The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) selected Tony Carreira Bruinjé, a doctorate degree student at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., Canada, as the 2020 DCRC Scholar. As the award recipient, Bruinjé earned an expense-paid trip to attend the 2020 DCRC Annual Meeting, Nov. 11-12, in Madison, Wis.
Bruinjé, a veterinarian from Brazil, received his master’s degree from the University of Alberta. He has 10 peer-reviewed scientific papers published, including five as first author. Seven of his publications are published in the Journal of Dairy Science.
Stephen LeBlanc, Bruinjé’s supervisor, said Bruinjé brings a rare combination of understanding and ability in reproductive biology, quantitative “big data” analysis and application of research in the field. Bruinjé’s research examines links between metabolic and clinical health and fertility in dairy cows. Lactating dairy cows in high production perform the caloric equivalent of a human running more than two marathons every day. “To sustain this elite performance while maintaining health, welfare and fertility, cows must be supported to meet a fine balance of metabolic demands,” said LeBlanc. “Farmers and consumers prefer to achieve these ends as naturally and simply as possible. Thus, Tony is conducting a large-scale field study on commercial dairy farms to probe and quantify key health determinants of cows’ ability to express normal and fertile reproductive behavior. This research will leverage leading-edge precision technology used on dairy farms and in a sub-study will validate a novel in-line milk sensor in partnership with a start-up technology company. This research leverages Tony’s knowledge and experience in working with both the physiology of dairy cows and analytic techniques for working with complex data sets.”
Bruinjé’s main career goal is to work as a researcher and extension specialist in academia – developing and implementing strategies for dairy cow reproductive management that involve data assessment and optimization of precision technologies. “Such strategies will not only result in more efficient management overall but will also play a role in improving our understanding of dairy cow physiology and enhancing animal welfare and sustainability,” he said. “Both of these are priorities for the dairy industry’s future.”
The DCRC Scholars program recognizes outstanding graduate students studying dairy, animal or veterinary science, microbiology or a related program, with an area of interest that includes dairy cattle reproduction and fertility. Applicants submitted an interest statement that detailed their interest in dairy cattle reproduction, career goals and research project(s), and their academic adviser provided a letter of recommendation.
The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council is focused on bringing together all sectors of the dairy industry – producers, consultants, academia and allied industry professionals – for improved reproductive performance. DCRC provides an unprecedented opportunity for all groups to work together to take dairy cattle reproduction to the next level.