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Sarah Dean

Position/Title: M.Sc Candidate

LinkedIn site link



Bachelor of Agriculture Science majoring in Animal Science (University of Guelph, 2018-2022)


About me: 


I am currently a MSc student working with Dr. Marcio Duarte. I graduated from University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science in 2022.  I grew up on a dairy farm just outside of Ottawa and being involved with  my family's dairy operation sparked my passion for the agriculture industry at a very young age. I have a passion for working with animals and have a large amount of agriculture experience. I have worked in several sectors of the agriculture industry in addition to my responsibilities at home. I have worked in the crop sector for Maizex seeds as well as a crop scout for PT Sullivan Inc. I have also  worked in the animal sector with Purina as a Dairy Sales Intern and most recently I worked for ABS as a Reproduction Technician. 

    Aside from school work and laboratory work I am also very  involved in showing dairy cattle and playing ringette for the University of Guelph. 


Current Research: 


I am currently working in Dr. Marcio Duarte’s research lab studying  the effects of maternal nutrition during gestation on skeletal muscle development of the offspring in beef cattle. I am currently looking at the effects of vitamin A supplementation to beef cattle and the effects this has on the offspring’s development and meat quality traits.  This area of research will allow for more efficient production of high quality beef that consumers desire. 

 To study the effects of prenatal vitamin A supplementation, 30 pregnant cows will be randomly assigned to two experimental treatments; a control group (basal diet without additional vitamin A) and a supplemented group (basal diet with additional vitamin A). After parturition, calves will be biopsied to collect muscle samples to quantify the markers that indicate pre-adipocytes and progenitor cells in the tissue. After parturition, the cow-calf units from both treatments will be kept under the same diet and conditions until weaning. After weaning, all calves will be given the same finishing diet for 120 days prior to slaughter where their performance will be monitored. At slaughter, skeletal muscle samples will be collected for assessment of intramuscular adipogenesis, while after slaughter, meat samples will be collected for intramuscular fat content quantification as well as tenderness assessment. Currently there are no results from this research.