Victoria Asselstine

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Animal Bioscience

College: OAC

Conference Attended: European Federation of Animal Science

This is an excellent conference for young scientists, as there is a wide range of topics covered in over 70 sessions including genetics, sustainability, health, welfare and production efficiency. With a vast focus, attendees have a variety of opportunities to further advance their knowledge in a specific topic or branch out and learn about other topics. This year, the theme for EAAP is Farming for Carbon Neutral Livestock Systems.

Location: Virtual

Value: $258

Research Presentation:

Identification of Novel IncRNA Associated with Mastitis Disease in Holstein Dairy Cattle

My current research looks at the identification of novel IncRNA associated with mastitis disease in Holstein dairy cattle. These results are part of a larger study looking at the underlying genetic mechanisms of mastitis resistance. Mastitis is one of the most challenging and profit limiting diseases that dairy producers face, thus effort is being made to breed cows that are resistant to mastitis. My research investigates genetic markers associated with enhanced immune response, with the goal to reduce the incidence of mastitis infection in bovine.

Objectives for Attending:  

The EAAP is a high-level conference that will advance my scientific knowledge by attending presentations on the latest findings across all areas of animal science. This year at EAAP, there are many topics that I am interested in learning about as my PhD focuses on many important areas in relation to the livestock industry, including health, sustainability, welfare and new and emerging technologies (i.e. OMICs technologies). My PhD project addresses multiple aspects related to the Food from Thought objectives. Therefore, this conference will provide me with excellent information and networking opportunities with other scientists from around the world.

Given that this conference is being held virtually this year, networking will be more challenging, however still achievable. In the past, I have had numerous questions regarding my oral presentation, which allows for networking and there is a question period after the virtual presentation, facilitating this to occur. Secondly, I always include my email on my slides so people are able to reach out after with any questions they may have, allowing for further networking chances. Thus, my first objective for this conference is to network with researchers working in different areas of animal science to gain a fresh perspective on new research.

Equally as important is the opportunity to give an oral presentation; I believe public speaking is a critical aspect of graduate school. I have given two oral presentations, both at EAAP (2018 and 2019) and through both of these previous presentations, I worked on not only my public speaking but also addressing audience questions. Audience questions have always been a concern of mine but discussing my thoughts and ideas with colleagues has helped me immensely. To summarize, I feel that both networking and public speaking are critical skills that will benefit me immensely to complete my PhD program and for my future job aspirations in the industry.