Anna C Denicol

Anna C Denicol

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Animal Science


Denicol, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, is a veterinarian who specializes in reproductive and developmental biology. Denicol earned her DVM at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and a master’s degree of Preventative Veterinary Medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her Ph.D. in animal sciences at the University of Florida. Denicol was a postdoctoral researcher at Northeastern University in Boston before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2016.

Research interests:

Reproductive and developmental biology, dairy cow reproduction, female fertility, assisted reproductive techniques, application of basic concepts of reproductive biology to improve health of agricultural animals, as well as humans and wildlife 

Brief overview:

Successful reproduction in females requires development of follicles, ovulation and fertilization of a mature egg, and development of the embryo and fetus until birth of offspring. As all these events occur inside the female’s body, any disturbances can result in poor fertility—whether the disturbance is local (within the ovary), systemic (within the body), or environmental (outside the body). In cattle, these disturbances can lower productivity or negatively impact animal welfare. In humans, these types of disturbances can cause recurrent pregnancy failure.

My research focuses on the molecular control of female reproduction by local and systemic factors and how it is affected by the environment. I am particularly interested in the development of female gametes (oogenesis), and on the early period of embryonic development. 

By understanding the molecular mechanisms of reproduction, my goal is to improve cattle fertility, increase animal longevity, improve animal welfare, and boost farm productivity. My research will use cattle as a starting point and model species, acquiring knowledge that can be applied to solve human infertility issues or assist in the conservation of endangered exotic species. 

Current projects:

  • Investigating the impact of changes in preantral follicle environment on oocyte development and carry-over effects on embryonic development
  • Studying potential uses of oogonial stem cells for assisted reproductive techniques using cattle as a model species