Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

Genomics

Dr. Stephen O'Brien
Dr. Stephen O'Brien
Head, Genetics Section
Laboratory Chief, Laboratory of Genomic Diversity
National Cancer Institute

Breeding

Dr. Bernhard Benkel, Ph.D., BSc.
Senior Canada Research Chair, Agricultural Biotechnology
Director of the Atlantic Research Centre for Agricultural Genomics
Nova Scotia Agricultural College
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Dr. Bernhard Benkel received his training in Molecular Genetics at the University of Ottawa, working on the regulation gene expression in the fruit fly. Following a Research Associateship with the Biological Sciences Department of the National Research Council of Canada, he joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Animal Research Centre at the Central Experimental Farm to work in the area of livestock genomics. Dr. Benkel is currently the Nova Scotia Agricultural College’s Senior Canada Research Chair in Agricultural Biotechnology and Director of Atlantic Research Centre in Agricultural Genomics. In addition to his work in mink genomics, his research program also includes projects involving the characterization of retroid elements in livestock, genotyping in lobsters, and the identification of genes underlying reproductive longevity in mammals.


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Dr. Knud Christensen
Associate Professor in Animal Genetics, Royal Vet.
Agric. University Copenhagen
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Dr. Knud Christensen obtained a Ph.D. in animal genetics in 1968 at the Royal Vet.- and Agric University Copenhagen, where Prof Ole Venge had been his main tutor. Dr. Christensen’s background is animal science with special emphasis on populations and quantitative genetics.

Since 1979, he has been Associate Professor in Animal Genetics at the Royal Vet. & Agric. University Copenhagen. In the 1970’s run projects with the aim to include diverse production traits in the breeding goal for swine. Results from this project were one of the factors in a total alteration of the Danish Swine Breeding Program. Inspired by Professor Venge, his focus has, in the latter years, mainly been on mink and dog breeding. Since the end of the 80’s the field of genetics has been dominated by the new methods within molecular genetics, where it was made possible to study the DNA sequences directly. Computers have been another new tool within modern genetics. In the last many years running servers has been one of his tasks. A work on a gene map for mink based on DNA sequencing and computer technology has in the latter years been in focus, which has resulted in some deeper knowledge of the colour genes of the mink. Dr. Christensen has, with various partners, published close to 100 papers on genetic topics most of which in international journals.

Behaviour and Welfare

Dr. Georgia Mason
Canada Research Chair, Animal Welfare
University of Guelph
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Georgia Mason is a behavioural biologist interested in the chronic effects of standard housing on brain, behaviour and welfare; the objective assessment of welfare; and the factors that allow some individuals (or species) to adapt to captive life more easily than others. She has a Ph.D. in animal behaviour from Cambridge University, where she also held a post-doctoral research fellowship. Professor Mason then taught comparative anatomy and animal behaviour for 10 years in Oxford University’s Zoology Dept., building up a research group specialising in welfare. Since Oct. 2004 she has held a research chair in the Animal Sciences Dept., University of Guelph, Ontario; she is also a Visiting Professor in Welfare Physiology at the Royal Veterinary College (London). She has approximately 100 research publications, including two Nature papers and an edited and co-authored book on stereotypic behaviour. Her fur animal projects have included investigating the effects of weaning age on kit behaviour, the effects of environmental enrichment on abnormal behaviour and reproductive success, and the extent to which mink prefer different types of environmental enrichment. She has also sat on two international committees focussing on fur animal welfare: the European Commission Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare Working Party on Fur Animal Welfare (2000 - 2001); and the Fur Animal Welfare Research Committee (1999 - 2001).

Nutrition

Dr. Anders Skrede
Senior Scientist
Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences
Norwegian University of Life Sciences

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Dr. Oystein Ahlstrom
Associate Professor
Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences
Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Health and Disease

Dr. Hans Henrik Dietz
Associate Professor and Head
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences.

Dr. Bruce Hunter
Ontario Veterinary College
University of Guelph
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Dr. Hunter has been a faculty member and Professor in the Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph for the past 27 years and a veterinary pathologist for the Ontario government for three years prior to that. He is an avian/furbearing animal/wildlife pathologist and has a special interest in avian pathology, diseases of furbearing animals, wildlife diseases and ecosystem health. His main area of research is the study of diseases of birds, both wild birds and domestic poultry and in diseases of commercial mink.  Present research is focused on biosecurity in the feather and mink industries, humane methods for mass bird destruction in the event of a national emergency and calicivirus enteritis in mink.

Economic Sustainability - Sustainability Workshop

Dr. Larry Martin
Senior Research Fellow
George Morris Centre
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Dr. Larry Martin, Senior Research Fellow was born in Missouri and raised on a dairy farm in Ohio. He was educated at Ohio State University and the University of Illinois.  At the University of Illinois, he was sponsored by the Ford Foundation to conduct his dissertation research in India.  Dr. Martin joined the faculty of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Business, University of Guelph in 1972, teaching marketing and risk management until 1986 when he was appointed Chair of the Department.

Upon completing his term as Chair, the George Morris Centre had been conceptualized and someone was needed to turn a dream into reality. Dr. Martin was appointed the first Director of Canada's only independent agri-food think-tank in 1990, and CEO when the Centre became a not-for-profit corporation in 1998.  In 2007 he became Senior Research Fellow at the Centre, with a focus on our education programs. Dr. Martin is also a fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

Management - Sustainability Workshop

Dr. Steen Henrik Moller
Senior Scientist
Department of Animal Health, Welfare, and Nutrition
Research Centre Foulum, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Aarhus University
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Dr. Steen Henrik Moller is a Senior Scientist with the Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition, Research Centre Foulum, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University.

Research in the effects of housing systems (e.g. sheds, pens, nest boxes, watering system) and management (e.g. monitoring, feeding, handling) on health, welfare and production in mink (Mustela Vison).

Management tools are developed in order to support the tactical and operational management of the mink farmer. Planning and control of the mink farm, is supported by aggregation of scientific evidence and practical experience, into mink farm management systems aimed at heard health, welfare and production. At the tactical level, the use of on-farm experiments and of aggregated farm production data is investigated, in order to develop farm specific information on the need for adjustments in management. Methods for assessment of the impact of production factors, on the health and welfare status of mink, is developed, tested and applied in management procedures on private farms. The results are made available to the mink farmers, the extension service, veterinarians and others as concepts and tools for welfare assessment, health- and production management in specific production periods or the entire annual production cycle.

Environmental Sustainability - Sustainability Workshop

Dr. Robert Gordon
Associate Professor
Canada Research Chair, Agriculture Resources Management
Dean of Research, Nova Scotia Agricultural College
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Bio Not Available.

 

 


Dr. Gordon Price
Assistant Professor
Innovative Waste Management Research Chair
Nova Scotia Agricultural College