University of Alberta PhD Student Awarded Aviagen Poultry Genetics Scholarship

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Canadian student Jeffrey Friend dedicates research to animal health and welfare

University of Alberta Ph.D. student Jeffrey Friend has become the second recipient of the Aviagen® Poultry Genetics Scholarship. He was chosen from a pool of strong candidates due to his extensive research that could potentially lead to innovative improvements in bird health and welfare.

Aviagen offers the funding through the Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC) Post-Graduate Scholarship program. The poultry genetics company is committed to the Canadian poultry industry, and has supported the CPRC since 2012. A portion of Aviagen’s contribution has been allocated to this important program, which is intended to help further the education of promising up-and-coming poultry professionals.

Proven commitment to animal welfare

Friend is currently completing his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Clover Bench from the University of Alberta’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science. He earned a Master of Science from the same university.

Friend was chosen for the award based on his research and interest in poultry health and welfare. His current study aims to recommend genomic markers to improve the welfare of laying hens through genetic selection, as well as provide beneficial management recommendations for egg producers.

“I’m grateful to Aviagen for providing this scholarship, which will support me as I work on my project to improve welfare in laying hens,” remarked Friend.

“The future of our industry depends on our ability to attract bright, inventive people who have a passion to make a difference, and Jeffrey certainly fits this profile. We thank Aviagen for joining us in our endeavor to encourage aspiring poultry students,” commented Dr. Bruce Roberts, Executive Director of the CPRC.

“To fulfil our mission to feed current and future generations with a sustainable, quality source of protein, we need bright young people who share our ideals,” added Scott Gillingham, Canadian regional business consultant for Aviagen. “We appreciate the CPRC for their role in providing this opportunity, and value our longstanding and productive relationship, as together we strive to promote the future of the poultry industry in Canada and beyond.”

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