Position/Title: M.Sc. by thesis
- BSc. Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS, 2020
- Major: Animal Science (Honours)
- 2nd Major: Agricultural Business
- Research Assistant, Dalhousie University, May 2019-April 2020
- Assisted in various research trials and lab work (layers, broilers, aquaculture) including sampling, processing of samples in lab, preparing samples for analysis.
Advisor: Dr. Elijah Kiarie
I have been conducting research into black soldier fly meal for poultry since the third year of my undergraduate degree, beginning with my honours research project which looked at the effects on hen performance and egg quality in laying hens fed this type of insect meal. I’ve continued researching the same topic for my master’s degree with Dr. Elijah Kiarie in broiler chickens.
Feeding insect meal to poultry is becoming an increasingly important area of research for a number of reasons, currently, soybean meal is a very common ingredient in broiler feed, being a main source for protein and energy. However, due to the global demand on soybean, it is increasing in price and becoming an unsustainable resource. The black soldier fly is a promising alternative because is it nutritionally comparable to soybean meal, and it is produced very sustainably due to its abundant reproductive capacity, high stocking density, and its capability to be reared on biomass and plant wastes.
However, recent research has seen poor growth performance in broilers who have been fed high levels of black soldier fly meal, potentially due to an amino acid or fatty acid imbalance, or due to the presence of a substance called Chitin in the exoskeleton of the black soldier fly which can cause digestibility issues. Therefore, as part of my master’s research, I will be examining metabolic and physiological responses in the broiler chickens to try to explain why this growth depression is occurring. This research will hopefully contribute towards making the black soldier fly a viable ingredient in poultry diets, and towards reducing the environmental footprint of the poultry industry.
I hope this research will one day lead me down a path of working with the industry as a poultry nutritionist where I am able to contribute towards improving sustainability in animal agriculture.