Position/Title: PhD Student
Office: ANNU 229
I am currently an M.Sc (thesis) student working on precision dairy cattle management under the supervision of Dr. John Cant. I completed my B.Sc in 2016 at the University of Guelph and during my time as an undergraduate student I developed a strong interest in working with dairy cattle. During my 4th year I reached out to Dr. John Cant and completed the 2 undergraduate courses ANSC*4700 and ANSC*4710 under his supervision. I loved working with research and ultimately these courses spurred my interest in pursuing a M.Sc degree.
My current research focuses on using automated data collection to examine energy flows (energy in and energy out) in dairy cattle. Dairy cows have different levels of productivity and metabolisms that vary on a daily basis, but, are usually fed the same diet based on herd averages. Using herd averages can lead to under or over-feeding which can cause disease and reduced productivity. The ultimate goal is to create an individualized feeding program for each cow based on their specific needs. My research also looks at integrating a GreenFeed system (C-lock Inc., Rapid City, USA) , a machine which automatically measures methane and respiratory gases (O2 and CO2), into the precision dairy management scheme. My trial took place in November 2018 at the Elora Dairy Research Centre, where we collected data automatically for a period of 1 month. Feed intake, milk samples, body weights, body condition scores and respiratory gases were collected for 29 cows. I am looking at how all these different ways of automatically collecting data correlate to each other, more specifically how the respiratory gases change in relation to all the other measurements collected. I am hoping to find changes through respiratory gas exchange measurements that can indicate state of energy balance and use this information to optimize production and health of dairy cows through close automated monitoring. This study used the GreenFeed system in a very different way compared to previous uses, where researchers have mainly used it for methane measurements. Therefore, my research is very new and could provide us with some interesting insight into dairy energy flows and the potential further uses for automated monitoring systems. I am still in the process of merging all my data together and hope to find some interesting results soon.
During my free time I enjoy riding my horse Raven, walking my dog Solo and camping with my fiancé. In the future I am planning to pursue my Ph.D, continuing in the same area of research as my M.Sc.