans in order to accurately measure losses of biodiversity as well as establishing organizations to help diagnose and remedy the current problems at hand. These new organizations and researchers discovered that if biodiversity loss continued at the current rate both ecosystems and humans would suffer greatly.

It is known that planet earth contains billions of different life forms, a direct result of billions of years of evolution. Since the evolution of humans most, if not all, of these organisms have been able to co-exist harmoniously. It wasn’t until recently that humans started to realize the detrimental effects of population growth and industrialization. In order to sustain all life forms changes must be made to salvage and sustain “at risk” populations included under the wide umbrella of biodiversity. Maintenance of biodiversity at all levels including agriculture and research populations will be an integral part of the solution. Utilizing and characterizing the genetic sequences that took billions of years to develop is of the utmost importance. The purpose of this study was to document the rescue and reestablishment of two avian biomedical research populations. These populations have undergone nearly 60 years of selective breeding and provide some of the top research models for studying their respective diseases.