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Jay L. Lush
Born January 3, 1896(1896-01-03)
Shambaugh, Iowa
Died May 22, 1982
Nationality United States
Fields Genetics
Institutions Iowa State University
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison
Doctoral advisor Leon J. Cole
Known for Quantitative genetics
Influences Sewall Wright; Sir R. A. Fisher
Notable awards National Medal of Science (1968); Wolf Prize (1979)

Jay Laurence Lush (January 3, 1896(1896-01-03), Shambaugh, Iowa - May 22, 1982) was a pioneering animal geneticist who made important contributions to livestock breeding. He is sometimes known as the father of modern scientific animal breeding. Lush received National Medal of Science in 1968 and the Wolf Prize in 1979.

Lush was introduced to mathematics and genetics during his B.Sc. studies of animal husbandry at the Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University [KSU]). He completed his M.Sc. in 1918 at KSU, and his Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1922).

Lush advocated breeding not based on subjective appearance of the animal, but on quantitative statistics and genetic information. Lush authored a classic book 'Animal Breeding Plans' in 1937 which greatly influenced animal breeding around the world.

From 1930 to 1966, Lush was the Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture at Iowa State University. He elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1967.

Lush won the Borden Award for research in dairy production from the American Dairy Science Association and both the Armour Award for animal breeding and genetics and the Morrison Award from the American Society of Animal Science. In 1979, he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture.


  • Lush, J.L. (1943). Animal Breeding Plans. Collegiate Press, Ames.  




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