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Emily Knapper

Position/Title: MSc Candidate by Thesis

Research gate site link
LinkedIn site link

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Marcio Duarte

Current Research

In December 2023, I joined the lab of Dr. Marcio Duarte to investigate skeletal muscle growth and development in the offspring of beef calves, when mineral supplementation is provided in maternal nutrition during late gestation. Cow-calf operations depend on optimal nutrition in late gestation, influencing both reproduction success as well as calf health and continued growth. This research aims to identify optimized nutritional resources which enhance both reproductive and offspring success, to further improve carcass market goals.

Effect of chromium-propionate supplementation at late gestation on performance and metabolic profile of the beef cows, and skeletal muscle energy metabolism of the offspring

Conducting the current cow/calf (December 2023 - present) trial looks into the mineral supplementation of chromium propionate. Enrolling a herd size of 100 Angus beef cows, the experiential treatment group is fed a basal diet with the chromium propionate mineral supplement in the last trimester of gestation, until parturition. Pregnant cows will have blood collected, muscle ultrasounds, and weight recorded every 28 days until parturition. At birth blood collections and weight will be taken from both the cow and calf, along with a colostrum sample obtained from using an automated milker machine to milk the cow. When the calves are 5 days of age, a muscle biopsy is preformed. Highlighted analysis will be to assess the metabolic profile for both cows and calves, colostrum quality, and histological assessment of muscle fibre types, to connect effects of maternal nutrition to offspring skeletal muscle development. 

Academic History

BScH Animal Biology - University of Guelph (2019 - 2023)

Career Goals

Using my developing background in Animal Science, I look to further contribute in developing research of ruminant nutrition, physiology, and reproduction. I aim to learn more, and apply my studies to help solve problems producers face in the industry.