M.Sc. by thesis
I am originally from the city of Vaughan, but have been living in Guelph for the past six years. During my youth, I spent a lot of my time volunteering at Reptilia, a local reptile zoo. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering at a local cat shelter where I socialize and feed the kittens. I completed my undergraduate degree in animal biology with a minor in zoology. During my undergraduate degree, I worked as a research assistant in Dr. Tina Widowski’s poultry behaviour and welfare lab. During my assistantship, I gained a passion for research in behaviour and welfare and knew that I wanted to pursue a degree in this field. I am currently pursuing my masters degree in animal behaviour and welfare under Dr. Stephanie Torrey.
I will be working with two other graduate students, Midian Nascimento and Zhenzhen Liu. As a team we aim to determine if there are differences in health, behaviour and welfare between slow-growing broilers and fast-growing broilers. Broilers are chickens that are raised for meat production. Fast-growing broilers have been selected to grow and develop breast muscle at an extremely fast rate, denying other biological systems and cells proper nutrition and development, resulting in numerous health issues. One example of a health concern is tibial dyschrondoplasia, a condition that affects the growth of bone and cartilage due to their accelerated growth rates. This condition may result in lameness, which is a major welfare concern.
We will be using cameras to monitor walking, playing, and social behaviour. We will be following broilers from incubation to slaughter. After slaughter, we will examine blood samples, x-rays and conduct post-mortem examinations to determine health status, as well as, meat quality.