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Nicholas Antonacci

Position/Title: M.Sc. (Thesis) Student
Office: ANNU 015

LinkedIn site link

Education History:

  • BScH. (Animal Biology, University of Guelph, 2017-2021)
    • ANSC 4700/4710 Project (2020-2021): “Economic effects of clinical disease contracted during the transition period on dairy cow profit”
      •  Advisor: Dr. Eduardo Ribeiro
  • M.Sc. (Animal Physiology, University of Guelph, 2021-Present)
    • Continuation of my research project in ANSC 4700/4710 with the objective of understanding the economics of clinical disease during the transition period.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Eduardo Ribeiro 


Relevant Experiences:

I graduated from the University of Guelph in 2021 with a degree in Animal Biology and a minor in Business Economics. I found that applied economics and animal management went hand in hand with each other, and I knew that I wanted to find a career where both these disciplines would be utilized. That’s when I began working with Dr. Eduardo Ribeiro in the ANSC*4700 and 4710 research courses during my fourth year to develop my thesis project: An economic model for estimating the cost of clinical disease in transition dairy cows. While developing my undergraduate thesis, I had the opportunity to participate in several different projects in the Ribeiro lab which exposed me to the world of dairy science and deepened my interest in research in the agricultural sector. These experiences, along with my genuine passion for economic sustainability in the agriculture industry led me to pursue a master’s degree.


Current Research Focus:

The focus of my current project is on the economics of transition cow disease. With the support of Dr. Eduardo Ribeiro, and collaboration from Dr. Albert DeVries of University of Florida, and Dr. Fernanda Ferreira of UC Davis, we created a model that estimates the profit generated per cow based on several factors so we could understand the economic impact of clinical disease in the transition period. This model uses a herd budget analysis approach to estimate the expected cash flow over 305 days in milk for each dairy cow in the herd given their milk production, residual cow value upon parturition, culling or death, feed cost, breeding costs, and treatment and labour costs. An economic tool such as this would provide producers with their room for investment which can help them make better informed decisions regarding spending on their herd. The next step of this research is to apply our model to data collected from commercial dairy farms in Ontario to better understand the economic impact of clinical disease(s) contracted during the transition period on profit in Canadian herds.


If you are interested in more of the research being conducted in the Ribeiro lab, please check out the incredible work being done by my lab mates:

Bruna Mion

Bryn Van Winters

Guilherme Madureira

Matheus Santos