Maria Malane Magalhaes Muniz

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Animal Biosciences

College: OAC

Conference Attended: 2021 American Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting

The ASAS-CSAS-SSASAS Annual Meeting is an important international conference that intends to promote the integration of diverse animal agriculture sectors, such as producers, livestock specialists, company and organization, researchers, professors, and students from the Worldwide Agri-Food sector to a discussion about new technologies, and innovative methodologies to increase the sustainability and productivity of global food production.

Location: Louisville, Kentucky (Attending Virtually)

Value: $343

Research Presentation: 

I will present at the 2021 ASAS-CSAS-SSASAS Annual Meeting results of my current research focusing on to identify differentially expressed long non-coding RNA in liver tissue of sheep presenting high and low immune response to gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) infection. These results are part of a larger study looking at the underlying genetic mechanisms of host responses to internal parasites.

Gastrointestinal parasitism is one of the major production problems for sheep producers worldwide due to its high incidence, morbidity, and mortality in affected flocks. Traditionally, producers had been able to keep parasite loads under control by treating animals with drugs, however, in recent years those parasites have to get resistant to the majority classes of chemicals. Nowadays, there is a need for alternative methods to parasite control. A better understanding of the genetic mechanism controlling host response to infections can be used to select animal more resistants and resilient, which contributes to reducing worm incidence on the pasture, decreasing the use of parasite chemical control.

Objectives for Attending: 

The ASAS-CSAS-SSASAS Annual Meeting is a renowned international conference, well known for its scientific achievement, and its importance to promote the integration between researches and industry. This is an excellent opportunity to make new partnerships and a great update about perspectives on animal agriculture, and which researches have been trend/developed regarding animal production worldwide. Additionally, there is the opportunity to learn about many topics related to the Food from Thought objectives, such as health and well-being, sustainability, welfare and emerging technologies.

I had the experience to participate in this conference in the last two years (2019-2020). In 2020, it had to be virtually due to the COVID19, and fortunately, I can say that this one was enjoyable as much as in-person, even though, networking virtually is challenging, however still achievable. We had to adapt to a new reality, the model for meetings, conferences and major events had to be redesigned. Actually, this model of the conference proved to be promising and efficient. The scientific schedule does not suffer losses, the presentations are made in real-time without problems so far, the audience can interact by asking questions.

Giving an oral presentation at a conference like this is an opportunity to show what we are doing in terms of research and to have feedback from researchers worldwide, which contributes to the improvement of it and generates new ideas. So, what expected in that sense, is public speaking, but also addressing audience questions, discussing thoughts and ideas, which has successfully done by chats. Additionally, it is an excellent opportunity to develop skills in public speaking,  analytical and critical thought which are critical skills to be developed by young scientists, I believe this experience will be immensely helpful to improve my personal development.