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Jennifer Ellis

Position/Title: Assistant Professor, Animal Systems Modelling
Phone: 519-824-4120 x 56522
Office: ANNU 234B

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The focus of my research program is cross-species modelling, in particular nutrition modelling. My research is conducted using in vivo, in vitro and in silico approaches. Before returning to academia I worked in industry, and I bring a unique real-world perspective back to academia.

My research interests lie in how models can be utilized as a valuable tool to (1) increase our understanding of how biological systems work, (2) to identify key patterns in data, and (3) act as a bridge to synthesize complex cross-disciplinary data (nutrition, health, genetics and management).


Current Research Projects (updated W23):

(1) SIMON - development of a dynamic mechanistic veal calf model for calves fed solid feed - Dr. Christopher Powell (PDF) (Funded by: Wageningen University/Dutch Veal Board)

(2) Optimization of pellet quality at the mill level using machine learning - Jihao You (PDF) (Funded by: OMAFRA/Trouw Nutrition)

(3) Hybridization of machine learning and mechanistic models to create 'intelligent' precision nutrition models for next generation dairy production - Maureen Sahar (PhD candidate) (Funded by: OMAFRA/Trouw Nutrition)

(4) Mechanistic modelling of performance and sustainability in broilers - Anthony Maraj (MSc candidate) (Funded by: NSERC Discovery)

(5) Development of an equine metabolism model to describe post-absorptive nutrient dynamics in the mature horse - Emily Leishman, PhD (PDF) (Funded by: Mitacs/Mad Barn, Inc.)

(6) In vitro characterization of feed degradability for horses - inputs to the next generation equine digestion and metabolism model - Cara Cargo-Froom, PhD (PDF) (Funded by: Mitacs/Mad Barn, Inc.)

(7) Comparing and  modelling colostrum management strategies on calf growth and metabolism - Sedley Benitz, MSc Candidate (Funded by: NSERC) 


Past Research Projects:

(1) Modelling B-vitamin synthesis and degradation across the rumen of dairy cows - Vicki Brisson, MSc (Funded by: Mitacs/Trouw Nutrition Canada)

(2) Development of equations to predict pellet quality for monogastric feeds, using a meta-analysis approach - Kendra Hall, MSc Coursework


Current/Open Opportunities:

Are you looking to develop desirable computational skills (stats, programming, coding, modelling, data analytics, etc) to support the rapidly digitizing animal production sector?  I am actively looking for MSc coursework students to join my research program. 

Find out more, here: 

Or reach out directly.

PhD position - F24/25 - 'Modelling nutrient digestion and metabolism in horses' (contact for details)