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We’re Back and, Boy, Have We Been Busy!

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

Summer is well underway and the CowLife Blog is coming out of its long hibernation with a fresh new look! We also have lots of exciting events to catch you up on!


In the beginning of June we celebrated the first official graduate of our CowLife team under the IRC in the Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle! Congratulations to Jessica St John for the completion of her degree of Masters in Animal Science. We look forward to hearing all about where life takes Jess next!

Pictured: Our first graduate, Jessica St John!

If you are interested in learning more about Jess’s research on the impact of tie-rail height and forward position on dairy cow ease of movement and injury prevalence, check out the link here!

An extended congratulations to Diana Figueroa Delgado, our unofficial CowLife member who shared our office and excitement for bovines, on her finishing her Masters in Animal Science in the field of bioinformatics. GO MCGILL CLASS OF 2019!

Pictured (Left to Right): Dr. Elsa Vasseur, Jessica St John, Diana Figueroa Delgado, and her supervisor and an IRC affiliate, Dr. Kevin Wade, proudly posing for pictures post-graduation.

We also look forward to the upcoming theses submissions from MSc students Véronique Boyer and Sarah McPherson and PhD candidate Elise Shepley in the near future. Keep an eye out for future posts on their research and more!


Mooooves over winter! With the arrival of summer also came the start of Part II of our outdoor access trials!

In these studies, the CowLife team, led by MSc students Jordan Tonooka and Catherine Lussier, are looking at the effects of providing lactating cows with 1-2 h of outdoor access in various sized exercise yards. The goal is to determine the amount of time and space needed per cow outdoors to see benefits to her health and welfare.

Pictured: Exercise yards at the McGill Macdonald Campus Dairy Complex. Photo credit: MSc candidate, Amir Nejati.

While we go over the results from our winter trial, we wanted to present to you some fun images of our ladies enjoying time on some time in our outdoor exercise yards!

Pictured: Twist and Leona enjoying their first taste of the summer. Photo credit: Amir Nejati.

We think our graduate students and interns may also be enjoying a bit of sunny weather themselves (although they could do without the mosquitos and flies).

Pictured (left to right): Post-doctoral fellow, Nadège Aigueperse, research assistant (and future MSc candidate), Rachel van Vliet, MSc (non-thesis) Sirine El Hamdaoui, and intern Nicolas Gafsi. Photo credit: Amir Nejati.


Of course, it’s a new summer which means that conference season is upon us! The CowLife team was represented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA 2019) in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA as well as the American Society of Animal Science and Canadian Society of Animal Science 2019 Joint Meeting (ASAS-CSAS 2019) in Austin, Texas, USA. The season will be completed with members of our team crossing the Atlantic to the beautiful city of Bergan, Norway, for the 53rd Congress of the International Society of Applied Ethology (ISAE 2019).

We are so proud of our presenters!

Want to learn more about what we did at these conferences? Click on the logos below!

Thank you for taking the time to catch up with the CowLife McGill lab and we hope you like our new look! Be sure to subscribe to our blog to get updates on all the new and exciting things we’ve got going on here!


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