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Sabrina McDonald

Position/Title: M.Sc. (Thesis) Student
Office: ANNU 231

If you’re reading this then you have probably figured out that I’m currently a grad student in the Animal Biosciences department. What you may not know about me is that I’m doing a masters thesis focused on poultry nutrition modeling. This doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing any photos taken of me in magazines displaying different chickens or their diets. A nutrition model is a computer code with equations based off nutrition and biochemistry research that applies to an organism of interest. This allows for an overview of how nutrients are absorbed from the diet, converted or broken down to nutrients (i.e. amino acids, glucose, fatty acids) within the body and where those nutrients end up. My model allows me to simulate normal to extreme diets and see how the broiler (i.e. a meat chicken) would react without having to feed those diets to a real chicken. This allows for reduced animal testing, better diet formulations, and a deeper understanding of how different biochemical pathways interact.

I have a large support group of researchers helping with this project. To name a few, my official supervisors include John Cant and Elijah Kiarie, from the University of Guelph as well as Walter Gerrits from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. This allowed me the opportunity to spend the first year of my thesis in the Netherlands to study and further develop my model. This project is a fantastic opportunity for me as my passions are animals, researching and traveling!

Want to know more about me or my project?

Feel free to drop by my office in ANNU 231 or send me an email at