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Animal Sciences Department

Animal Sciences Department

Dr. Tracy L. Scheffler

Associate Professor — Muscle Biology

The overall goal of Dr. Scheffler’s research is to optimize muscle growth, composition, and meat quality. In particular, she is interested in how muscle phenotype, metabolic properties, and energy signaling pathways influence the following; protein turnover and growth of skeletal muscle, and impact on production parameters, such as lean gain, nutrient partitioning and muscle and whole body composition, and the conversion of muscle to meat and development of meat quality attributes.


  • Research

    Research Summary

    Dr Scheffler is interested in how muscle energy metabolism and signaling pathways impact muscle growth, composition, and meat quality.  She utilizes animal and cellular models and genetic and nutritional approaches to manipulate metabolic properties, fuel availability, and signaling pathways in skeletal muscle. These factors affect energy expenditure, nutrient partitioning and utilization, and/or protein turnover, and thus may be relevant to production parameters, such as lean gain, feed efficiency, and body composition. Another important focus is understanding the energetic, structural, and biochemical changes that occur during the conversion of muscle to meat, and during subsequent aging and storage of meat; and how these processes influence protein functionality, tenderness, and other traits that dictate economic value of meat products.

  • Teaching

    Meat Technology, Animal Moleculay and Cellular Biology

    Dr. Scheffler is the the lead instructor for ANS 6288, Experimental Techniques in Meat Science, which exposes students to laboratory methods in meat science and muscle biology. She teaches part of ANS 6933, Meat Technology; this course covers topics in meat science from muscle structure, growth, and meat quality development to microbiology and food safety.

    Dr. Scheffler also leads ANS 6933,  a non-thesis masters seminar.  In this course, the class discusses aspects of presenting scientific research and each student prepares and presents a 30 minute seminar.

    Courses Taught

    • ANS 2002 – The Meat We Eat, Fall 3cr 
    • ANS 6288 – Experimental Techniques & Analytical Procedures in Meat Research, Spring odd years, 3 cr
    • ANS 6933 – Graduate Seminar in Animal Science, Spring 1cr
    • ANS 6636 – Meat Technology, Fall 3cr
    • ANS 6905 – Animal Growth & Development, Spring odd years 1cr
    • ANS 6939 – Animal Molecular & Cellular Biology Journal Colloquy (Muscle), Fall 1cr, Spring 1cr

Tracy Scheffler


PO Box 110910
Gainesville, FL 32611

2250 Shealy Dr.
Gainesville, FL 32611

  • Education


    • August 2012; Ph.D., Animal Science-Muscle Biology and Meat Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
    • August 2005; M.S. Animal Science-Meat Science Specialization, Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN
    • May 2002; B.S. Animal Science- Science Option; Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

    Academic Positions Since Final Degree:

    • August 2014-Present; Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
    • September 2012-July 2014; Lab Specialist, Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

    Industry Position;

    • October 2005-December 2006; Packaged Meats Product Quality & Development, ConAgra Foods; Omaha, NE
  • Publications
  • Professional Service and Awards

    Awards, Honors, and Recognitions

    • Outstanding Dissertation Honorable Mention in Science and Engineering-Virginia Tech (2013)
    • E.T. Kornegay Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award, Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech (2011)
    • Featherston Early Graduate Career Award, Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University (2008)
    • Featherston Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Teaching, Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University (2005)
    • Andrews Fellowship-Purdue University (2002-2005)

    Professional Memberships

    • American Meat Science Association