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Michael Steele

Position/Title: Professor
Phone: 519-824-4120 ext. 52209
Office: ANNU 235

Dr. Steele is a Full Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences, with his research aiming to explain ruminant physiology through a systems approach from the molecular to whole animal level. His research program is inspired by his upbringing on a progressive dairy farm in Southwestern Ontario, where he became fascinated by the integration of advanced scientific technologies and livestock production systems. The global hypothesis of his current research program is that during early-life, gastrointestinal function and health in the ruminant are regulated by specific interactions among diet and microbiota that can impact gastrointestinal physiology later in life. As such, the overall objective of his research program is to develop a better understanding of how pre-weaning nutritional and management factors that are common in livestock production can impact gastrointestinal development and metabolism during the pre-weaning phase and later in life. His research program is summarized into the following four areas:

  1. Uncovering the bioactivity of colostrum and factors influencing transfer of passive immunity
  2. Elucidating effects of feeding elevated planes of milk nutrition and milk replacer composition on gastrointestinal function, development and metabolism of dairy calves
  3. Understanding how weaning strategies influence calf gut function
  4. Determining alternatives to antimicrobials


Academic History

  • Ph.D. University of Guelph, Animal Science, 2011
    • Supervisor: Dr. Brian McBride
    • Thesis title: The structural and functional adaptation of the rumen epithelium during grain-induced ruminal acidosis
  • M.Sc. University of Guelph, Animal Science, 2003
    • Supervisor: Dr. John Cant
    • Thesis title: Localization of GLUT1 and HXK1 in isolated bovine mammary epithelial cells
  • B.Sc. University of Guelph, Agricultural Science, 2001


Awards and Honours

2020: ADSA Foundation Scholar Award, American Dairy Science Association

2019: American Society of Animal Science Early Researcher Award, American Society of Animal Science

2018: Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientists Award, American Dairy Science Association

2016: NSERC Industrial Research Chair, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

2016: Canadian Society of Animal Science Young Scientists Award, Canadian Society of Animal Science

2016: Lallemand Animal Nutrition Award for Excellence in Dairy Nutrition, American Dairy Science Assocation


Selected Publications

  1. Echeverry-Munera, J., Leal, L. N., Wilms, J. N., Berends, H., Costa, J. H.C., Steele, M., Martin-Tereso, J. (2021). Effect of partial exchange of lactose with fat in milk replacer on ad libitum feed intake and performance in dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 104 (5), 5432-5444, doi: 10.3168/jds.2020-19485.
  2. Van Niekerk, J. K., Fischer-Tlustos, A. J., Wilms, J. N., Hare, K. S., Welboren, A. C., Lopez, A. J., Yohe, T. T., Cangiano, L. R., Leal, L. N., Steele, M. A. (2021). ADSA Foundation Scholar Award: New frontiers in calf and heifer nutrition--From conception to puberty. Journal of Dairy Science., doi: 10.3168/jds.2020-20004.
  3. Van Niekerk, J. K., Middeldorp, M., Guan, L. L., Steele, M. A. (2021). Preweaning to postweaning rumen papillae structural growth, ruminal fermentation characteristics, and acute-phase proteins in calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 104 (3),3632-3645, doi: 10.3168/jds.2020-19003.
  4. Rosadiuk, J. P., Bruinje, T. C., Moslemipur, F., Fischer-Tlustos, A. J., Renaud, D. L., Ambrose, D. J., Steele, M. A. (2021). Differing planes of pre- and postweaning phase nutrition in Holstein heifers: I. Effects on feed intake, growth efficiency, and metabolic and development indicators. Journal of Dairy Science, 104 (1), 1136-1152, doi: 10.3168/jds.2020-18809.
  5. Fischer-Tlustos, A. J., Lopez Cabus, A. J., Hare, K. S., Wood, K., Steele, M.A. (2021). Invited review: Effects of colostrum management on transfer of passive immunity and the potential role of colostral bioactive components on neonatal calf development and metabolism. Canadian Journal of Animal Science., doi: 10.1139/CJAS-2020-0149.
  6. Buss, L. N., Yohe, T. T., Cangiano, L. R., Renaud, D. L., Keunen, A. J., Guan, L. L., Steele, M. A. (2021). The effect of neomycin inclusion in milk replacer on the health, growth, and performance of male Holstein calves during preweaning. Journal of Dairy Science., doi: 10.3168/jds.2020-19827.
  7. Ma, T., Villot, C., Renaud, D., Skidmore, A., Chevaux, E., Steele, M., Guan, L. L. (2020). Linking perturbations to temporal changes in diversity, stability, and compositions of neonatal calf gut microbiota: prediction of diarrhea. ISME Journal, 14, 2223–2235, doi: 10.1038/s41396-020-0678-3.
  8. Villot, C., Chen, Y., Pedgerachny, K., Chaucheyras-Durand, F., Chevaux, E., Skidmore, A., Guan, L. L., Steele, M. A. (2020). Early supplementation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079 in newborn dairy calves increases IgA production in the intestine at 1 week of age. Journal of Dairy Science, 103 (9), 8615-8628, doi: 10.3168/jds.2020-18274.
  9. Pyo, J., Hare, K., Pletts, S., Inabu, Y., Haines, D., Sugino, T., Guan, L. L., Steele, M. (2020). Feeding colostrum or a 1:1 colostrum:milk mixture for 3 days postnatal increases small intestinal development and minimally influences plasma GLP-2 and serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentrations in Holstein bull calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 103 (5), 4236-4251, doi: 10.3168/jds.2019-17219.
  10. Villot, C., Ma, T., Renaud, D. L., Ghaffari, M. H., Gibson, D. J., Skidmore, A., Chevaux, E., Guan, L. L., Steele, M. A. (2019). Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079 affects health, growth, and fecal microbiota in milk-fed veal calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 102 (8), 7011-7025.