Position/Title: M.Sc. by thesis
Phone: (403) 596-4184
I was born and raised on a small farm in Medellin, Colombia where I was exposed to various animal species and industries, which allowed me to develop a huge passion for animals, more specifically cows. At the age of 15, I moved to Canada where I was able to later pursue a B.Sc. in Science, Animal Health at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. During my B.Sc. I was actively volunteering in experiments related to dairy calf nutrition and physiology that were conducted in Dr. Michael Steele's lab. Shortly after I started volunteering, I was hired by Dr. Steele as a research assistant, a position that spanned over three years of my undergraduate studies. During my last year of undergraduate studies, I was presented with the opportunity of going on an international exchange to Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands. During my exchange, I had the opportunity to take academic courses and to perform collaborative research with Trouw Nutrition focusing on oral electrolyte solutions for calves. From this undergraduate project, I have co-authored abstracts and posters presented at conferences and it has been published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition (full article here). Following the completion of my B.Sc. in 2019, I decided to attend the University of Guelph to pursue an M.Sc. in Animal Nutrition in the department of Animal Bioscience.
I am currently working on my M.Sc. by thesis under the supervision of Dr. Michael Steele. My research focuses on calf milk replacer formulation (a replacement for whole milk), more specifically looking at fat, lactose, and mineral levels, and how different compositions and different feeding schemes can affect calf performance (growth), health, feeding behaviour, and oxidative metabolism. As part of my M.Sc. I have been able to spend one and a half years in the Netherlands conducting collaborative research between the University of Guelph and Trouw Nutrition, which has resulted in abstracts that have been presented at conferences and a publication in the Journal of Dairy Sciences (PDF under review). I have also received several awards such as the Centennial Dutch Endowment Award, the Canadian Dairy Commission M.Sc. scholarship, and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
After completing this M.Sc, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition. I would like to work with dairy and veal calves, either here in Canada or in Europe, to improve nutrition and animal welfare. When I am not around calves, I enjoy hiking with my dogs (Milo and Lana), traveling around the world, biking through the Dutch countryside, and baking.