Ginna Carolina Reyes Rodriguez

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Animal Biosciences

Conference Attended: International Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition

Location: Granada Spain

Value: $3,685.00

Research Presentation: 

My research aims to identify more precisely how dairy cows partition nutrients between milk and body reserves through understanding hormonal regulation. Initially, I worked on the development of a computer simulation able to elucidate the trace of dietary nutrients through digestion and metabolism into milk production, catabolism, and mobilization or deposition of fat and protein in the body. Following this project, I did a meta-analysis to evaluate the relationship between glucose infusion and milk protein concentrations, showing how exogenous glucose infusion increased milk protein yield. Carbohydrate supply has been identified as a driver of lactose synthesis in the mammary gland and protein synthesis. Carbohydrates and amino acids are regulated by insulin. Understanding the different adaptation mechanisms in cows’ insulin dynamics is critical to cope with the various challenges through lactation. Understanding these dynamics will allow us to predict nutrient partitioning better and further understand how manipulation of carbohydrates supply changes the depositions rates of protein in milk. The results will contribute to better design feeding strategies to minimize overfeeding protein, decrease excreted nitrogen into the environment, and improve predictions to feed cows individually.

Objectives for Attending: 

At the International Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition (ISEP), I plan to present my most recent results related to changes in insulin sensitivities of whole-body glucose and amino acid in dairy cows at different lactation stages. Attending the ISEP meeting represents an important opportunity to learn about different topics outside my area of expertise, which will indirectly impact my research goals. As a PhD student, I consider conferences, such as ISEP, to be a significant contributing factor to the development of soft skills that a doctorate candidate should possess. Aside from being knowledgeable in their area of research, a PhD student should be able to effectively communicate with a diverse audience and improve critical thinking. In addition, attendees at ISEP come from different cultural and agricultural backgrounds, allowing me to expand my knowledge of other production systems outside Canada and perhaps apply it to my research. This conference also provides excellent opportunities to network with fellow graduate students, professors from other universities, and dairy industry representatives. In terms of the presentation, presenting my research will help me improve my public speaking skills in an academic and non-academic environment. The ISEP conference provides a chance to improve my abilities in formulating and answering questions from attendees who might not be familiar with the field I am working in. Since the meeting gathers people who work in similar areas, it represents the opportunity to converse and relate with researchers, share experiences, and find future collaborations between laboratories.