J-Starkey-Portraits-FinalJessica D. Starkey

Assistant Professor

Poultry Science Department

Education

Ph.D. Cell and Developmental Biology — University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
M.S. Animal Sciences and Industry — Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
B.S. Animal Sciences and Industry — Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Professional Experience

August 2014 – Present Assistant Professor (Tenure Track)
Auburn University Department of Poultry Science, Auburn, AL
June 2012 – Present Starkey Consulting Services
October 2012 – Present Adjunct Professor of Animal Science
University of Georgia Department of Animal and Dairy Science, Athens, GA
June 2012 – Present Adjunct Professor of Meat and Muscle Biology
Texas Tech University Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Lubbock, TX
January 2009 – May 2012 Assistant Professor of Meat and Muscle Biology (Tenure Track)
Texas Tech University Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Lubbock, TX

Professional Affiliations

Poultry Science Association
World’s Poultry Science Association
American Society of Animal Science
American Meat Science Association
Plains Nutrition Council
Gamma Sigma Delta

Research Activities

Research in Dr. Jessica Starkey’s laboratory is centered around exploring the impact of nutrition and management strategies on the cellular and molecular regulation of skeletal muscle development and growth. Understanding how muscle-specific stem cells called satellite cells function and respond to different dietary factors, stressors, and management strategies is the primary focus of this lab.

Specifically, we are interested in understanding how maternal nutrition impacts skeletal muscle development, satellite cell function, and muscle growth characteristics of the progeny. In addition, we are currently investigating how variation in egg incubation temperature impacts skeletal muscle development and post-hatch satellite cell activity in broilers. We are also working on experiments aimed at elucidating the developmental mechanisms and possible causes of wooden breast, a myopathy currently challenging the global broiler industry.

Our research is not limited only to poultry, but includes other livestock species as well. Students in the lab become skilled in multiple molecular and cell biology research techniques, but also receive hands-on training in poultry husbandry and poultry growth performance and metabolism research. The core research techniques used in the lab include, but are not limited to, primary satellite cell isolation and culture, real-time quantitative PCR and pyrosequencing, protein quantification using fluorescence-based Western blotting, tissue cryohistology, traditional paraffin histology, immunofluorescence staining, fluorescence microscopy, and digital image analysis. Dr. Starkey’s research group works in state-of-the-art, recently renovated research facilities which include the Muscle Cell Biology and Fluorescence Microscopy Laboratories, Individual Bird Growth Performance Facility, and AU Poultry and Animal Nutrition Center housed in the Poultry Science Department.

Our overall aim is to conduct experiments that will not only enhance basic scientific knowledge regarding muscle satellite cell function, but that will ultimately be useful in devising production strategies to maximize the efficiency of muscle growth without sacrificing animal health, well-being, or product quality.

courses taught

POUL 3030 Commercial Poultry Production
POUL 3150 Poultry Physiology
POUL 4980 Undergraduate Research
POUL 7990 Research and Thesis
POUL 8990 Research and Dissertation

Select Publications

*denotes publication under maiden name (Dunn)
#designates the work of a graduate student advisee.

  1.  Knobel-Graves, S. M., J. C. Brooks, B. J. Johnson, J. D. Starkey, J. L. Beckett, J. M. Hodgen, J. P. Hutcheson, M. N. Streeter, C. L. Thomas, R. J. Rathmann, A. J. Garmyn, M. F. Miller. 2016. Effect of vitamin D3, zilpaterol hydrochloride supplementation, and postmortem aging on shear force measurements of three muscles in finishing beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 94:2637-2647.
  2.  Lancaster, P.A., E. D. Sharman, G. W. Horn, C. R Krehbiel, J. W. Dilwith, and J. D. Starkey. 2015. Effect of rate of weight gain of steers during the stocker phase. IV. Rumen fermentation characteristics and expression of genes involved in substrate utilization for fatty acid synthesis in adipose tissues of growing-finishing beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 93:3055-65
  3.  Hutton, K. C.#, M. A. Vaughn, B. J. Turner, and J. D. Starkey. 2014. Effect of vitamin D status improvement with 25-hydroxycholecalciferol on skeletal muscle growth characteristics and satellite cell activity in broiler chickens. J. Anim. Sci. 92:3291-3299.
  4.  Starkey, J. D. 2014. Invited Review. ASAS Triennial Growth Symposium — A role for vitamin D in skeletal muscle development and growth J. Anim. Sci. 92:887-892.
  5.  Tedford, J. L., Rodas-González, A., A. J. Garmyn, J. C. Brooks, B. J. Johnson, J. D. Starkey, G. O. Clark, A. J. Derington, J. A. Collins, and M. F. Miller. 2014. Pre- and Postharvest Product Safety: U.S. consumer perceptions of U.S. and Canadian beef quality grades. J. Anim. Sci. 92:3682-3692.
  6.  Lancaster, P.A., E. D. Sharman, G. W. Horn, C. R Krehbiel, and J. D. Starkey. 2014. Effect of rate of weight gain of steers during the stocker phase. III. Gene expression of adipose tissues and skeletal muscle in growing-finishing beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 92:1462-1472.
  7.  Hines, E. A.#, J. D. Coffey, C. W. Starkey, T. K. Chung, and J. D. Starkey. 2013. Improvement of maternal vitamin D status with 25-hydroxycholecalciferol positively impacts porcine fetal skeletal muscle development and myoblast activity. J. Anim. Sci. 91:4116-4122.
  8.  Sharman, E., P. Lancaster, C. McMurphy, G. Mafi, J. Starkey, C. Krehbiel, and G. Horn. 2013. Effect of rate of weight gain of steers during the stocker phase. II. Visceral organ mass and body composition of growing-finishing beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 91:2355-2366.
  9.  Sharman, E., P. Lancaster, C. McMurphy, A. Garmyn, B. Pye, G. Mafi, C. Goad, W. Phillips, J. Starkey, C. Krehbiel, and G. Horn. 2013. Effect of rate of weight gain of steers during the stocker phase. I. Growth, partitioning of fat among depots and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 91:4322-4335.
  10.  Martin, J. N., J. C. Brooks, T. A. Brooks, J. F. Legako, J. D. Starkey, S. P. Jackson, and M. F. Miller. 2013. Storage length, storage temperature, and lean formulation influence the shelf-life and stability of traditionally packaged ground beef. Meat Sci. 95:495-502.
  11.  Coffey, J. D.#, E. A. Hines, J. D. Starkey, C. W. Starkey, and T. K. Chung. 2012. Feeding 25-hydroxycholecalciferol improves gilt reproductive performance and fetal vitamin D status. J. Anim. Sci. 90:3783-8.
  12.  O’Quinn, T. G., J. C. Brooks, R. J. Polkinghorne, A. J. Garmyn, B. J. Johnson, J. D. Starkey, R. J. Rathmann, and M. F. Miller. 2012. Consumer assessment of beef strip loin steaks of varying fat levels. J Anim. Sci. 90:626-34
  13.  Rodas-Gonzalez, A., S. B Pflanzer, A. J. Garmyn, J. N. Martin, J. C. Brooks, S. M. Knobel, B. J. Johnson, J. D. Starkey, R. J. Rathmann, P. E. de Felicio, M. N. Streeter, D. A. Yates, J. M. Hodgen, J. P. Hutcheson, M. F. Miller. 2012. Effects of postmortem calcium chloride injection on meat palatability traits of strip loin steaks from cattle supplemented with or without zilpaterol hydrochloride. J. Anim. Sci. 90(10):3584-95.
  14.  Garmyn, A. J., S. M. Knobel, K. S. Spivey, L. F. Hightower, J. C. Brooks, B. J. Johnson, S. L. Parr, R. J. Rathmann, J. D. Starkey, D. A. Yates, J. M. Hodgen, J. P. Hutcheson, M. F. Miller. 2011. Warner-Bratzler and slice shear force measurements of three beef muscles in response to various aging periods following trenbolone acetate and estradiol implants and zilpaterol hydrochloride supplementation of finishing beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 89:3783-3791.
  15.  Igo, J. L., J. C. Brooks, B. J. Johnson, J. D. Starkey, R. J. Rathmann, A. J. Garmyn, W. T. Nichols, J. P. Hutcheson, and M. F. Miller. 2011. Characterization of estrogen-trenbolone acetate implants on tenderness and consumer acceptability of beef under the effect of two aging times. J. Anim. Sci. 89:792-97.
  16.  Starkey, J. D., M. Yamamoto, S. Yamamoto, D. J. Goldhamer. 2011. Skeletal muscle satellite cells do not spontaneously adopt adipogenic fates. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 59:33-46.
  17.  Collier, C. T., J. A. Carroll, M. A. Ballou, J. D. Starkey and J. C. Sparks. 2011. Oral administration of Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii reduces mortality associated with immune and cortisol responses to Escherichia coli endotoxin in weaned pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 89:52-8.
  18.  Waylan, A. T., J. P. Kayser, D. P. Gnad, J. J. Higgins, J. D. Starkey, E. K. Sissom, J. C. Woodworth, and B. J. Johnson. 2005. Effects of L-carnitine on fetal growth and the IGF system in pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 83:1824-31.
  19.  Wang, X., S. R. Thomson, J. D. Starkey, J. L. Page, A. D. Ealy, and S. E. Johnson. 2004. Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) is up-regulated by activated Raf in skeletal myoblasts but does not contribute to the differentiation-defective phenotype. J. Biol. Chem. 279:(4) 2528-2534.
  20.  Waylan, A. T., J. D. Dunn*, B. J. Johnson, J. P. Kayser, and E. K. Sissom. 2004. Effect of flax supplementation and growth promotants on lipoprotein lipase and glycogenin messenger RNA concentrations in satellite cells and finishing cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 82:1868-1875.
  21.  Dunn, J. D.*, B. J. Johnson, J. P. Kayser, A. T. Waylan, E. K. Sissom, and J. S. Drouillard. 2003. Effects of flax supplementation and a combined trenbolone acetate and estradiol implant on circulating insulin-like growth factor-I and muscle insulin-like growth factor-I messenger RNA levels in beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 81:3028-3034.
  22.  Pampusch, M. S., B. J. Johnson, M. E. White, M. R. Hathaway, J. D. Dunn*, A. T. Waylan, and W. R. Dayton. 2003. Time course of changes in growth factor mRNA levels in muscle of steroid-implanted and non-implanted steers. J. Anim. Sci. 81:2733-2740.