samla's picture    

Samla Marques Freire Cunha

Position/Title: Visiting M.Sc. Student
Office: 020

I am a visitor student at the University of Guelph under supervision of Dr. Flavio Schenkel in the Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock (CGIL), affiliated with the department of Animal Biosciences.

I completed my bachelors of Veterinary Medicine in 2017 from the San Francisco Valley University, Brazil. During my undergraduate I conducted scientific researches on different subjects. The project titles were:

- "Dermatosparaxis molecular diagnostic in White Dorper sheep breed" and "Parcial sequencing of the mithocondrial DNA control region in Sporophila angolensis" under the supervision of Prof Dr João Gouveia

- "Histological structure of kidney marrow in sheep submitted to intermittent dessedentation water supply" under the supervision of Dr Madriano Santos.

As required for my bachelor’s program, a final report was realized as a research about the genealogy of L-2 Hidroxyglutaric Aciduria (L2-HGA) in Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs in Brazil. In 2016, I did an internship at Embrapa Dairy Milk, a dairy cattle research center in Brazil, under Dr. João Panetto supervision, who is the researcher responsible for the national genetic evaluation on Gir cattle.

I am currently a M.Sc. student in Genetic and Animal Breeding in the Sao Paulo State University, Brazil. The title of my project is: “Genetic parameters and genome wide association study for linear conformation traits, milking ease and temperament for dairy Gir”, under the supervision of Prof Dr Danísio Munari and Dr. João Panetto.

The Gir is a popular breed in Brazil for the dairy producer, as it has the ability to express its potential in milk production in tropical climate. The breed has a considerable resistance to endo and ectoparasites, as well as a better ability to cope with environmental stressors (i.e., thermal challenges) compared to European breeds such as Holstein. Despite that, the Gir breed lacks studies on genetic information, which results in poor animal breeding programs. My research project aims to estimate genetic parameters and to perform genome wide association study (GWAS) for conformation traits, and milk production in pure breed Gir cows.