M.Sc. by thesis student
I am a MSc student in dairy cattle nutrition under Dr. Gail Carpenter at Ridgetown Campus. The aim of my research is to test the productivity of rumen bacteria in dairy cattle fed byproduct feeds. Byproducts are feeds left over from other processes, an example being distillers dried grain, which is created from ethanol production. I use in vitro methods, specifically batch culture. In batch culture I grow bacteria from rumen fluid on different byproduct feed samples in anaerobic glass bottles to emulate the rumen conditions. I do this to see which byproducts break down fastest (assessed by dry matter disappearance and VFA measurements), and which trigger the most bacterial activity (assessed by methane production). This is done over a 24 hour period while comparing byproducts to traditional feeds such as corn silage as a benchmark to see if there are any significant differences. If promising byproducts are identified, then further studies can be done to see the potential in having these byproducts as a replacement feed in dairy cattle diets. If feeding cheaper byproduct feeds leads to similar milk production, it is worth it to the dairy farmer to add them to their cattle rations for cost efficiency.
I grew up on a dairy farm in Haldimand County so I have worked with dairy cattle and other animals all my life. I have always had a keen interest in animals and science which led me to pursue a Masters in dairy nutrition. I received my B.Sc. in Biology at McMaster University in 2012 before changing gears and moving into animal nutrition. I have also enjoyed working as a teaching assistant for multiple classes. In the future I hope to do a PhD in dairy nutrition, but I always like to keep my options open to pursue interesting opportunities.