Celebrating Dairy Research Excellence Before the Holidays!

Leading up to the holiday season, we wish to take this opportunity to recognize the contributions made by Canadian dairy scientists and their teams in 2019. Notably, some researchers working on projects funded by Dairy Farmers of Canada were awarded for their dairy research excellence for advancing scientific findings to improve productivity, sustainability, dairy cattle health and welfare as well as improve knowledge of the health benefits of milk and dairy products.

An article by Drs. Chaouki Benchaar, Édith Charbonneau and Doris Pellerin is selected as one of the Canadian Journal of Animal Science (CJAS) Editors’ Choice papers in 2019

The article “Development of an equation to estimate the enteric methane emissions from Holstein dairy cows in Canada” published in May 2019 by Chaouki Benchaar, Research Scientist, Sherbrooke Research and Development Centre, Édith Charbonneau, Professor, Université Laval, Doris Pellerin, Professor, Université Laval and their co-authors, was selected as one of the CJAS Editors’ Choice papers in December 2019. The Editors’ Choice designation highlights articles of particularly high calibre and topical importance.

The article contains the methods to develop and validate a more precise equation to predict enteric methane emissions from dairy cattle fed typical Canadian diets in Canadian conditions – an outcome from the Dairy Research Cluster 2 (2013-2018) project, Mitigation of enteric methane production from dairy cows and impact on manure emissions: filling knowledge gaps. Their overall findings resulted in:

  • Improved accuracy of the calculation of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s national inventory of enteric methane emissions from Canadian dairy cattle;
  • Improved accuracy of the calculation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) inventory of enteric methane emissions from dairy cattle;
  • Science-based evidence that cows in Canada emit less methane than previously reported by national and international expert organizations measuring countries’ GHG emissions.

An article by Drs. Hassan Vatanparast and Susan Whiting is selected as one of the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism Journal (APNMJ) Editors’ Choice papers in 2019

The article “Type 2 diabetes prevalence among Canadian adults — dietary habits and sociodemographic risk factors” published in August 2019 by Hassan Vatanparast, Professor, and Susan Whiting, Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan and their Ph.D. student Zeinab Hosseini was selected as one of the APNMJ Editors’ Choice papers. The article reports on the results of their study to determine the prevalence of Type 2 diagnosed diabetes, undetected (undiagnosed) Type 2 diabetes, and prediabetes of Canadian adults, and to evaluate whether individuals with diagnosed diabetes have different dietary intakes compared with the other groups, using data from Canadian Health Measures Survey Cycles 1 and 2. This paper is based on data from their Dairy Research Cluster 2 (2013-2018) project, Association Between Dietary Intakes and Cardiovascular Risk of Canadians using the Canadian Health Measures Survey Cycles 1+2.  Their project provided new knowledge related to diet and important health conditions by producing Canadian data showing diets containing dairy products can reduce the risk of Metabolic Syndrome, Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.

Unknown-4Dr. Pierre Lacasse awarded the Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS) Fellowship

The CSAS award was provided to Pierre Lacasse, Research Scientist, Sherbrooke Research and Development Centre, for truly outstanding contributions in the field of animal agriculture. His work has led to the understanding of the biological processes controlling lactation and immune resistance, to the development of tools and methods to improve the health, well-being and longevity of dairy cows and the improvement of milk quality.

Pierre Lacasse has been a contributing scientist in the Mastitis Network for several years, including projects in the three Dairy Research Clusters (Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network;  The Mastitis Network: Continuing the advancement of milk quality in Canada).

He also led a project in the Dairy Research Cluster 2, Dairy Cow Management for the Next Generation, which resulted in:

  • Development of baseline information exploring the biology of lactation persistency;
  • Identification of biomarkers in 12 genes that were significantly associated with lactation persistency, providing information to allow for the selection of cows and bulls with higher lactation persistency; and,
  • Concluded that increasing milking frequency to 3 times a day after peak of lactation helps to maintain high levels of milk production that may enable profitable extended lactation.

T DeVries 2019Dr. Trevor DeVries received the Technical Innovation in Enhancing Production of Safe Affordable Food Award

This Canadian Animal Science Society award recognizes excellence in technical innovation and teaching with an emphasis in the fields of biotechnology, genetics, physiology and animal behaviour. Trevor DeVries is a Professor at the University of Guelph and has produced research findings that led to innovations and practical solutions for improving the nutritional management, housing, and well-being of calves, replacement heifers, and mature lactating dairy cattle. He is currently the principal investigator of the Dairy Research Cluster 3 (2018-2022) project, Optimizing health and production of cows milked in robotic systems and was a collaborating scientist in the Dairy Research Cluster 2 (2013-2018) project, Automatic Milking Systems (AMS): Factors Affecting Health, Productivity and Welfare. The researchers’ findings in Cluster 2 provided important, unbiased information to help identify cows at risk of, or experiencing, illness, lameness or poor adaptation to the AMS.

Unknown-5Dr. Stephen LeBlanc Awarded the Web of Science Group’s Highly Cited Researchers List for 2019

For the second year in a row, Stephen LeBlanc, Professor, University of Guelph, was part of the top one per cent of researchers with the most citations in their field. Stephen LeBlanc studies dairy cattle health and performance with a focus on reproductive and metabolic health. His research aims to improve livestock reproduction through disease prevention and treatment by developing reproductive management programs. He is currently collaborating in the Dairy Research Cluster 3 project, Accelerating genetic gain for novel traits in Canadian Holstein cows and was a collaborator in the Dairy Research Cluster 2 project, Sustainable Solutions to Improve Estrous Detection and Reproductive Efficiency in Dairy Cows. The Cluster 2 findings indicated that prioritizing detection of estrus in a reproductive program can be as effective as some current programs of timed artificial insemination programs.

Unknown-6Dr. Sylvie Turgeon Awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Agrocampus Ouest, France

On December 16, 2019, Agrocampus Ouest (Institute for Life, Food and Horticultural Sciences and Landscaping, France) awarded an Honorary Doctorate to Dr Sylvie Turgeon, Professor, Université Laval. The title of Doctor honoris causa is the Institute’s highest distinction and honors foreign individuals who are recognized for their scientific contributions internationally and have developed strong ties with the Institute. Sylvie Turgeon collaborated in the Dairy Research Cluster 2 project, The Effect of Milk Products and Novel Milk Products on Satiety, Food Intake, and Metabolic Control (Glycemia) in Early and Late Adulthood, and is currently a collaborating researcher in the Dairy Research Cluster 3 projects, Understanding the contribution of milk composition and microflora during ripening of cheeses and the Role of dairy products on body weight and metabolic health in families.

These researchers will join others that were awarded in 2019, namely Drs. David Kelton and Todd Duffield (University of Guelph), and Herman Barkema and Karin Orsel (University of Calgary), for their achievements in dairy research excellence! Read the article on their achievements on the DairyResearchBlog.ca.

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