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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Range Science Department Adds New Grazing Expert

LAS CRUCES - Andres Cibils has joined New Mexico State University's animal and range sciences department as a new livestock grazing expert.

His specialty is improved grazing strategies that protect sensitive rangeland habitats while ensuring profitable livestock operations. Cibils' plans include research projects on cattle and sheep foraging behavior and habitat selection.

"It's very important to better understand the processes involved in diet and habitat selection of animals grazing large pastures," he said.

Cibils believes that with a better understanding of grazing behavior, the state's ranchers could potentially develop management plans to use pastures more efficiently and avoid degradation of sensitive rangeland areas. His first range project will get underway next spring on the NMSU campus and at the 29,000-acre Corona Range and Livestock Research Center, 180 miles northeast of Las Cruces.

Prior to joining NMSU, Cibils served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona's School for Renewable Natural Resources, where he studied diet and habitat selection by cattle.

Earlier in his career, he worked as a researcher with Argentina's Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria. Among his research projects were the development of a decision support system to improve lambing rates in southern Patagonia and the study of spatial distribution of sheep in large pastures using Global Positioning System collars.

He also has Extension experience, working with Argentina's Agencia de Extension Rural Puerto Deseado on a large-scale project aimed at controlling desertification of semiarid rangelands.

Cibils earned a bachelor's degree in animal science from the Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora in Argentina. He received a master's and doctoral degrees in rangeland ecosystem science from Colorado State University. He has a passion for teaching and will lead several undergraduate and graduate courses in rangeland resource management at NMSU.

"I'm looking forward to teaching," Cibils said. "It will be a pleasure to work in this kind of multicultural academic environment."