Name: Mateus Zucato Toledo
Hometown: Socorro, São Paulo – Brazil
Prior universities attended and degrees earned:
University of Wisconsin-Madison – M.S. in Dairy Science – 2017
São Paulo State University – B.S. in Animal Science – 2012
University of Wisconsin-Madison – Ph.D. in Dairy Science – 2021
Current Program: Doctorate
Graduate Field: Dairy Nutrition, Reproductive Physiology
What is your research area?
My research area is focused on interactions of nutrition and reproduction in dairy cows. More specifically, cows during the transition period can experience a negative nutritional balance, especially in energy and amino acids, which could lead to decreased cow performance. One of the most studied and characterized functional amino acid is methionine, with several functions besides protein synthesis (DNA methylation, synthesis of other compounds, antioxidant balance). Thus, methionine supplementation during the transition period has the potential to improve lactation, reproductive performance, and health. The overall goal of my research is to evaluate the effects of feeding rumen-protected methionine during the pre and postpartum periods on plasma amino acids concentrations, production, reproduction, and health of dairy cows.
Why did you decide to attend UW-Madison?
Studying Dairy Science at the UW-Madison was always a dream! I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Milo Wiltbank in Brazil during a conference, and then was invited for an internship in his laboratory. After one year, I started my graduate program with nutrition and reproduction, working also with Dr. Randy Shaver. I chose UW-Madison because the Dairy Science program is one of the best and provides unique opportunities. Some of the best researchers in the world in the Dairy Science field are here, and I wanted to learn with the best. Also, Wisconsin is the America’s Dairyland and is one of the leading dairy states in the country. I had the opportunity to connect with dairy producers and the dairy industry during my graduate program, and I really enjoyed!
What has been your most memorable college experience at UW-Madison?
UW-Madison has provided several memorable experiences! I had the opportunity to work with excellent professors and researchers and conduct unique research that I hope will contribute to the dairy science industry. I have met people from all over the world! I am very thankful to have met so many great people and have collaborated with some of them. I am very proud of being a UW-Madison grad student – UW-Madison has a great environment for students! Also, Summer days at the Terrace with friends are the best days!
What makes your graduate study unique?
Studies to evaluate the effects of nutrition on reproductive performance and health are very hard to conduct, and normally a large number of cows are needed. Also, no previous study has evaluated the effects of methionine supplementation during the transition period on reproductive performance of dairy cows. So, our main study was conducted using a large number of cows (n = 470) using a pen-based approach to determine the effects of feeding rumen-protected methionine on plasma amino acids, production, reproduction, and health. This was a companion project between researchers of UW-Madison and Cornell University.
What are your future career goals?
Once I am done with my PhD, I plan to start my career in the Wisconsin dairy industry and working as a nutrition and management consultant. I will be joining Land O’ Lakes/Purina Animal Nutrition and hope to use all the training and skills obtained during graduate school to help dairy producers and grow the company business.This article was posted in Blog.