vrotondo's picture    

Vanessa Rotondo

Position/Title: M.Sc. (Thesis) Student
email: vrotondo@uoguelph.ca
Office: ANNU 016

LinkedIn site link

I am currently a M.Sc. by thesis student working with Katie Wood in the Department of Animal Biosciences. I graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in Animal Biology and a minor in Nutrition. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I gained experience working with multiple species. I was fortunate to work with Katie Wood and Melissa Williams in pursuing an independent study in which sparked my passion for research and an interest in graduate studies. 

My research focuses on predicting body weight and growth characteristic based on linear body measurements of growing dairy and beef calves. The aim of the study is to identify the type of body dimensions that correspond with body weight. Furthermore, discovering growth patterns throughout the first eight weeks of life. My research involves weekly measurements of body traits in beef and dairy calves from the ages of two weeks until eight weeks. Each calf will be measured for twenty morphology traits, to allow for difference in growth pattern to be observed and analysed. All measurements will be recorded and examined through machine learning. 

My results will hopefully provide an incite of which linear body measurements will correlate to body weight. Once body weight correlation has been identified, the measurements can be linked to predicting weaning weights of calves. Furthermore, analysis of growth rates and the differences between gender will be assessed. By predicting the growth rates and identifying particular linear measurements, the findings can contribute to advanced weighing technologies. Advanced weighing technology can be used to reduce stress on calves and limit labour for producers. The next steps for this research will be to utilize the morphology findings and incorporate them into an advanced camera weighing system. The camera will consistently capture data on the morphology points to determine body weight.