Animal and Poultry Science

Faculty | MSc | PhD | Shared | Courses

Chair - Ann M. Gibbins (146 ANNU, Ext. 2251) (E-mail:
Graduate co-ordinator - Trevor K. Smith (238 ANNU, Ext. 3746) (E-mail:
Graduate Secretary - Wendy Bauer (144 ANNU, Ext. 6215) (E-mail:

James L. Atkinson BSc UMIST, Manchester, MSc London, PhD Guelph - Associate Professor
Ronald O. Ball BSc, MSc Alberta, PhD Guelph - Professor
Shai Barbut BS Hebrew University of Jerusalem, MS, PhD Wisconsin (Madison) - Associate Professor
Jock G. Buchanan-Smith BSc Aberdeen, BS Iowa, MS Texas Tech., PhD Oklahoma State - Professor
Mary M. Buhr BSc, MSc, PhD Waterloo - Associate Professor
John H. Burton BSA Toronto, MS, PhD Cornell - Professor
John P. Cant BSc (Agr) Nova Scotia, MS, PhD California - Assistant Professor
Pablo E. Colucci BSc, DVM Uruguay, MSc Cornell, PhD Guelph - Associate Professor
Jack C.M. Dekkers BSc, MSc Wageningen, PhD Wisconsin (Madison) - Associate Professor
Cornelius F.M. de Lange BSc, MSc Wageningen, PhD Alberta - Assistant Professor
Ian J.H. Duncan BSc (Agr), PhD Edinburgh - Professor
Robert J. Etches BSc (Agr) British Columbia, MSc McGill, PhD, DSc Reading - Professor
Ann M. Gibbins BSc Birmingham, MSc, PhD Guelph - Professor
John P. Gibson BSc, PhD Birmingham - Associate Professor
Roger R. Hacker BS Wisconsin, MS Missouri, PhD Purdue - Professor
J. Frank Hurnik BA, MA Nitra, PhD Guelph - Professor
Gordon J. King DVM Toronto, MSc, PhD Guelph, FIBiol - Professor
Steven Leeson MPhil, PhD Nottingham - Professor
Michael M. Lohuis BSc, PhD Guelph - Assistant Professor
Brian W. McBride BSc, MSc Guelph, PhD Alberta - Professor
Ian McMillan BSc, MSc, PhD Toronto - Professor
Larry P. Milligan BSc, MSc Alberta, PhD California (Davis), FRSC - Professor and Vice-President, Research
Richard D. Moccia BSc, MSc Guelph - Associate Professor
J. Andrew B. Robinson BSc, MSc Guelph, PhD Cornell - Adjunct Professor
Larry R. Schaeffer BS Purdue, MS, PhD Cornell - Professor
Trevor K. Smith BSc British Columbia, MSc Manitoba, PhD Cornell - Associate Professor
E. James Squires BSc, MSc, PhD Memorial - Associate Professor
Howard J. Swatland BSc London, MSc, PhD Wisconsin - Professor
John S. Walton BSc, PhD Reading - Professor
James W. Wilton BSA Manitoba, MSc Toronto, PhD Cornell - Professor

From the Department of Biomedical Sciences
W. Larry Grovum BSA Saskatchewan, PhD New England - Professor

Associated Graduate Faculty
David T. Armstrong BSA Toronto, MS, PhD Cornell - University of Western Ontario
Edward B. Burnside BSA, MSA Toronto, PhD North Carolina - Vice-Principal Academic, Nova Scotia Agricultural College; University Professor Emeritus
Gerald W. Friars BA McGill, MA, PhD Purdue - Chief Scientist, Atlantic Salmon Federation, St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Robert A. Kemp BSc (Agr), MSc, PhD Guelph - Adjunct Professor
W. Douglas Morrison BSA Toronto, MS, PhD Illinois - University Professor Emeritus
Paul B. Pencharz MB Liverpool, PhD MIT - University of Toronto
Denis Petitclerc BSc Sherbrooke, BScA, MSc Laval, PhD Michigan State - Research Scientist, Lennoxville Research Centre, Lennoxville, Quebec
Charles Smith BSc (Agr) Aberdeen, MSc, PhD Iowa, DSc Edinburgh, FRSE - University Professor Emeritus
John D. Summers BSA, MSA Toronto, PhD Rutgers - University Professor Emeritus
Valdes, Eduardo V. BSc Chile, MSc, PhD Guelph - Manager, Animal Nutrition Centre, Metro Toronto Zoo

Special Graduate Faculty
Paul J. Boettcher BSc Wisconsin (Madison), MSc Minnesota (St. Paul), PhD Iowa State - Research Associate
Tina M. Widowski BS, MS, PhD Illinois (Urbana) - Research Associate

The Department of Animal and Poultry Science offers programs of study leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Animals of significance in food production are the department's major interest and research emphasis. The graduate program encompasses four fields: animal breeding and genetics (quantitative or molecular); animal nutrition (monogastric or ruminant); animal physiology (environmental, reproductive, or behavioural); and growth and metabolism (meat science). The latter field is offered in collaboration with the Department of Food Science and all fields are enriched through interaction with faculty members from other university departments.    The major expertise of individual faculty is as follows: animal breeding and genetics (Boettcher, Dekkers, Gibbins, Gibson, Kemp, Lohuis, McMillan, Robinson, Schaeffer, Squires, Wilton), animal nutrition (Atkinson, Ball, Buchanan-Smith, Burton, Cant, Colucci, de Lange, Leeson, McBride, Milligan, Mowat, Smith, Valdes), animal physiology (Buhr, Duncan, Engelhardt, Etches, Hacker, Hurnik, King, Moccia, Squires, Walton, Widowski), and growth and metabolism (Ball, Barbut, Swatland).

Admission Requirements
   Research in animal science is enriched by the interaction of scientists from diverse academic disciplines. Accordingly, there are no specific prerequisite courses expected of applicants to the graduate programs in the department. Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis, taking into account the applicant's academic background and relevant experience.

   The MSc program involves advanced courses and the completion of a research project. These are means of developing the skills and intellectual curiosity that may further qualify the student for a leadership role within the animal industry or serve as a prerequisite for doctoral studies. The MSc degree may be completed via two routes: by thesis or by course work and major paper. The MSc by course work and major paper is offered in two areas of specialization: animal breeding & genetics and animal nutrition & metabolism.

Admission Requirements
   An honours baccalaureate, with a minimum average grade of `B' during the last four semesters of study, will normally be required.

Degree Requirements
MSc by Thesis
   Candidates for the thesis-based MSc degree must successfully complete a prescribed series of courses, conduct a research project, prepare a thesis based on their results and defend this in a final examination. The number of course credits required in this option will be decided by the student's advisory committee in consultation with the student, and may exceed the minimum 1.5 credits required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Generally, 4 or 5 courses (1.5-2.0 credits) will be taken, including the mandatory seminar course, 1006600 (0.0 credit).

MSc by Course work and Major Paper
   Candidates for the MSc degree by course work and major paper option must complete a minimum of 4.0 credits (9 courses). Of these courses, one will be the departmental seminar course, 1006600 (0.0 credit), and another will be Major Paper in Animal and Poultry Science, 1006900 (1.0 credit). The major paper will be a detailed, critical review of an area of study related to the specialization chosen by the student and should include analyses and interpretations of relevant data. The content of the major paper will be presented to the department in the seminar course. At the beginning of the program, the student and student's advisory committee will design the course-work program according to the program guidelines and the aspirations and background of the student. Students will normally choose a minimum of 4 courses in the area of specialization, one of which will be Major Paper in Animal and Poultry Science, 1006900, and a minimum of two courses outside the area of specialization. These latter courses can be offered by departments other than Animal and Poultry Science. A maximum of one approved senior-level undergraduate course can be included in the list of prescribed courses. Recommended graduate courses in the two areas of specialization are as follows: Animal Breeding & Genetics (1006900, 1006210, 1006240, 1006370, 1006380, 1006390, 1006450); Animal Nutrition & Metabolism (1006900, 1006010, 1006020, 1006250, 1006260, 1006360, 1006450).
   The MSc by course work and major paper degree will require a minimum of three semesters of full-time study (or the equivalent).

   The PhD program is research oriented and provides instruction and experiences that develop the student's ability to independently formulate hypotheses and design and execute experiments or conduct observational studies to reach definitive conclusions.

Admission Requirements
   Students entering a PhD program should show potential for independent, productive and original research. A PhD program can be entered by three routes: following completion of an MSc program; following transfer prior to completion of an MSc program; and directly from a bachelor degree. In general, a minimum average grade of `B' for a completed MSc program plus strong letters of reference are required. Students wishing to be considered for transfer to a PhD program prior to completion of the MSc program must request the transfer before the end of the fourth semester and have an excellent academic record as well as a strong aptitude for research. Direct admission to the PhD program may be permitted for applicants who hold a bachelor's degree and have an excellent academic history and strong indications of research potential.

Degree Requirements
   Satisfactory completion of a PhD program requires a comprehensive knowledge of the area of emphasis and the ability to conduct original research in this area, plus a sound general background in two related areas of study. This competence is demonstrated in a qualifying examination and through the design and execution of a substantial and original research project. Based on this research, a thesis is prepared and defended in a final examination. The number of courses required for a PhD program will be decided by the student's advisory committee in consultation with the student. The minimum requirement is the seminar course, 1006600.

MSc (Aquaculture) Interdepartmental Program
   The Department of Animal and Poultry Science participates in the master of science in aquaculture program. Professors Atkinson, McMillan and Moccia are members of the Aquaculture Interdepartmental Group. These faculty members' expertise includes aspects of aquaculture; they may serve as advisers for MSc (Aquaculture) students. Please consult the Aquaculture listing for a detailed description of the MSc (Aquaculture) interdepartmental program.

Although the courses offered are listed by field, several are relevant to more than one field. Some courses are only offered when there is a certain minimum enrolment.

Animal Breeding and Genetics
1006210 Principles of Selection in Animal Breeding (0.5) F
Definition of selection goals, prediction of genetic progress and breeding values, and the comparison of selection programs.
1006240 Topics in Quantitative Genetics and Animal Breeding (0.5) W
Current literature and classical papers pertaining to quantitative genetics and breeding are reviewed in detail.
1006370 Animal Models (0.5) W
The course covers quantitative genetics theory associated with animal models; linear models applied to genetic evaluation of animals; estimation of genetic parameters for animal models; and computing algorithms for large datasets.
1006380 Methodology in Animal Breeding (0.5) even years F
The course covers Bayesian approaches to analysis of data; categorical data analysis; accounting for selection bias; major gene analyses; models for handling marker genes; and recent developments in statistical methodology related to animal breeding applications.
1006390 Quantitative Genetics Theory in Animal Breeding (0.5) odd years W
Advanced training in the mathematical aspects of    quantitative genetic theory as applied to animal breeding.
1006450 Topics in Animal Biotechnology (0.5) W
The impact of recombinant DNA techniques on present and future research in animal science and on the livestock industry is critically appraised.

Animal Nutrition
1006010 Topics in Comparative Animal Nutrition (0.5) F
Current topics in the feeding and nutrition of agricultural, companion and captive animal species. Emphasis is placed on the influence of nutrients on metabolic integration at tissue, organ and whole-animal levels.
1006020 Poultry and Swine Nutrition (0.5) W
A discussion of current topics in the feeding and nutrition of domestic fowl and swine based on the critical appraisal of selected journal readings.
1006260 Digestion and Metabolism in the Ruminant (0.5) even years W
A review of current research on rumen function, post-ruminal digestion and host tissue metabolism, integrating fundamental principles so as to formulate models of nutrient utilization. The course consists of assigned readings, lectures and tutorials.
1006360 Techniques in Animal Nutrition Research (0.5) even years F
Theory and/or practices of techniques to evaluate feedstuffs and determine nutrient utilization in poultry, swine and ruminants are covered through lectures, short laboratories and a major project.

Animal Physiology
1006400 Mammalian Reproduction (0.5) odd years F
Discussions and applications of methodology for collection and examination of gametes and embryos and for measurements of hormones in biological fluids.
1006440 Ethology of Farm Animals (0.5) W
Advanced approach to the principles of behavioural dynamics applicable to farm animals, to production performance and to animal experimentation. Growth and Metabolism
1006250 Growth and Metabolism (0.5) W
Animal growth and metabolism are considered at the cellular level in a manner that extends beyond the basic disciplines of biometrics and biochemistry with attention focused on the main carcass components - muscle, fat and bone.

1006100 Special Project (0.5) F, W, S
Supervised program of study in some aspect of animal and poultry science that can involve an experimental project and/or detailed analysis of the literature.
1006600 Seminar (0.0) F, W
This course is required for successful completion of MSc and PhD programs. The major findings of the thesis or major paper are presented to the department.
1006900 Major Paper in Animal and Poultry Science (1.0) F, W, S
A detailed, critical review of an area of study related to the specialization of students in the MSc by course work and major paper option that includes analysis and interpretation of relevant data.

Undergraduate Courses:
   A maximum of one senior-undergraduate course per degree may be taken for graduate credit as authorized by the department.

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