UK Graduate Spotlight: Katheryn Cerny

Katheryn L. Cerny

Photo: University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Katheryn L. Cerny

Katheryn L. Cerny

Name: Katheryn L. Cerny

From: Born in Durban, South Africa, grew up in California, and has lived in Lexington, Ky., since 2004

Degrees and institute where received: BS in Animal Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Katheryn Cerny will complete her master's in veterinary science at the University of Kentucky (UK) in early 2012. A native of South Africa, she chose to obtain her degree at the Gluck Equine Research Center because she wanted to work with Ed Squires, PhD, Dipl. ACT (hon.), director of the Equine Initiative and executive director of the UK Gluck Equine Research Foundation, in the reproductive health group.

"The Gluck Center has a great reputation, and I knew being a student here would open up other doors for me," Cerny said.

While at the Gluck Center, Cerny's thesis for her master's was "Presence of bacteria in the reproductive tract of healthy stallions and its relation to the fertility of mares."

"We worked with two Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farms to look at the presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria on stallions, and then we tried to see if there was a difference in pregnancy rates between stallions with negative and positive cultures. We also looked at post-breeding uterine cultures of mares to find any presence of bacteria after breeding live cover," Cerny said.

The study is important to the equine industry because of the amount of money spent on treating mares post-breeding to reduce the effects of the potentially pathogenic bacteria. The study evaluated whether it was necessary to treat all mares post-breeding.

As a side project, Cerny also researched "Fertility of mares inseminated with frozen/thawed semen centrifuged through a single layer density gradient." The study was recently accepted as a short communication in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.

Cerny will continue her education at UK in a PhD program with Phillip Bridges, PhD, in the Department of Animal Science. She will study reproductive biology in other domestic species besides the horse.

Jenny Blandford is the Gluck Equine Research Foundation Coordinator at the Gluck Center.

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