Shannon Cartwright

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Pathobiology

College: Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)

Conference Attended: American Dairy Science Association 2021 Annual Meeting

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Value: $500

Research Presentation:

The project that I am presenting evaluates the effect of heat stress on physiological parameters and circulating immune cells in immune response phenotyped dairy cattle. Cattle used in this project were previously evaluated for immune response and ranked as high, average and low for immune response capacity based on estimated breeding values. It has previously been shown that cattle ranked as high immune responders have lower incidence of disease and respond better to vaccines. Therefore, we wanted to evaluate if these animals are also more resilient to heat stress. To evaluate this, we took blood subjected phenotyped cattle to a heat stress challenge and measured respiration rate and rectal temp during this time. Blood samples were also taken both pre and post heat challenge, where cells were isolated from each sample. The cells were used to examine cell-proliferation and heat shock protein 70 concentration. Cell proliferation provides an indicator of how an animal responds to an infectious pathogen. Heat shock protein 70 is generated as a physiological response to heat stress and is involved in cellular repair and protection. Results of this project provide an indicator of if we can identify dairy cattle that are more resilient to heat stress and therefore more adaptable to climate change. This will be important for the future of the dairy industry as our climate continues to shift.

Objectives for Attending: 

In attending this conference I am hoping to share my research findings with other colleagues in the field. I also hope to gain new knowledge about the current research that is being conducted on dairy cattle in relation to heat stress, climate change and health, physiology and production. I am hoping to make meaningful connections with researchers in this field in order to foster potential future collaborations.

Even though I will be attending this conference virtually I still feel that I will be able to achieve these objectives. Upon acceptance, I will still be able to present my research finding in a virtual setting. Additionally, I plan to attend poster sessions and symposium virtually, which will still allow me to learn about the current research being conducted and make connections with those researchers. I also plan to attend any virtual networking events they hold to further maximize my networking opportunities.