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I started my PhD working for Dr. C.F.M. de Lange in September 2012. The main focus of my research is to investigate the dynamic patterns in nitrogen retention in gestating sows over three successive parities. This part of my research will work closely with the current NRC Nutrient Requirements of Swine (2012) and accompanying modelling program. When this study is complete, the goal is to have a better understanding of nitrogen retention in both maternal- and pregnancy- associated protein pools, which in turn contributes to the determination of amino acid and energy requirements throughout gestation.
A secondary focus of my research deals with the effects of maternal nutrition during gestation on piglet development. By feeding sows above or below their recommended requirements, it may change how well-equipped the piglets are at birth in terms of energy stores and survivability.