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Matheus Santos

Position/Title: M.Sc. by thesis
Office: ANNU 043

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I have been in direct contact with food animals and the agricultural field since my childhood because I grew up in a dairy and beef cattle family in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Under such influence I decided to go to Veterinary College in my hometown, UNIPAM, where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine in 2020. During my period as an undergraduate student, I experienced different opportunities related to dairy and beef cattle, both in the industry and academia, working directly with animals, farmers, veterinarians, and researchers. Further, in search of expanding my knowledge about animal sciences, for over a year, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the MAST International Program, at the University of Minnesota, in the United States. During this time, I met and worked with Dr Luciano Caixeta, whose research is focused on the transition period of dairy cows.

Throughout these years, the health challenges faced by dairy cows in the transition period and their short-term and long-term consequences greatly influenced me to be a graduate student, looking for alternatives to improve dairy cattle health and production.

Currently, I am a M.Sc. student under the supervision of Dr Eduardo Ribeiro. Previous studies with dairy cows suggest that monitoring of rumination time and physical activity are useful data for the identification of postpartum health disorders. Thus, our research project proposes the use of wearable sensors and machine learning technology to enhance dairy cow health and productive performance. The main objective of my master’s project is to create a decision support system based on prepartum rumination time and physical activity data and using computational biology, which can predict cows (before parturition) with higher risk for postpartum health issues and impaired production. With the development of this project, we expect that dairy farmers will be able to make early decisions regarding possible interventions to prevent and minimize problems in the subsequent lactation, and hence, increase the dairy sustainability.