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Livestock Research: Dairy Research Group

 
 
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About Us | Current Projects | Factsheets and Extension Articles | Publications | Presentations

    Our Vision:
    Livestock Research Branch: World-class partner in delivering applied and innovative solutions for a sustainable and vibrant Alberta.
    Mission Statement:
    Enable the Alberta livestock industry to use research-based knowledge and technology to enhance competitiveness.

About Us

Who we are
Divakar Ambrose - Research Scientist
Marcos Colazo - Research Scientist
Kira MacMillan - Research Assistant
Gobikrushanth Mohanathas - Research Technician (Part-time)

What we do
Our team conducts original, applied and adaptive research on improving reproductive efficiency of dairy herds, with particular focus on:
  • Increasing herd pregnancy rates through the application of fixed timed artificial insemination
  • Developing strategies to reduce embryonic losses in dairy cows
  • Nutritional management of the transition dairy cow
  • Creating and evaluating new tools for use in reproductive and health management
  • Factors influencing early embryonic development in dairy cattle
Why we do it
  • Poor reproductive efficiency of dairy cows is a major problem facing the dairy industry
  • The typical dairy cow has a production cycle of only 2.5 lactations
  • Reproductive failure is the Number 1 reason for culling of dairy cows
  • Improved herd reproductive efficiency can increase cow longevity and economic returns
Current Projects
  • “Understanding the role of dietary lipids on reproductive and immune function of dairy cattle” Nutritional management of reproductive function in dairy cattle is an important area of research. Dietary fats and long chain fatty acids are known to have beneficial effects on reproductive function, early embryonic development and immune function but many aspects remain unknown. This project aims to improve our understanding of the effects of including dietary oilseeds during late gestational period on postpartum reproductive function, health and immunity. The role of fatty acids on embryo development will also be investigated.
  • “Evaluating new reproductive phenotypes in dairy cattle for genomic selection to improve fertility” Poor fertility of dairy cows is a major challenge to the dairy industry. Although reproductive traits have poor heritability and consequently received less importance in conventional genetic selection processes, the recent introduction of genomic selection programs for dairy breeds holds much promise for improving fertility. This research aims to identify genetic markers associated with a variety of new reproductive phenotypes (physiological traits) that have important roles in the regulation of reproductive function in dairy cattle.
  • “Development of a biosensor to determine in milk various species of interest to the dairy industry”. The sensor technology is based on the "etalon" structure that has been developed at the University of Alberta by Dr. Michael Serpe. This project will determine if this technology is capable of determining in milk the concentration of progesterone and estradiol. This biosensor technology could be used in the future as a cow-side test device or be incorporated in an in-line testing system to continuously monitor dairy cows for reproductive performance. We believe this technology has a huge potential as herd health diagnostic tool and cost saving.
  • “Aromatase Inhibitors: A new approach for improving reproductive performance in dairy cattle”. Our overall objective is to develop an effective and affordable method of controlling the estrous cycle to improve reproductive efficiency in dairy cattle that directly addresses government regulatory concerns and consumer demand for hormone-free meat and milk products. The study will be done in collaboration with Dr. Gregg Adams from the University of Saskatchewan.
  • “The application of infrared thermography to diagnose production diseases in dairy cattle”. Infrared thermography (IRT) is a modern and non-invasive technique that measures changes in the radiated surface temperature of animals. This technology has been demonstrated to be effective in the identification of infectious diseases and injuries in cattle. We will evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of IRT for early identification of production diseases in early post-partum dairy cows.
  • Optimizing a 5-d TAI protocol to improve the fertility of sexed semen in dairy heifers” Several experiments are being conducted to develop an effective and affordable method of controlling the estrous cycle to enhance the use of sexed semen in dairy heifers.

Factsheets and Extension Articles
Publications Presentations

Oral Presentations

YearMeetingPresenterTitle
2016 JunInternational Congress of Animal Reproduction, Tours, FranceIrene López-HelgueraMaternal age but not parity affected daughter's fertility during first lactation
2016 MayXXI congreso Internacional de Medicina Bovina, Santiago de Compostela, SpainIrene López-HelgueraRelationshiop between metabolic profiles and ovarian follicular function in dairy cows
2016 MarAmerican Chemical Society 251st National meeting, San Diego, USAYaxin JiangDetection of progesterone and estradiol using Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) microgel-based biosensors
2015 JulI Simposio Internacional en Avances en Reproducción Bovina, Guadalajara, Jalisco, MexicoMarcos ColazoNutritional managements that affect cattle fertility. Manejos nutricionales que afectan la fertilidad del ganado (in Spanish)
2015 JulI Simposio Internacional en Avances en Reproducción Bovina, Guadalajara, Jalisco, MexicoMarcos ColazoPostpartum uterine infections: definitions, prevalence, impacts and treatments. Problemas uterinos posparto: definición, prevalencia, impacto y tratamiento. (in Spanish)
2015 JulI Simposio Internacional en Avances en Reproducción Bovina, Guadalajara, Jalisco, MexicoMarcos ColazoHow to achieve high pregnancy rate in dairy herds. Como lograr altos índices de preñez en los hatos lecheros. (in Spanish)
2015 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red DeerMarcos ColazoIs synchronization here to stay or will new technologies soon rule the day?
2015 FebUniversity of Alberta, EdmontonMarcos ColazoReproductive management in beef herds
2014 AprESPE, Santo Domingo, EcuadorMarcos ColazoThe bovine estrous cycle. (in Spanish)
2014 AprESPE, Santo Domingo, EcuadorMarcos ColazoProtocols for timed-AI in Bos Taurus cattle. (in Spanish)
2014 Apr ESPE, Santo Domingo, EcuadorMarcos ColazoBasic and applied aspects of transrectal ultrasonography in cattle reproduction. (in Spanish)
2014 MarWebinar Alberta Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentMarcos ColazoAn update on timed-AI (TAI) programs for dairy cattle.
2014 FebUniversidad Nacional de la Pampa, General Pico, ArgentinaMarcos ColazoThe role of the veterinary profession and Alberta Agriculture on research and livestock production in Alberta, Canada. (in Spanish)
2013 MarWestern Canadian Dairy SeminarMarcos ColazoNew research in controlled breeding programs for dairy cattle.
2012 OctUniversidad Católica, Temuco, ChileMarcos ColazoReproductive management of dairy herds in Alberta, Canada.
2012 OctUniversidad Católica, Temuco, ChileMarcos ColazoPractical uses for transrectal ultrasonography in reproductive management in cattle.
2012 Aug17th International Congress of Animal Reproduction, Vancouver, CanadaMarcos ColazoEffect of eCG on fertility to GnRH-based TAI protocols in Bos Taurus cows. Workshop: Use of eCG in beef and dairy cattle.
2012 Aug17th International Congress of Animal Reproduction, Vancouver, CanadaMarcos ColazoOvulatory follicle in lactating dairy cows: size matters?
2012 MarTalk to producers. Airdrie, ABMarcos ColazoEstrus and ovulation synchronization in beef heifers
2011 MayUniversidad Austral, Valdivia, ChileMarcos ColazoStrategies to improve reproductive efficiency in dairy cows.
2011 MayUniversidad Austral, Valdivia, ChileMarcos ColazoEstrus synchronization treatments in cattle.
2009 SepVIII Simposio Internacional de Reproducción Animal, Córdoba, ArgentinaMarcos ColazoProtocols for synchronization of estrus and ovulation in lactating dairy cows.
2009 SepVIII Simposio Internacional de Reproducción Animal, Córdoba, ArgentinaMarcos ColazoProtocols for synchronization of estrus and ovulation in beef heifers.
2008 MarII Xornada de Reproducción Bovina, Galicia, SpainMarcos ColazoUse of hormonal treatments to synchronize estrus and ovulation in heifers.
2008 MarII Xornada de Reproducción Bovina, Galicia, SpainMarcos ColazoState of the art of bovine embryo transfer. (in Spanish)
2008 MarMeeting with veterinarians, producers and students. Talavera de la Reina + Leon + Villacarriedo + Gijón, SpainMarcos ColazoReproductive management of dairy cows.

Poster Presentations

YearMeetingPresenterTitle
2018 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaM. GobikrushanthRelationships among postpartum body condition score change and productive and reproductive performance in Alberta dairy cows
2018 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaM. GobikrushanthAssociations among available fertility indexes and reproductive performance in Alberta dairy cows
2018 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaMarcos ColazoIs predicted transmitting ability for productive life associated to prevalence of early postpartum disorders in Alberta Holstein cows?
2018 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaKira MacmillanIs rectal temperature an effective tool to decide when to treat early lactation dairy cows?
2017 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaMarcos ColazoBenchmarking Early Postpartum Disorders in Alberta Dairy Herds
2017 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaMarcos ColazoTrace minerals in the dry period associated to postpartum metabolic and reproductive disorders in Dairy Cattle
2017 JanInternational Embryo Technology Society, Austin, USAReuben MapletoftEvaluation of a modified GnRH-based timed artificial insemination protocol associated with estrus detection in cyclic beef heifers inseminated with sex-selected semen
2016 JunInternational Congress of Animal Reproduction, Tours, FranceMarcos ColazoPlasma progesterone concentration at TAI in dairy cows: What is low enough?
2016 JunInternational Congress of Animal Reproduction, Tours, FranceMarcos ColazoRelationship between nutritional and metabolic profiles and pregnancy status after first AI in lactating dairy cows
2016 JunInternational Congress of Animal Reproduction, Tours, FranceIrene López-HelgueraMaternal age but not parity affected daughter's fertility during first lactation
2016 JanInternational Embryo Transfer Society, Kentucky, USAMarcos ColazoInitial Gonadotropin-releasing hormone treatment increased pregnancy per timed insemination only in acyclic beef heifers subjected to a 5-day Co-synch protocol
2016 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaMarcos ColazoNovel sensor technology for progesterone and estradiol detection in milk samples
2016 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaMarcos ColazoModifications of the Heatsynch Protocol for Natural-service Breeding in Dairy Cows
2016 MarWestern Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, CanadaM. GobikrushanthEndometritis Affected Fertility but not Dry Matter Intake or Milk Yield in Dairy Cows
2015Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaP. DutraEvaluation of iVET electronic birth alert device as a calving management tool for dairy cows
2015Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaA. BehrouziColostrum quality: Effect of parity, volume and collection time
2015Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaI. López HelgueraRisk factors associated with dystocia in a tie stall dairy herd
2015Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaP. DutraFatty acids in reproductive tissues of dairy cows fed diets supplemented with rolled canola, sunflower or flaxseed
2015Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaR. SalehiFeeding oilseeds during late pregnancy in Holstein cows increased gestation length, dystocia, calf birth weight, and colostrum immunoglobulin content size
2015Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaR. SalehiEffects of prepartum diets supplemented with rolled oilseeds on milk production and reproductive performance in dairy cows.
20153rd International Congress of Large Animal Practitioners, Tehran, IranMarcos ColazoA new ovulation synchronization protocol (Estradoublesynch) improves fertility in heat-stressed lactating Holstein cows
20153rd International Congress of Large Animal Practitioners, Tehran, IranMarcos ColazoProstaglandin F2alpha administration before G6G increased synchronization rate in Holstein dairy cows
2014Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaMarcos ColazoTwin pregnancies: An observational study from two Alberta dairy herds.
2014Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaA. BehrouziHow does porcine luteinizing hormone increase pregnancy rates in dairy cows?
2014Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaR. SalehiSerum from Cows Fed Flaxseed Advanced Embryo Development from Lower Quality Oocytes In Vitro
2014ADSA/CSAS/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting. Kansas City, MO, USA.R. SalehiA prepartum diet supplemented with rolled canola seed reduced pituitary sensitivity to GnRH in dairy cows during second week postpartum
2014ADSA/CSAS/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting. Kansas City, MO, USA.R. SalehiA prepartum diet supplemented with rolled sunflower seed increased calf weight, the incidence of dystocia and colostrum immunoglobulin content in Holstein cows
2014ADSA/CSAS/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting. Kansas City, MO, USA.R. SalehiAdding sera enriched in PUFA with different n-6/n-3 ratio advanced bovine in vitro embryo development from both high- and inferior-quality oocytes
2014ADSA/CSAS/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting. Kansas City, MO, USA.A. BehrouziLuteinizing hormone (LH) profiles after either porcine LH or GnRH treatment in Holstein cows with or without FSH-stimulation
2014ADSA/CSAS/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting. Kansas City, MO, USA.C. StraathofInvestigating RFI interactions upon pregnancy diagnosis in Angus heifers
2014ADSA/CSAS/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting. Kansas City, MO, USA.C. StraathofInvestigating RFI and diet interactions upon ADG, body weight, rib and back fat thickness in pregnant Angus heifers
2014Annual Meeting of the International Embryo Transfer Society, Reno, Nevada, USAR. SalehiSuperovulatory response and embryo production in Holstein cows fed diets enriched in oleic, linoleic or α-linolenic acid
2014ADSA/CSAS/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting. Kansas City, MO, USA.C. FitzsimmonsPregnant beef heifers categorized by residual feed intake measured in adolescence exhibit differential intake and feeding behaviors when fed a restricted diet
2013Western Nutrition Conference, Saskatoon, SKR. SalehiAdding flaxseed-fed-cow-serum to culture medium advanced in vitro bovine embryo development
2013Livestock Gentec ConferenceA. BehrouziGene Expression of Epidermal Growth Factor Family Members in Granulosa Cells of Bovine Preovulatory Follicle Exposed to Bovine or Porcine Luteinizing Hormone
2013Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaMarcos ColazoPregnancy per AI in Holstein heifers inseminated with sexed semen after detected estrus or timed-AI
201217th International Congress of Animal Reproduction. Vancouver, CanadaD.J. AmbroseCows diagnosed with ovarian cysts derive no benefit from progesterone supplementation but conceive normally to a GnRH-based timed A.I. protocol
201217th International Congress of Animal Reproduction. Vancouver, CanadaM.G. ColazoOvulatory follicle in lactating dairy cows: size matters?
2012Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaMarcos ColazoFertility in dairy cows subjected to two different intervals from presynchronization to initiation of Ovsynch protocol
2012Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AlbertaE. SubramaniamReplacing barley grain with wheat DDGS (dry distillers grains with solubles) reduced multiple ovulations in postpartum dairy cows
2011Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Animal Science, HalifaxC.A. FeltonEvaluation of the Afimilk Pedometer Plus Tag system for predicting estrus in dairy cows housed in tie-stalls.
2011Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Animal Science, HalifaxC.A. FeltonEvaluation of the Afimilk Pedometer Plus Tag system for predicting parturition in dairy cows housed in tie-stalls
201129th Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AB.C.A. FeltonDoes flooring surface affect estrous behaviour in lactating dairy cows?
201129th Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AB.C.A. FeltonDoes age or lactation affect the expression of mounting behaviour in dairy cattle?
201129th Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AB.Marcos ColazoPregnancy establishment in dairy cows supplemented with progesterone before and after timed-AI
201129th Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, AB.Marcos ColazoAssociation between endometrial cytology and uterine ultrasound findings in postpartum dairy cows
2010Dairy Day held at the Dairy Research and Technology Centre, University of Alberta South Campus, Edmonton, ABC.A. FeltonFlooring surface and estrous behaviour in dairy cows
201021st International Pig Veterinary Society Congress, Vancouver, BCA. Cameron
Fixed Time Artificial Insemination in Cyclic Gilts Synchronized with Porcine Luteinizing Hormone (pLH)
201028th Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, ABMarcos Colazo Does the length of progesterone treatment in heifers matter?
201028th Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, ABC.A. FeltonEvaluation of the Afitag pedometer system for estrus detection and calving predictability in dairy cows.
201028th Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Red Deer, ABD.J. AmbroseCows with cystic ovary conceive normally to Ovsynch/ timed AI.
2010Banff Pork SeminarA. CameronSynchronizing ovulation for fixed time artificial insemination in cyclic gilts with porcine luteinizing hormone.
2009Western Canadian Dairy SeminarB. L. DyckEffects of Supplemental Dietary Starch on Productivity and Reproductive Performance in Postpartum Dairy Cows.
2009ADSA/CSAS/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting.Marco ColazoPlasma LH concentrations and CL function in Holstein cows given procine LH, GnRH, or estradiol benzoate
2008Western Canadian Dairy SeminarM.G. Colazo
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Increased pregnancy rates in dairy cows following a modified Ovsynch/TAI protocol.
2008Western Canadian Dairy SeminarM.G. ColazoDry period diets affect postpartum reproductive performance of dairy cows.
2008Annual meeting of the International Embryo Transfer SocietyJ. SmallFSH at CIDR removal does not affect pregnancy rate to a CIDR-based, Cosynch protocol in lactating beef cows

 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Miranda Smit.
This information published to the web on November 17, 2014.
Last Reviewed/Revised on November 28, 2018.