The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo has a new interim director. Reid Redden, Ph.D., is expanding his role by joining Texas A&M AgriLife Research as the part-time interim center director. This is in addition to his Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service affiliation, where he currently serves as the sheep and goat specialist.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity of taking on a leadership role here at the center and getting more involved with the research faculty,” said Redden. “The center has had great leaders over the years, and I’m excited to step in and hopefully continue this tradition.”
John Walker, Ph.D., AgriLife Research rangeland scientist who has been the center director for 23 years, has returned to his research work full time and will continue to be based in San Angelo.
“I wanted to step down from the administrative duties so I could work on research projects that needed more attention than I could give them,” said Walker.
“One of the things I am most excited about related to the Prairie Project is studying what animals eat,” Walker said. “It shapes ecosystems and plant communities.
“Microhystological is the gold standard that has been used forever and ever, and that is traditionally done with someone looking through a microscope. But I want to develop image-recognition machine learning in order to automate that,” Walker said of his future research goals.
He said the San Angelo center is also preparing to commercialize their wool lab, which he is excited to assist with.
“My management style was that my door was always open, and people could come and ask me anything,” Walker said, “I think that is a good way to manage, but you don’t get to concentrate a lot on research projects that way, and I have research goals to accomplish before I retire.
“I am excited to be turning over the management and care of the center to Dr. Redden and Darrell White, who fills the newly created role of district senior administrator.”