A Clemson University doctoral student was recognized for his research in poultry science during the 2023 Poultry Science Association (PSA) annual meeting held this summer in Philadelphia.
Santiago Sasia, an animal and veterinary sciences doctoral student from Argentina, won a Certificate of Excellence award for a poster outlining research conducted on broiler chickens.
The poster, Effect of Different Ileal Content Collection Methods on Ileal Amino Acid Digestibility Coefficients Determination in Broiler Chickens, focuses on comparative evaluations of two distinct collection techniques – gentle squeezing and flushing – frequently used interchangeably in poultry digestibility tests to obtain ileal (intestinal) content from broilers and assessing apparent ileal amino acid digestibility without considering variabilities that can cause differences in the results.
Standardizing digestibility methodologies is crucial for accurate and comparable results in poultry nutrition research.
“This topic was selected because, initially, we viewed this experiment as a pilot study designed to identify and rectify any potential errors that might arise in forthcoming research projects focused on this topic,” Sasia said. “As a supplementary objective, we found it intriguing to investigate which method of digesta collection could effectively minimize errors in our future research endeavors. Thankfully, our pilot experiment yielded favorable outcomes, providing valuable insights.”
Sasia plans to pursue a career in animal nutrition with a focus on poultry, while simultaneously enhancing his expertise in the field of data science. He said his experiences as a Clemson student have taught him how to conduct research and then, correctly report on the research. Preparing and presenting this poster afforded him “invaluable experience for character-building in the industry and kickstarting a professional network,” as well as “strengthening” his resume and increasing his “industry visibility.”
“Dr. Mireille Arguelles-Ramos, my adviser, emphasized the importance of preparedness and taught me to always have ‘Plan B and C’ for unexpected challenges,” Sasia said. “She also trusted me with leadership responsibilities, which contributed to my personal and professional growth.
“In addition, Dr. William Bridges guided me through statistical analysis, fostering an analytical mindset for data evaluation in my research. Their mentorship has been invaluable to my development as a researcher.”
Other students working with Sasia on the project include Cara Coker, a senior animal and veterinary sciences student from St. Mathews, South Carolina; Christina Vogel of Annandale, New Jersey, who graduate in May 2023 and is now working on a master’s in pet nutrition at the University of Illinois; Sara Grooms of Chapin, South Carolina who also graduated in May 2023 and is now working on a master’s degree in veterinary biomedical sciences at Lincoln Memorial University, and Isabelle Raymond of Wethersfield, Connecticut who graduated in December 2022 and is now in veterinary school at St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine.
Research is an important element of the Clemson animal and veterinary sciences graduate program. The purpose of this program is to provide a high-quality education for graduate students with diverse goals and to develop, through research, the knowledge and technology necessary to continually improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability of animal agriculture.
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