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Flavia Damasceno

Position/Title: Ph.D. Candidate
email: fdamasce@uoguelph.ca
Office: ANNU 047

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I am a Ph.D. student in fish nutrition under the supervision of Dr. Dominique P. Bureau. I’m originally from Campinas, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, and have always had a passion for animals. As a result, I decided to study Animal Science at the Universidade Estadual Paulista “Julio de Mesquita Filho” (UNESP) in 2006. During my undergraduate career, I did extension activities in different areas and discovered an interest in animal nutrition when I had the opportunity to conduct research on diets for fish. In the last semester of my program, I came to Guelph to work at the Fish Nutrition Research Lab with Dr. Dominique P. Bureau, and this opportunity inspired me to pursue postgraduate studies. Afterward, I did an MSc. under Dr. Margarida M. Barros’ supervision at UNESP. In the Fall of 2014, I then returned to Guelph and started my doctoral program with Dr. Bureau.


My research focuses on understanding the dynamics of the digestion of different chemical forms of phosphorus in fish. This topic interests me because providing a sufficient amount of phosphorus to meet animal requirements, while also avoiding the excessive release of fish waste, is a challenge for freshwater aquaculture (phosphorus being an environmental pollutant). The digestibility of phosphorus varies considerably depending on both the chemical form of phosphorus present in the diet and its interactions with other dietary components (e.g. calcium) and additives (e.g. phytase enzyme). Therefore, there is a need to better understand the dynamics of digestion of different forms of dietary phosphorus under different conditions, and model these processes to eventually develop more effective dietary strategies. To do this, I have run experiments to examine the time course of digestion of different phosphorus forms in different compartments of the gastrointestinal tract of rainbow trout. I will then use these observations to calibrate a dynamic explanatory model of phosphorus digestion that is in development.


While I am not on campus, I enjoy outdoor activities, such as running or having picnics in the park with family and friends.