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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 the agri-food industry since my childhood as I grew up on a dairy and beef cattle farm in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Under such influence, I decided to begin my studies at the Veterinary School in my hometown, UNIPAM, where I received my Veterinary Medicine degree in 2020. As a veterinary student, I experienced different opportunities related to dairy and beef cattle, both in 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, USA. During this time, I met and worked with Dr Luciano Caixeta, whose research focuses on the transition period of dairy cows.

Throughout these years, the health challenges faced by dairy cows in the transition period and their short- and long-term consequences greatly influenced me to become 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 RibeiroPrevious 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 cows’ health and production. 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.