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Christine Baes

Position/Title: Professor and department Chair; Canada Research Chair in Livestock Genomics
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53363
Office: ANNU 146

Personal site link
Google scholar site link
Research gate site link
LinkedIn site link
Twitter site link

Meet Christine ( 60 second OAC video )

Dr. Christine Baes was born and raised on a dairy farm in Southwestern Ontario and learned to appreciate Canadian agriculture at a young age. After completing her Bachelors degree at Guelph, she went on to finish a Master of Science degree in Animal Welfare at the Universität Hohenheim and a PhD in Quantitative Genetics at the the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology and the Christian Albrechts Universität zu Kiel in Germany.

She became involved in various large-scale livestock breeding projects (swine, horses, dairy cattle, goats), and, together with her team, strives to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and practical application of new knowledge. Dr. Baes has extensive knowledge in the areas of quantitative genetics and statistical genomics as it relates to the genetic and genomic evaluation of livestock. She works with large data (SNP chip data as well as NGS data), and her programming experience includes FORTRAN, R, UNIX, and other languages. Dr. Baes has taught multiple courses on genetics, genomics, and statistics in Germany, Switzerland, and Canada.

In her spare time, she runs a small farm outside of Maryhill. 

Academic History

  • Bachelor of Science, Honours in Animal Science, University of Guelph (2004)
  • Master of Science in Agriculture, Universität Hohenheim (2005)
  • Doctor of Science in Quantitiative Genetics (magna cum laude), Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology / Christian Albrechts Univesität zu Kiel (2008)

Affiliations and Partnerships

  • Registered Farmer with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture
  • Past President of the Canadian Society of Animal Science
  • Genetic Evaluation Board Member
  • Holstein Canada Breed Advisory Committee Member
  • SOSCIP Scientific Advisory Committee Member
  • Dairy at Guelph Steering Committee Member
  • CDX Steering Committee Member
  • American Dairy Science Association Member
  • American Society of Animal Science Member
  • Swiss Association of Animal Science Member
  • European Federation of Animal Science Member
  • German Society of Animal Production Member

Awards and Honours

  • 2015 Semex / Canadian Dairy Network / Holstein Canada Professorship in Dairy Genomics
  • 2019 Canada Research Chair in Livestock Genomics awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • 2021 Ministers Award of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Research Impact

Dr. Baes and her team focus on improving health, welfare, and productivity of farm animals through genetic and genomic selection, as well as uncovering the relationship between phenotype and genotype in livestock. She is interested in developing new methods and statistical models for the genetic improvement of livestock, as well as designing breeding strategies for long-term and sustainable genetic improvement. 

Completed Research Projects

Dr. Baes and her team have completed a number of large scale projects:

  • Fine Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci affecting Somatic Cell Score in German Holsteins
  • Development of Breeding Strategies against Boar Taint in a Swiss Sire Line
  • Using Sequence Information to Understand the Genomic Architecture of Dairy Cattle
  • Application of Genomic Selection in Turkeys for Health, Welfare, Efficiency, and Production (in collaboration with Dr. Ben Wood, User Lead; Dr. Shai Barbut (Department of Food Science, University of Guelph); Dr. Alexandra Harlander-Matauschek (Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, University of Guelph))

Current Research Projects

Dr. Baes is currently running a number of large-scale projects (e.g. The Resilient Dairy Genome Project, Dairy Cluster 3, etc.), all of which are managed by Dr. Nienke van Staaveren. These projects are funded through federal, provincial, and industry support:

Graduate Student Information

Dr. Baes sees graduate student supervision as both a responsibility and a privilege.

She encourages students to be independent, critical, and dedicated, but also to be inspired and curious about the world around them.

Previous Graduate Students / Research Fellows

  • Calista Vogelzang (MSc completed 2018)

  • Shannon Beard (MSc completed 2018)

  • Kerry Houlahan (MSc completed 2018, PhD completed 2021, Post Doctoral Fellow: 2021-2022)

  • Adrien Butty (PhD completed 2019)

  • Dr. Hakimeh Emamgholi Begli (Post Doctoral Fellow: 2017-2020)

  • Dr. Emhimad Abdalla (Post Doctoral Fellow: 2017-2021)

  • Dr. Bayode Makanjuola (PhD completed 2020, Post Doctoral Fellow: 2020-2021)

  • Sarah Adams (MSc completed 2020)

  • Colin Lynch (MSc completed 2020)

  • Camila Rosenberg (MSc completed 2020)

  • Aisha Fong (MSc completed 2021)

  • Emma Hyland (MSc completed 2021)

  • Dr. Emily Leishman (PhD completed 2021)

  • Dr. Ryley Vanderhout (PhD completed 2021)

  • Dr. Diercles Cardoso (Post Doctoral Fellow: 2020-2021)

  • Dr. Gerson Oliveira Jr. (Post Doctoral Fellow: 2019-2022)

  • Dr. Lucas Alcantara (PhD Completed 2022; Co-Supervisor together with Dr Flavio Schenkel)

  • Dr. Audrey Martin (PhD Completed 2022; Co-supervisor together with Dr. Flavio Schenkel)

  • Heather Hiscock (MSc Completed 2022; Co-supervisor together with Dr. Shai Barbut)

Selected Publications

  1. C F Baes, B O Makanjuola, F Miglior, G Marras, J T Howard, A Fleming, C Maltecca. The genomic architecture of inbreeding: How homozygosity affects health and performance. J. Dairy Sci. 2019; 102(3): 2807-2817. doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-15520
  2.  A M Butty, M Sargolzaei, F Miglior, P Stothard, F S Schenkel, B Gredler-Grandl, C F Baes. Optimizing Selection of the Reference Population for Genotype Imputation From Array to Sequence Variants. Frontiers Gen. 2019; 10:510. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00510
  3. A Fleming, E A Abdalla, C Maltecca, C F Baes. Invited Review: Reproductive and genomic technologies to optimize breeding strategies for genetic progress in dairy cattle. Arch. Anim. Breed. 2018; 61: 43-57. doi: 10.5194/aab-61-43-2018
  4. F Miglior, A Fleming, F Malchiodi, L F Brito, P Martin, C F Baes. Invited Review: A 100-year review: Identification and genetic selection of economically important traits in dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 2018; 100(12): 10251-10271. doi 10.3168/jds.2017-12968
  5. C F Baes, M A Dolezal, J E Koltes, B Bapst, E Fritz-Waters, S Jansen, C Flury, H Signer-Hasler, C Stricker, R Fernando, R Fries, J Moll, D J Garrick, J M Reecy, B Gredler. Evaluation of variant identification methods for whole genome sequencing data in dairy cattle. BMC Genomics. 2014; 15: 948. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-948

       For a full list of publications, please visit Christine's Google Scholar page.



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