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Isabelle D'Costa

Position/Title: M.Sc by Coursework

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University of Guelph, OAC: Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management - Equine Management Major (2021)

Current M.Sc Animal Nutrition (by Coursework) Student

Advisor: Dr. Wendy Pearson


I grew up on a small horse farm just outside Caledon, Ontario. I was very involved in Pony Club throughout my childhood, which fostered a passion for learning more about equine health and sciences, and ultimately helped guide me towards choosing to major in Equine Management at University of Guelph! As the owner of senior horses and dogs, my interests are focused on nutritional strategies to help improve the lives of aging animals, with special interest in the theory of inflammaging (that by-products from biochemical reactions with oxygen contribute to inflammation and the aging process). Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my horses, competing in OEA horse shows, learning about animal training & behaviour and hiking with my dog!

Academic Experience

During my undergrad degree, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Pearson for an undergrad special research project course. My project investigated the potential of an artifical light treatment to improve equine nutrient utilization. While extended photoperiod can improve nutrient utilization in other herbivore species such as dairy cows, it has not been investigated in the horse. There are also unique elements of equine sleep and feeding behaviours which make it unclear whether effects observed in other herbivore species would directly transfer to horses! 

In my Master's program, I will be working with Dr. Pearson and other students from Pearson Lab on an in vitro experiment investigating different antioxidants and their potential effect on controlling inflammation.