Reza A. M. Kakhki
Position/Title: Ph.D. Candidate
Office: ANNU 043
I was born in the East of Iran, to a family with a strong background in animal farming (especially dairy cattle and poultry). My city is surrounded by semidesert area, and so for centuries, my people have strived to utilize resources as efficiently as possible. However, due to the continued use of traditional methods, maximum efficiency has not been achieved, and I grew up very aware that rural people struggle to meet their animals’ feed requirements. This motivated me to pursue a B.Sc. in Animal Science at the University of Ferdowsi, in Mashhad, Iran. Due to the demand for skilled workers and scientists in the field of poultry farming, I then pursued an M.Sc. in poultry nutrition at the same university. After graduating, I worked in research and development for a poultry feed factory. But my passion for learning led me to continue my education in the field of poultry nutrition, and currently, I am doing my Ph.D. with Dr. Elijah Kiarie.
My Ph.D. research is to evaluate nutritional approaches for enhancing the skeletal functioning and immune system of laying hen. I will study epigenetic responses to feeding ω-3 fatty acids to pullet breeders, and also be feeding their progenies during the rearing period. Epigenetic effects are heritable changes in gene expression (i.e. active versus inactive genes) that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. These kinds of changes thus influence phenotype without a change in genotype. Why am I studying skeletal and immune system? Because skeletal disorders such as osteoporosis and weaknesses of the immune system, persist in commercial poultry production, and the associated mortality and morbidity exert huge economic losses on producers. My long-term objective is thus to find nutritional approaches which will improve the skeletal integrity and immune function in egg-laying hens.
I hope my results will be able to be used to improve bird health and welfare. And my ideal future career is to work in the research section of a university or in industry, as I love to do research and to learn new things!
B.Sc. Animal Science, Department of Animal Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran (2010-2014)
M.Sc. Poultry Nutrition, Department of Animal Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran (2014-2016)
Research and Development Unit, Ghaem Poultry Feed Production. Co, Mashhad, Iran (2016-2017)
Production Manager, Ghaem Poultry Feed Production. Co, Mashhad, Iran ( March 2017- August 2017)
Awards & achievements
Ontario Trillium Scholarship (2017-2021)
Mary Edmunds Williams Scholarship (2017-2018)
GGSF (NSERC) Travel Scholarship (Summer, 2018)
King Cole Ducks Ltd. Graduate Award in Poultry (Fall, 2018)
Robb Graduate Research Travel Grant (Fall, 2018)
Awarded Poster Presentation (2nd place), Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada 2019, Niagara Falls (May 2019)