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Jennifer MacNicol

Position/Title: Ph.D. Candidate
Office: ANNU 217

Research gate site link

I have been involved in the horse industry for many years and have worked in several different equine facilities. I began my undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph in the Human Kinetics program in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Science. During my undergraduate degree, I transferred into the Animal Biology program in order to take more animal-focused nutrition courses. Following this, I completed my Master’s by Thesis with Dr. Wendy Pearson in the Department of Animal Biosciences. My research investigated inflammation and oxidative stress during intense exercise in horses.

I have continued to work with Dr. Pearson for my Ph.D., which involves the study of equine gastric physiology. Colic and other gastrointestinal diseases are painful conditions and represent a leading cause of death in domestic horses. My project involves the development of in vitro smooth muscle, gastric mucosa, and microbiology models in the lab to emulate different areas within the equine gastrointestinal tract. Using these simulated environments I hope to test equine herbal supplements and probiotics prior to live animal trials. This research will make the development and testing of equine-specific dietary products more affordable and less invasive, hopefully improving the quality of life and welfare of horses.

Following the completion of my Ph.D. studies here at the University of Guelph I hope to continue my research into equine physiology and nutrition. In my spare time, I enjoy riding my two horses and spending time with my dogs and cats.