Agriculture and Natural Resources
Dr. Dahlia O’Brien has served as Associate Professor and Small Ruminant Specialist in Cooperative Extension at Virginia State University (VSU) since 2013. Dr. O’Brien received her PhD from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in December of 2005. Prior to her position at Virginia State University, she served as Associate Professor and Small Ruminant Specialist at Delaware State University (DSU) for several years. In her position at DSU, Dr. O’Brien conducted research on a number of projects including the characterization of anthelmintic resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes of small ruminants in the Mid-Atlantic U.S., evaluation of natural/alternative dewormers (pumpkin seeds, ginger, garlic, papaya seeds and commercially available herbal wormers) in parasite control, determining the efficacy of goat browsing as a biological control for invasive weeds, and the use of natural breed resistance in reducing internal parasite infections in meat goats. At Virginia State University, Dr. O’Brien works collaboratively in providing needs based educational workshops and applied research for small ruminant producers locally and regionally. Her interests lies in low-input small ruminant production, increasing reproductive efficiency in small ruminants, natural/novel means of parasite control, and assisting producers in determining on-farm parasite resistance to chemical drugs. Dr. O’Brien is also working on a USDA Capacity Building Program funded project to design and build a mobile slaughter processing unit (MSPU) at VSU to educate and enhance profitability of Virginia’s small ruminant industry.