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PhD Student: Vera Perricone

She graduated with honors in July 2016 in Veterinary Medicine at University of Milan, discussing a thesis entitled “Dietary supplementation of beta-alanine in weaned piglets: effects on growth performance, serum biochemistry and plasma concentration of amino acids” (Supervisor: Prof. Valentino Bontempo). During her career she spent one year abroad, in Spain, at the Veterinary Faculty of Cordoba, attending at the veterinary hospital. Her research is primarily concerned with animal nutrition, the study of new feeds and nutritional technologies for higher health and sustainability of livestock products.

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Tutor: Dr. Alessandro Agazzi

Dr. Alessandro Agazzi is researcher in Animal Nutrition from 2006 at the Università degli Studi di Milano- Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety (VESPA). He has published 38 papers on international scientific journals with impact factor and these publications have been cited more than 190 times with an H-index of 8. The general topic of his work is the role of nutrition of both monogastric and poligastric animals on performance and health status. In recent years the research activity has focused on the efficacy of natural compounds, growth promoter alternatives, and fatty acids sources as mediators on inflammation, immune response and gut health with special regard to polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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Agricultural resources will be not enough to provide food for everyone in the next future and are still affected from poor sustainable technologies. Feeding the world with renewable, low-impact, high-value feed and food sources and lower the impact of animal productions by new technologies is the challenge for the future. Conventional feed sources in livestock nutrition leads to competition between animals and human, to solve this problem improved sustainability and productivity of terrestrial livestock systems are due. At the moment the nutritional regimes for milk and meat production are based on not environmental friendly vegetable or animal-derived sources; in such conditions alternative, renewable and environmental-friendly feed sources are needed to lower costs for animals rearing and milk and meat production. In the same way new feeds, such as specific nutritional additives, can support increased nutrient efficiency and animal health status, decreasing both the production costs of livestock rearing and medications. On the other side the improvement or the development of new nutritional technologies could match the target of a higher sustainability of production cycles, assuring optimal nutrient availability at a higher efficiency rate and lower costs. Both new or alternative feeds and available innovative nutritional technologies are strictly connected each others, being often the new technologies applied to perform a new feed or nutritional compounds or being used to improve the nutritional effect of the feeds. In this view at the moment the more efficient, sustainable and economical approaches still are not identified and a large research area is available. The aim of the project is to evaluate use of alternative feeds to conventional sources, innovative feeds and technologies for higher sustainability in livestock, through improved performance and health status.

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