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James Squires

Position/Title: Professor
email: jsquires@uoguelph.ca
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53928
Office: ANNU 155

Google scholar site link
Research gate site link

Meet Prof. Jim Squires (60 second OAC  video )

Jim’s broad research interests are in metabolism and functional genomics to improve the health and productivity of livestock, and to develop animal models for human metabolism, health and nutrition. His work is a combination of basic and applied studies. Jim has published over 150 papers in referred journals, authored a textbook “Applied Animal Endocrinology” (now in its third edition), several book chapters and numerous abstracts and technical publications for industry audiences. Jim served as Chair of the Dept. of Animal Biosciences  from 2015-2023.

Academic History

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
  • Ph.D., (Biochemistry), Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • M.Sc.,(Biochemistry), Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • B.Sc., (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Memorial University of Newfoundland

Affiliations and Partnerships

  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement
  • Canadian Dairy Network
  • Centre for the Genetic Improvement of Livestock, University of Guelph
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Swine Cluster

Research Impact

Jim’s research into boar taint has been aimed at eliminating the off-odour and off-flavour of pork produced from entire male pigs (boars). Male pigs are normally castrated to prevent boar taint, but several EU countries have banned the practicedue to animal welfare concerns, and it also limits animal productivity (feed efficiency, growth performance, and meat quality). His work on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has generated large (more than 1000 SNPs) marker panels for genetic selection of reduced boar taint in pigs. He has also developed SNP panels for reduced ketosis in dairy cattle. Ketosis is a widely occurring metabolic disease in dairy cattle, with significant economic costs.

Current Research Projects

Identification and removal of barriers preventing the use of entire males for Canadian pork production  

Much progress has been made in understanding the metabolism and functional genomics of boar taint compounds. Jim continues to build on that knowledge to develop tools and strategies to produce high quality meat that will be free of boar taint from intact males (without castration). Phenotypic and genotypic data from animals selected for high and low levels of boar taint on commercial breeding farms will be established and feeding and behavioral trials with 3-way commercial cross boars will be conducted.

He is also working with collaborators to develop panels of genetic markers for other desirable traits, including improved disease resistance and increased productivity.  Funded by the Swine Cluster, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Preventing ketosis in dairy cattle

This project is in collaboration with the Canadian Dairy Network and faculty in the U of G’s Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock and Ontario Veterinary College. It aims to enhance resistance to ketosis through genomics. The research seeks to answer the question of why some cows develop the disease and others don’t.  Jim is compiling large genetic marker panels of SNPs, and developing and validating selection tools for incorporation into dairy breeding programs. Funded by the Canadian Dairy Network and NSERC Collaborative Research & Development grant.


Graduate Student Information


Jim welcomes prospective grad students based not only academic achievement, but also enthusiasm for research as part of their career plans. Undergraduate summer students are paired with graduate students for mentoring and supervisory experience. The lab group meets regularly to present their progress and discuss challenges. Jim is always available to help troubleshoot problems and interpret results. Students have access to many training opportunities, some being cross-disciplinary, and others at other institutions. Jim has supervised over 35 graduate students, four post docs and about 50 undergraduate research students.

Featured Publications

  • Soares, Riani Ananda, Vargas, Giovana, Duffield, Todd, Schenkel, Flavio & Squires, E. J. (2021). Genome-wideassociation study and functional analyses of clinical and subclinical ketosisin Holstein cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 104(9), 10076-10089
  • Bone, C.; Squires, E.J. Nuclear Receptor Pathways Mediating the Development of Boar Taint. Metabolites 2022, 12, 785. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo12090785
  • Christine Bone and E. James Squires* The Uptake and Deconjugation of Androstenone Sulfate in the Adipose Tissue of the Boar   Animals 2021, 11, 3158. https://doi.org/10.3390/
  • Squires, E. James, Bone, C., Cameron, J. (2020). Pork production with entire males: Directions for control of boar taint. Animals, 10(9), 1665.
  • E.J. Squires, M. Gray, Y. Lou. (2019). Effect of Mutations in Porcine CYB5A andCYP17A1 on the Metabolism of Pregnenolone. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol, 195, 105469.
  • Jen, K. & Squires, E. J. 2011. Efficacy of non-nutritive sorbent materials as intestinal-binding agents for the control of boar taint. Animal, 5 (11), 1814-1820.

For a complete list Jim Squire’s publications go to: scholar.google.ca/citations?user=hAU8nQYAAAAJ&hl=en