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Kaitlyn Lawson

Position/Title: M.Sc. (Thesis) Student
email: klawso01@uoguelph.ca
Office: ANNU 016B

I began my undergraduate degree in Animal Biology at the University of Guelph in 2013 and quickly realized my passion for animal agriculture. During my fourth year, I worked under the supervision of Dr. Katrina Merkies, researching the effects of environmental enrichment on salt consumption in horses. I decided to pursue my interest in animal nutrition and I'm currently a Masters by Thesis candidate under the supervision of Dr. Ira Mandell. 

My research focuses on the nutrition of beef cattle from birth to weaning. Specifically, I'm looking at the effects of including rumen bypass methionine in diets of varying protein concentration, based on the requirements outlined by the National Research Council. Methionine is one of the first limiting amino acids in several beef cattle diets. Providing methionine in a protected form which bypasses the rumen allows methionine to be available in the intestines for absorption and metabolism. This is thought to have an effect on feed efficiency and cattle growth. My research will also assess the effects of these diets within the two primary commercial cow-calf production systems. Exploring methods which may improve feed efficiency and growth has several practical and financial applications for producers in the beef cattle industry. 

Outside of academics, I enjoy being involved in the University of Guelph community. I have been active in student government, as a member of the Animal Biology Student Association during my undergraduate degree, and the Animal Biosciences Graduate Student Council, currently. I have also worked with Residence Life Staff since 2015, aiding first-year students in their transition to university. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering with a local animal clinic and the University of Guelph's Foal Watch Team. After completing my Masters, I hope to continue exploring research opportunities in animal nutrition with potential links to animal health and behaviour.