Craig McConnel

Craig McConnel

Associate Professor
Office Phone: 509-335-0766


Craig McConnel grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in central Idaho.  He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University in 2002. Following an internship in ruminant medicine at the University of Sydney, he completed a Master of Veterinary Clinical Studies. Craig’s research interests led him to Colorado State University where he completed a PhD exploring the epidemiology of adult dairy cow mortality on Colorado dairies.  In 2010, he joined the staff of Charles Sturt University’s School of Animal and Veterinary Science in Wagga Wagga, Australia, as a Lecturer in Ruminant Health.  Craig returned to Colorado State University in 2013 as an Assistant Professor in Dairy Population Health Management where he provided clinical instruction in dairy field service, and oversight of elective rotations in dairy production medicine and herd health assessments.  In 2016, Craig moved to Washington State University as an Assistant Professor in Veterinary Medicine Extension.  He is the course coordinator for Veterinary Epidemiology and continues to pursue his varied research interests including efforts to develop more effective classification strategies for dairy cow removals, and to more fully understand the ecology of E. coliO157 on dairies, the influence of calf housing strategies on lifetime performance, and the impact of dairy cow diseases on animal well-being and associated economic opportunity costs.  

  • Bachelor of Science at Cornell University (1994)
  • DVM at Washington State University (2002)
  • Master at University of Sydney (2005)
  • Ph.D. at Colorado State University (2010)

Veterinary Medicine Epidemiology (VM585).  VM 585 is focused on major epidemiological concepts that influence the practice of veterinary medicine. Quality medicine is evidence-based and this class provides tools for evaluating information and guiding decisions regarding medical treatments and diagnostics. This class also serves as an introduction to concepts of population health essential to preventive, shelter, kennel, cattery, regulatory and livestock medicine.

My early scholarly output was based on research I completed at the University of Sydney, Australia.In a successful attempt to introduce a developed vaccine against bovine keratoconjunctivitis (pinkeye) into Australia, we isolatedMoraxella bovisstrains present within Australia for identification of fimbrial antigens, antimicrobial susceptibilities, and cytotoxin/hemolysin gene profiles.

During my time at Charles Sturt University, I began working with a team in Australia exploringE. coliO157 colonization and shedding in extensive beef cow systems.Upon my return to Colorado State University I continued researchingE. coliO157 in dairy cows.Our team analyzed data related to shedding in intensive dairy systems and examined the dynamics of farm ecology on the prevalence ofE. coliO157, as well as the underlying bovine microbiome influencing colonization and shedding.

My Ph.D. research focused on the epidemiology underlying increasing rates of adult dairy cow death on U.S. farms.We introduced novel concepts for on-farm record keeping including a dairy cow death certificate.Work in this area continues with a focus on the lifetime impacts and opportunity costs associated with disease and death on dairies.

Research Details:

Select Publications
  • McConnel CS, Crisp SA, Biggs TD, Parrish LM, Sischo WM, Adams-Progar A, Ficklin SP. (2020)

    Transcriptomic analysis of peripheral leukocytes in dairy cows with and without evidence of early postpartum disease.

    Applied Animal Science PMID: PMCID:
  • McConnel CS, Crisp SA, Biggs TD, Ficklin SP, Parrish LM, Trombetta SC, Sischo WM, Adams-Progar A. (2020)

    A Fixed Cohort Field Study of Gene Expression in Circulating Leukocytes From Dairy Cows With and Without Mastitis

    Frontiers in Veterinary Science PMID: PMCID:
  • McConnel CS, Nelson DD, Miller CB, Buhrig SM, Wilson EA, Klatt CT, Moore DA. (2019)

    Clarifying dairy calf mortality phenotypes through postmortem analysis

    Journal of Dairy Science PMID: 30879809 PMCID: PMC7094407
  • McConnel C, Garry F. (2019)

    Invited Review: Why cows die in US dairy herds

    Applied Animal Science Volume 35, Issue 6 PMID: PMCID:
  • McConnel CS, McNeil AA, Hadrich JC, Lombard JE, Heller J, Garry FB (2018) A comparison of a novel time-based summary measure of dairy cow health against cumulative disease frequency. Ir Vet J. 71:7. doi: 10.1186/s13620-018-0119-z. eCollection 2018. PMID: 29507715 PMCID: PMC5833078
  • Stenkamp-Strahm C, McConnel C, Magzamen S, Abdo Z, Reynolds S (2018) Associations between Escherichia coli O157 shedding and the faecal microbiota of dairy cows. J Appl Microbiol. 124(3):881-898. doi: 10.1111/jam.13679. Epub 2018 Feb 8. PMID: 29280543 PMCID:
  • McConnel CS, Garry FB (2017) Dairy cow mortality data management:  the dairy certificate of death. Bov Pract 51 (1): 64-72. PMID: PMCID:
  • McConnel CS, McNeil AA, Hadrich JC, Lombard JE, Garry FB, Heller J (2017) Dairy cow disability weights. Prev Vet Med. 143:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.04.014. Epub 2017 May 10. PMID: 28622786 PMCID:

List of Publications