Animal Sciences Graduate Club

The Animal Sciences Graduate Club consists of current graduate students in the Department and serves as a networking opportunity and a social environment among graduate students. The Graduate Club provides an opportunity for students to learn about research others are conducting and to create discussions about projects and their experimental designs or statistical analysis. Most importantly, it provides opportunities to socialize — whether it's a BBQ at lunch or a Twin's game after work. Graduate students conduct tours of the animal barns on campus to generate funds for social activities.

Animal Facilities Tours

The Animal Sciences Graduate Club provides tours of the animal barns on campus for interested parties. Please submit tour requests and direct questions to the Dairy Barn Tour Coordinator, Rielle Perttu (

Animal Science clothing catalog 2019Animal Science Department Clothing Available for Purchase!

The Animal Sciences Graduate Club is offering for sale Animal Science Department clothing as a fundraiser for the club. Funds from clothing sales will provide the club with more opportunities for social activities and help bring back its community service aspect. Currently the catalog includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jackets, hats, and more. Feel free to suggest additional items. Please submit orders and direct questions to the Fundraising Chair, Claire Peichel (




Meet our Grad Club Officers and Chairs

Mateus Peiter headshot

Mateus Peiter

3rd year PhD student. My research focuses on automation technologies in dairy production and how we can better use them to improve management and herd health.

During my spare time, I like to spend time with friends and family. Also, I love grilling, cooking, and traveling.

As president, I am in charge of leading graduate club meetings, communicating students' concerns to the department, and represent the grad club.

Zhaohui (Edward) Yang headshot

Zhaohui (Edward) Yang

2nd year PhD student. I study swine nutrition, with a focus on feeding values of novel corn co-products and protein quality evaluation.

I like playing soccer, making Chinese food, and collecting LEGO.

As the vice president, I assist the president and other officers with their tasks and planning events. I also serve as a resourceful point of contact and helping students adjust to grad school life.

Grace Dewi headshot

Grace Dewi

2nd year Ph.D. student. My research investigates the potential of phytobiotics and probiotics to improve the microbial safety of turkeys.

Beyond my academic activities, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, and occasionally playing badminton and video games.

As treasurer, I manage deposits and reimbursements and handle food for meetings.

Yuan-Tai Hung

Yuan-Tai Hung

3rd year PhD student. My current research is to investigate how dietary fiber and its viscosity impact growth performance of pigs.

Going to the gym and working out in the weight room is my daily routine when I have time. One of my hobby is watching Youtube.

As a graduate student rep in the department and a vice chair in the graduate student board, I have a role to facilitate communication and student rights between graduate students and the department and college.


Ramya Lekha Medida

Ramya Lekha Medida

2nd year PhD student in Animal Science

I love to keep myself updated with the happenings around the world. I enjoy reading and playing tennis. I also like to explore new places and get to know about new people and their cultures

As a Council of Graduate Students Representative, I represent the graduate students of the department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota- Twin Citites.

Hannah Lochner Headshot with horse

Hannah Lochner

1st year Master student. My research includes exploring equine carcass composting in the Midwest as well as evaluating different modes of communication in livestock education. 

I am an all around equine enthusiast from showing and riding horses to helping bale hay on my family's hobby farm. Outside of horses, I love to travel, spend time outdoors, and track severe thunderstorms.

As one of two Department Event Planners, I am co-responsible for organizing and coordinating end-of-the-semester, department celebrations including Winterfest and the Spring Luau.  

Maria Lou Headshot

Maria Lou

2nd Year Masters in Animal Science. My research focuses on swine behavior and welfare, specifically the piglet grimace scale as a method of pain assessment. The goal is to improve pain management by learning how to identify and assess pain in pigs. 

I enjoy hiking waterfalls and camping with my dog, Lucas. I also love to bake!

As the social chair, I organize events and activities for graduate students. This brings students together to volunteer and explore Minnesota outside of the classroom and lab. 

Rielle Perttu headshot with dairy calf

Rielle Perttu

1st year PhD student. My research focuses on stakeholder values of dairy calf welfare, behaviors of dairy cows on pasture, and the relationship between calf health and feeding behavior collected be autofeeder software.

During my free time I love being with my dogs, camping, and spending time with family and friends. 

As dairy barn tour coordinator, I am responsible for organizing dairy barn tours, training volunteers for barn tours, and conducting publicity/outreach work to bring in more tours. 

Claire Peichel headshot

Claire Peichel

1st year PhD student. My research is on finding alternatives to antibiotics for use against foodborne pathogens, mostly in poultry and poultry products.

For fun, I go rock climbing, play bar trivia, and watch Grey's Anatomy.

As fundraising chair, I coordinate the sale and delivery of Animal Science clothing. The clothing sales help promote our department to the University and public. It also serves as our club's primary fundraiser.

Student Organizations

Club Officers

Mateus Peiter, President

Zhaohui (Edward) Yang, Vice President

Grace Dewi, Treasurer

Yuan-Tai Hung, Graduate Students Representative and Vice Chair of the Graduate Student Board

Ramya Lekha Medida, Council of Graduate Students Representative

Hannah Lochner, Department Event Planners

Maria Lou, Social Chair

Rielle Perttu, Dairy Barn Tour Coordinator

Claire Peichel, Fundraising Chair