Research Themes in Animal Biosciences

Research Laboratory Bench

Research in Animal Biosciences spans both basic and applied sciences in the following disciplines:

  • Animal Nutrition

  • Animal Breeding and Genetics

  • Animal Behavior and Welfare

  • Animal Physiology

These disciplines operate under three major research pillars:


Some specific examples of ongoing innovative and high impact research include:


ABSc research has identified the use of co-products from food and biofuel industries as cost-effective feed ingredients for cattle, poultry, swine, and fish - enhancing values of these ‘waste products’ and minimizing reliance of animals on feeds that may serve as human foods.
Advanced genetic research has identified genetic markers to improve beef tenderness, feed efficiency in cattle and reduced boar taint in pigs, thus contributing to on-going work to develop effective breeding strategies.
Research has refined objective measures of animal suffering, and identified specific welfare risk factors occurring within farm and zoo animal housing, farm animals transport; and many other practical situations; welfare-related expertise is also used in (farm) animal care codes that have been used in expert reports in Canada, USA and UK.
Characterization and (genetic) manipulation of microbes, fermentation products (i.e., bio-actives and enzymes) that improve gut health and function when fed to ruminant or non-ruminant animals.
Mathematical models to estimate the impact of alternative farm animal management strategies as well as nutritional and dietary interventions on carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, odour and methane losses and emission into the environment.
Impact of dietary fatty acid profiles on immune function and disease resistance; using pigs as models to evaluate novel and human health-promoting potato cultivars.

Our faculty are highly successful in obtaining research grants with over $6M in annual funding.  Support comes from a variety of sources including government (NSERC, CIHR, OMAFRA, Canadian Research Excellence Fund, Genome Canada) and industry. 

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More information regarding our numerous industry collaborations is coming soon.