Grad Profile: Laura Boudreau, Agriculture
Rebecca Schneidereit - October 3, 2012
Every spring and fall, we profile just a few of our amazing graduates in our Convocation handout. We proudly feature these stories here on Dal News. Congrats to all our new graduates!
Animals have always been a big part of Laura Boudreau’s life.
“We always had pets at home and I helped out on friends’ hobby farms,” she says.
After Boudreau received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Nova Scotia Agricultural College (which is now Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture), she took two years off to indulge another passion: travelling. During a year abroad in New Zealand she lived out of a tent for six months, working on an orchard and a vineyard before ending up on a farm.
It was there that she put her skills to the test: “I worked as a calf rearing manager on a dairy farm, providing care and nutrition to calves.”
She returned to her hometown of Truro, N.S. and her alma mater to complete her Master of Science in Agriculture. She says that the campus, now known as Dal’s Agricultural Campus, is a special place and it was an easy decision to return as a graduate student. “It’s an intimate family setting. Everyone cares about you and sets you up for success.”
Her research explored the effects of moderate diet restriction on the health and reproductive performance of mink dams, finding that the diet restriction improved litter size and resulted in less DNA damage.
She stayed active in campus life outside her classes as well, serving as graduate student president, working as a teaching and marking assistant, teaching her own undergraduate statistics lab and completing a leadership certificate that included volunteering on campus and in the community.
Boudreau is working at the Canadian Centre for Fur Animal Research until May and then hopes to complete a career focus program through the government. She’s also hoping to return to the classroom, this time in front of it as a lecturer, so she can share her passion for animal science.
Also on the horizon: more travelling. She’s looking forward to snowboarding in Newfoundland and hitting the surf in Costa Rica.