MartinZuidhof01

Martin Zuidhof, PhD (Animal Science)

Associate Professor, Academic Leader of the Poultry Research Centre

Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences

Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science

About Me

Degree

PhD, University of Alberta

Job/Research Area 

Precision feeding & Mathematical modeling 


Research

Dr. Zuidhof was the first in the world to develop a transformative precision feeding system to control individual feed intake in group-housed chickens. With it, his research team has been able to consistently achieve very high flock uniformity (coefficient of variation for body weight < 1%). The system is also proving to be an excellent way to remove confounding body weight variation from experiments so as to better elucidate physiological and metabolic mechanisms that contribute to reproductive success in poultry. 

In addition to its practical commercial potential, the precision feeding system facilitates high quality research with free-run birds, directly addressing the societal issue of animal confinement.

Research focus

  1. Precision feeding
  2. Broiler breeder and layer management
  3. Optimizing pullet body composition for lifetime reproductive efficiency
  4. Dietary energy partitioning to maintenance (heat production), growth, and reproduction
  5. Broiler growth and development (optimization)

Unique skillset and capabilities

  1. Development and optimization of linear and nonlinear mixed statistical models
  2. Development of nonlinear mathematical models of biological systems
  3. Bioeconomic modeling
  4. Precision feeding 
  • Flock uniformity (<1% coefficient of variation in body weight)
  • Real-time pair-feeding
  • Analysis of foraging (feed seeking) and feeding behaviour patterns


Teaching

Teaching philosophy

Some of the core principles of my teaching philosophy include mastery of the material to be taught, stimulating questions about the material, and providing support for students to learn more from credible sources. I read textbooks, peer-reviewed material in the subject area, and trade publications that relate to issues discussed in my classes. I interact with industry and research professionals for innovative insights into their latest discoveries, successes, and challenges. Beyond mastery of subject material, I recognize that students must learn through experiences that relate to the subject matter. My goal is to present a broad range of perspectives so that students can develop not only knowledge but also informed opinions relating to subject matter. During lectures and project work, I create opportunities for students to articulate these points of view, which gives them a deeper understanding of the material and its context. 

Guiding principles

  1. Provide opportunities for CREATIVE expression
  2. CONNECTING teaching and research
  3. Learning happens best in supportive COMMUNITIES
  4. CLARITY and succinct communication
  5. CONSEQUENCE and relevance - what students are learning matters in the real world
  6. CRITICAL scientific thinking
  7. CONTINUOUS improvement