I began my undergraduate degree in Biology but switched to Animal Science when I discovered the fascinating possibility of working with animals to feed the world. During my undergraduate career, I had the opportunity to conduct research in fish nutrition, horse behaviour and poultry welfare.
Born and raised in Brazil, I first came to Guelph in 2014 as an undergraduate internship student to work with the Poultry Welfare Group under Dr. Tina Widowski’s supervision. After completing my internship and receiving my undergraduate degree, I started my MSc in the Animal Welfare and Behaviour graduate program still with Dr. Widowski, and transferred to the doctoral program during the Winter semester of 2017.
My research is based on the hypothesis that maternal stress in different strains and ages of laying hens can influence and affect the growth, behaviour development, and gene expression of the offspring. For that, I submitted breeder layers to two types of maternal stress (natural and pharmacological) prior to incubation and analyzed offsprings at three maternal ages (32, 52 and 72 weeks of age). The importance of this research is the possibility to address an actual welfare issue - the unpredictable variation in poultry behaviour -, by understanding the diferences in how stress is transferred from mothers to their offspring.