New additions to 2017-2018 Executive Committee

Meet the new talented people who have accepted to serve on the 2017-2018 CSAS Executive Committee:

Eastern Director: Dr. Anna Kate Shoveller (Assistant Professor, University of Guelph)

Anna Kate Shoveller grew up on a hobby farm where she eagerly raised horses, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, rabbits and a host of cats and dogs. It is no surprise that she translated her love of animals into a desire to learn as much as possible about them. Her personal mission is to conduct research that will help improve the lives of cats and dogs, while also teaching and mentoring the next generation of companion animal scientists and pet product experts. Shoveller received her BSc, Honours in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph in 1997 and her PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Alberta in 2004. Her PhD thesis was focused on sulfur amino acid metabolism in baby piglets and the role of the gut.

In 2009, Shoveller was selected by the American Society for Nutrition to receive the Peter J. Reeds Memorial Young Investigator Award, which recognized her contributions to the understanding of neonatal sulfur amino acid metabolism and specifically for the changes that have been made in the parenteral feeding industry due to the knowledge developed in her PhD. Shoveller served as the provincial equine nutritionist for Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (2003-2004) prior to joining the University of Guelph as a post-doctoral fellow in companion animal nutrition (2004-2007). Her post doctoral research developed and validated a minimally invasive technique to measure amino acid requirements in dogs and will provide the basis for better understanding the variables that affect amino acid requirements in dogs.

In 2007, she accepted a position with Procter & Gamble Pet Care in the Strategic Development group where she led discovery and clinical trials, communicated scientific results and taught nutrition throughout the organization, developed and executed intellectual property strategies, led multiple academic collaborations globally, co-chaired the Institutional Animal Care and Utilization (IACUC) committee and mentored junior technologists. In 2009, Shoveller earned P&G’s prestigious John G. Smale Award for innovative thinking.

In 2014, the Pet Care division was acquired by Mars Inc. and she spent 2014 and 2015 working primarily with the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition in a similar capacity. A common theme among all of Shoveller’s experiences has been the desire to positively impact students and junior colleagues through teaching and mentoring. She has taught equine, canine, feline and comparative nutrition and has a sincere interest in the processes of invention and innovation. Shoveller is well known for being highly enthusiastic, while embracing possibility in every facet of both her professional and personal life.

Western Director: Dr. Chengbo Yang (Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba)

Dr. Chengbo Yang is an assistant professor in Livestock Nutrition and Nutritional Biochemistry in the Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba. Dr. Yang was born and grew up in a small town of Hunan province located in the south region of China. In 1996, Dr. Yang was admitted to Nanjing Agricultural University in China to pursue his undergraduate degree and completed his B.Sc. in veterinary medicine in 2000. After graduation, he was accepted by the same university to pursue his post-graduate degree, obtaining his M.Sc. (2003) in veterinary medicine. He worked as a research assistant in the institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China from 2003 to 2004, followed by a one-year Visiting Scholar appointment in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Guelph. Entering the Ph.D. program at Guelph in 2006, he obtained his Ph.D. in monogastric animal nutrition in 2011. He moved to China in October 2011 to work as RD/Technical Service Director in Lucta (Guangzhou) Flavours Co., Ltd. He was offered a job as a Technical Specialist of Swine and Poultry in a Canadian feed additive company Jefo Nutrition Inc and moved to Canada in 2014. In March 2016 he joined the Department of Animal Science at the University of Manitoba as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Yang has a lot of experiences and connections in the feed industry. These experiences have generated great enthusiasm and passion in livestock research. He is conducting research in the area of gut health and nutrient utilization relevant to nonruminants. His research interests include 1) investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms of gut chemosensing in gut growth and health, 2) investigating roles of dietary components (feed ingredients and bioactive compounds) on modulation of molecular interactions between pathogens and host, 3) identification of antibiotic alternatives, and 4) biotechnological and nutritional strategies to improve nutrient utilization efficiency for sustainable animal production. Dr. Yang is a member of several professional societies, including Canadian Society of Animal Science, American Society of Animal Science, and Canadian Society for Nutrition, American Society for Nutrition and World’s Poultry Science Association. He has authored and coauthored over 38 scientific publications. He has held several research grants including NSERC CRD, Discovery, and Engaging. He has supervised two research associates, two graduate students and four undergraduate students.

Industry Representative: Dr. Leslie McKnight (Research Scientist, Trouw Nutrition AgResearch, Guelph, ON)

Dr. McKnight currently works for Trouw Nutrition as a Scientist supporting the Ruminant and Poultry Nutrition Research teams. Prior to joining Trouw, she was a Research Fellow in the Centre for Nutrition Modeling in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. Leslie received her B.Sc. in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph and M.Sc. in Biochemistry from Memorial University of Newfoundland. After working for three years as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Surgery at McMaster University, Leslie returned to the University of Guelph to complete a Ph.D. Her Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition was sponsored, in part, by Mars Pet Care in Ohio, U.S.A. Leslie has authored 22 scientific articles and 5 book chapters in a diverse range of peer-reviewed publications. In addition to research, Leslie has teaching experience as a lecturer for university courses and mentor to graduate students.

Having conducted nutrition research in multiple species, including fish, swine, dogs, cats, poultry, and dairy cows, Leslie has developed a fascination in how nutrient utilization differs both within and between species. In particular, she is interested in how nutrition can be used to optimize animal health and minimize the environmental impacts of animal production to provide safe and sustainable food for the growing world population.

Leslie was born and raised in Southwestern Ontario and currently resides in Guelph, Ontario, with her husband and two young sons.

Industry Representative: Dr. Mohsen Jafarikia (Geneticist at Canadian Center for Swine Improvement Inc.)

Dr. Mohsen Jafarikia was born and raised in the city of Mashhad in North East of Iran. He attended the Iranian national exam and accepted to enter the College of Agriculture of the University of Sistan Balouchestan and graduated with Animal Production degree in year 1991. Then he continued his education at the Azad University of Karaj and obtained his B.Sc. in Animal Science in the summer of 1993. During his undergraduate education and after his B.Sc. degree, Dr. Jafarikia was working in chicken farms including the parent stock and broiler industry. After few years, Dr. Jafarikia joined the Sheep Farmers Union of the Khorasan Province in Iran, which consisted of more than 30 co-operative members including more than 40,000 farmers across the Khorasan province. He was the sales manager and also director of the Technical Committee of the union. After few years of working in the union, he started his M.Sc. in Animal Breeding & Genetics in Department of Animal Science at the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. His thesis research was about type classification and relationship between type and production in Holstein dairy cows. After defending his M.Sc. thesis in 2001, he could win a scholarship to do his PhD outside of Iran and he chose University of Guelph for doing his PhD. He joined Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock (CGIL) within the Department of Animal Biosciences (formerly Animal & Poultry Science) in 2003 and studied application of SNP haplotype blocks for selection of dairy cattle under the supervision of professor Andy Robinson. About a year before finishing his PhD, he started his career as a full time Geneticist, Research & Development at the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement Inc. (CCSI) in 2007. His work is mostly involvement in CCSI’s genomics related projects, analyzing the data and delivering a meaningful practical application of genomics to the industry. He has been also involved with few genomics projects with dairy goat and sheep. Dr. Jafarikia is stationed at the University of Guelph and is holding the position of Adjunct Professor to foster collaboration between CCSI and University of Guelph. His office is located at CGIL and he is also a Special Graduate Faculty in the Departments of Animal Biosciences, Mathematics & Statistics, Pathobiology and Molecular & Cellular Biology. Beside his duties at CCSI, he is helping different researchers at the university and is also involved with advisory committee of graduate students.

Director-at-Large: Dr. Sergio A. Burgos (Assistant Professor, McGill University)

Dr. Sergio Burgos received a degree in Agronomy from the Pan-American School of Agriculture, before completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science at the University of Florida. He obtained a Master’s degree in Animal Science from the University of California at Davis and then a doctorate in Animal Science from the University of Guelph in 2009. He then joined the McGill Nutrition and Food Science Centre at the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, McGill University as a Postdoctoral Fellow. From 2012 to 2014, he was a Research Associate at the Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre. In 2015, he joined the Department of Animal Science at the Macdonald campus of McGill University as Assistant Professor in animal nutrition and metabolism. His current research areas include: molecular regulation of mammary nutrient metabolism and milk synthesis; role of dairy products in metabolic and musculoskeletal health in humans; environmental impact of dairy production. Prof. Burgos is committed to promoting the advancement of Animal Science research, teaching and outreach in Canada.