Mélissa Duplessis, Ph.D., agronome

Image Mélissa Duplessis
Research scientist

Smart Dairy Production: Integration of cow nutrition, metabolism and health as well as environmental impacts of diets

Current research and/or projects

  • Ensuring ecosystem productivity and resiliency by assessing the impact of trace-metal contamination from manure on the potential for cyanobacterial and harmful algal blooms in fresh water bodies - Trials in commercial herds (Living lab) and in experimental herd;
  • Evaluate apparent absorption of trace metals and phosphorus between Holstein and Ayrshire cows;
  • Describe the actual practice in commercial dairy herds regarding trace-metal feeding;
  • Impact of vitamin B supplementation on energy and protein metabolism during the peripartum period of dairy cows;
  • Impact of cow nutrition on vitamin B12 concentration in milk.

Research and/or project statements

  • Trace metals and their impact on the ecosystem;
  • Better understand interactions between systems by integration of knowledge;
  • Vitamin B, minerals, energy and protein metabolism during the transition period of dairy cows;
  • Link between B-vitamin status and indicators of energy at the beginning of the lactation;
  • Impact of nutrition and metabolism on vitamin B12 concentration in milk of cow.

Professional activities / interests

  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Precision nutrition
  • Metabolism
  • Smart dairy farming

Education and awards

Mention on the Dean's list of Université Laval for my Ph. D. thesis and defense (Tableau d'honneur de la Faculté des études supérieures et postdoctorales de l'Université Laval), 2014

Ph. D. in Animal Sciences, Université Laval, 2014

B. Sc. in Agronomy oriented in Animal Sciences, Université Laval, 2009

International experience and/or work

Internship during my Ph. D. at Cornell University, NY, USA with Dr. Tom Overton from Department of Animal Science.

Post-doctoral internship at Lactanet, Canadian Network for Dairy Excellence, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Canada. 

Collaboration with Dr. Hélène Soyeurt from Université de Liège, Belgium for a project aiming to predict vitamin B12 concentration in milk using mid-infrared spectral data.

Key publications

  1. Girard, C.L., Vanacker, N., Beaudet, V., Duplessis, M., Lacasse, P. (2019). Glucose and insulin responses to an intravenous glucose tolerance test administered to feed-restricted dairy cows receiving folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements, 102(7), 6226-6234. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-16298

    2019 - View publication details

  2. Girard, C. L., Vanacker, N., M. Duplessis and P. Lacasse. 2017. Effects of supplementary folic acid and vitamin B12 on glucose and insulin responses of fed-restricted dairy cows to an intravenous glucose tolerance test. Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 100, Suppl. 2: 299

    2018 - View publication details

  3. Duplessis, M., Mann, S., Nydam, D.V., Girard, C.L., Pellerin, D., Overton, T.R. (2015). Short communication: Folates and vitamin B12 in colostrum and milk from dairy cows fed different energy levels during the dry period, 98(8), 5454-5459. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2015-9507

    2015 - View publication details

  4. Duplessis, M., Girard, C.L., Santschi, D.E., Laforest, J.P., Durocher, J., Pellerin, D. (2014). Effects of folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation on culling rate, diseases, and reproduction in commercial dairy herds, 97(4), 2346-2354. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2013-7369

    2014 - View publication details

  5. Duplessis, M., Girard, C.L., Santschi, D.E., Pellerin, D. (2014). An economic model evaluating the supplementation of folic acid and vitamin B12 given around parturition and in early lactation on dairy farms in Québec, Canada, 94(4), 737-747. http://dx.doi.org/10.4141/CJAS-2014-026

    2014 - View publication details

  6. Duplessis, M., Girard, C.L., Santschi, D.E., Lefebvre, D.M., Pellerin, D. (2014). Milk production and composition, and body measurements of dairy cows receiving intramuscular injections of folic acid and vitamin B-12 in commercial dairy herds, 167(1), 186-194. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2014.06.022

    2014 - View publication details

  7. Ouattara, B., Duplessis, M., Girard, C.L. (2013). Optimization and validation of a reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography method for the measurement of bovine liver methylmalonyl-coenzyme a mutase activity, 14(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2091-14-25

    2013 - View publication details

Research facility

2000 College Street
Sherbrooke, QC J1M 1Z3


Member of Ordre des agronomes du Québec

Member of the American Dairy Science Association

Associate professor at Département de biomédecine vétérinaire of Faculté de médecine vétérinaire of Université de Montréal

Member of Op+Lait