Jim Ireland

Professor, Reproductive Physiology

Jim Ireland
1230C Anthony Hall

Phone: (517) 432-1384

Joint appointment in Physiology



Advantages of Domestic Species as Dual-Use Models that Benefit Agricultural and Biomedial Research


BS, Austin Peay State University
PhD, University of Tennessee
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan
NIH Senior Fellow (Sabbatical), Yale School of Medicine


95% Research, 5% Teaching

My research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of the inherently high variability in size of the ovarian reserve (total number of morphologically healthy follicles and oocytes in ovaries; e.g. range = 10,000 to 350,000 eggs)  in cattle. Ongoing studies are designed to determine if anti-Müllerian hormone (an ovarian growth factor produced by healthy growing ovarian follicles) is a reliable biomarker to predict at an early age future fertility and herd longevity of dairy cows.  Our research interests also include development of new, more efficient individualized superovulation techniques to improve embryo transfer in cattle that may also benefit assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in women and understanding mechanisms whereby excessive hormonal treatments during superovulation may impair embryo survival.  

Selected Publications

Ireland JJ, Smith GW, Scheetz D, Jimenez-Krassel J, Folger JK, Ireland JLH, Mossa F,  Lonergan P, Evans ACO. 2010. Does Size Matter in Females?  An overview of the impact of the high variation in the ovarian reserve on ovarian function and fertility, utility of AMH as a diagnostic marker for fertility, and causes of variation in the ovarian reserve in cattle.  Reprod Fert Dev 23:1-14.

Scheetz D, Folger JK, Smith GW, Ireland JJ. 2011. Granulosal cells are refractory to FSH action in individuals with a low antral follicle count. Reprod Fert Dev 24:327-336.

Mossa F, Walsh S, Butler ST, Berry DP, Carter F, Lonergan P, Smith GW, Ireland JJ, Evans ACO. 2012. The number of ovarian follicles > 3 mm in diameter is positively associated with fertility in dairy cows. J Dairy Sci. 95:2355-2361.

Mossa F, Carter F, Walsh SW, Kenny DA, Smith GW, Ireland JLH, Hildebrandt TB, Lonergan P, Ireland JJ, Evans ACO. 2013. Maternal undernutrition in cows impairs ovarian and cardiovascular systems in their offspring. Biol Reprod 88:1-9.