Dr. Jim Derr

Dr. Derr is a Professor of Veterinary Pathobiology and Genetics at Texas A&M University. He is the Director of the DNA Technologies Core Laboratory and served as the Chair of the Faculty of Genetics at Texas A&M University and the President of the Texas Genetics Society. For over 25 years, he has directed worldwide research projects in wildlife and livestock conservation genetics. This body of work has produced more than 75 scientific publications reporting original research on many different species. For example, his research program has produced articles on North American bison, bottlenose dolphins, domestic and wild cats, elk, pronghorn antelope, sheep, quail, white-tailed and mule deer, bowhead whales, domestic livestock and multiple fish species. These conservation genetics projects have been funded through international, federal, state, NGO and private funding sources. In addition, Dr. Derr is an impactful educator through his teaching efforts in undergraduate genetics courses to students interested in medicine (human and veterinary) and he has mentored over 100 graduate students in the fields of conservation/population genetics and animal health. One of Dr. Derr’s most popular courses is “Wildlife Conservation Medicine”. This course is designed for first- and second-year veterinary students to travel to South Africa and Botswana to learn how to chemically immobilize, treat and transport everything from African plains game to dangerous game. His efforts with these young veterinarians ensure they graduate with specialized knowledge and skills to handle health care and conservation issues with the tremendous number of exotic wildlife species here in the State of Texas on private ranches and preserves.

Research Grant Highlights

  • Molecular and Population Genetics of Colombian Criollo cattle. J.N. Derr, S.K. Davis, J.L. Estrada, F. Ariza, J.E. Ossa, A.R. Linares. Agency: COLCIENCIAS, Bogota, Colombia. (1995 – 2000)
  • Conservation Genetics of Bowhead Whales. J.N. Derr (PI) and A.P. Rooney. Agency: Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough, Barrow, AK. (1996 – 1998)
  • American Bison as a Model for the Conservation of Megavertebrate Populations. J.N. Derr (PI) and J.W. Templeton. Agency: National Science Foundation (1996 – 1999)
  • Development of a Genetic Based Breeding Program for the Texas State Bison Herd. J.N. Derr PI. Texas Parks and Wildlife, Austin, Texas. (2001 – 2002).
  • The Application of Conservation Genetics to the Long-term Management of Bison in Five National Parks. J.N. Derr and J.W. Templeton. Agency: Department of Interior, US Geological Service and the National Park Service. (2000-2004)
  • The Role of the Ft. Niobrara Wildlife Refuge and Sully’s Hill Wildlife Preserve in the Long-Term Management of Federal Bison Herds. J. Derr PI and J. Templeton. The U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey & the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (2002 – 2003).
  • Development of a Genetic Based Breeding Program for the Badlands National Park Bison Herd. The Department of the Interior, US. J.N. Derr PI. (2005 – 2007).
  • Remove Threats To Irreplaceable Bison Herd At Wind Cave National Park. J. Derr and N. Halbert. The National Park Service FY 2006 Challenge Cost Share Program through Wind Cave National Park, (2007 – 2008).
  • Bison Herd Genetic Architecture and Management – Working Toward a Species-Wide Conservation Approach. The Nature Conservancy – RJ Kose funding for Conservation Biology. Bob Hamilton (TNC), co-PI, J. Derr (Co-PI) and N. Halbert. (2008 – 2009).
  • A Systematic Approach to African Wildlife Conservation Genetics. The Dallas Safari Club. J. Derr (PI), J. Lane Easter and Nigel Theisen.

For a complete CV and listing of all grants please click here.