Role: Conference Bursary Recipient
Department: Animal Biosciences
Conference Attended: American Dairy Science Association
Location: Kansas City, MO
My current research is investigating the potential possibility of selecting naturally better-adapted cows to environmental heat stress in Canada. In a first step, our study provided an understanding of the relationship between milk production and temperature-humidity index (THI), which is an index used to asses environmental heat stress in domestic animals. This project used large-scale data from farms and weather stations around Canada. With findings from the first step, genetic analyses were performed for production traits and somatic cell score, and genetic variability was determined for heat tolerance in Canadian Holstein cattle. Further investigation will allow us to breed for animals more heat tolerant. The project is part of Breeding Livestock for Climate Resilience: The Capacity to Maintain Production and Fitness project funded by the Food from Thought research program.
Objectives for Attending:
The conference organized by the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) provides a multidisciplinary environment with researchers from all over the world sharing their research as it relates to the dairy industry. As my project addresses an important topic for the future of the dairy sector, attending this conference will give me an opportunity to share part of what our research group at the University of Guelph is currently doing, and how we are making steps toward the issue of dealing with climate change. Regarding the program of the event, the speakers and topics addressed in the conference will give me new knowledge about innovations and advancements achieved by other researchers in my field, animal breeding and genetics. Being aware of updates within the international scientific community and the dairy sector will give me some insights on my own project and motivate me as a PhD student. This is going to be my first in-person conference, and being able to interact with other researchers will be an excellent networking experience.