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New Faculty Focus: Sebastian I Arriola Apelo

October 24, 2017

Title: Assistant professor in the Department of Dairy Science

What is your educational/professional background?  ​Ph.D. in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech, 2013; M.S. in Crop and Soil Environmental Science from Virginia Tech, 2009; and Agricultural Engineer degree from University of the Republic, Uruguay, 2003.​

How did you get into your field of research? Agriculture is the main economic activity in Uruguay and since I was very young I found my passion in dairy science.

Sebastian I Arriola Apelo joined the UW–Madison dairy science department this summer as an assistant professor.

What are the main goals of your current research program? The goal of my research is to improve dietary nitrogen efficiency and reduce nitrogen excretion from dairy production systems through the understanding of milk protein synthesis regulation by amino acids, and with that knowledge to improve current nutrient requirement systems for lactating dairy cows.

What attracted you to UW–Madison? UW-Madison is a leader in securing extramural funding, and excels in the biological fields. Particularly, dairy science is tops among such departments in the country, with an amazing group of researchers. Very importantly as well, UW–Madison students are smart, curious and fun to work with.

What was your first visit to campus like? Cold. I came for the first time in January 2014, after a polar vortex, and I was astonished to see people going out and having fun regardless of the weather.

What is your favorite place on campus? Allen Centennial Garden. We visit it with my family frequently and love to see how the colors change with the seasons. My two-year-old son learns about plants, insects and birds, as well as the fish in the pond, which are his favorite.

What are you most enjoying so far about working here? Incorporating undergraduate students into my research has been one of the most rewarding experiences. ​

Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea?  Studying milk production in the dairy state, I ​feel my research can have a significant impact on the state economy and environment in general, and dairy families in particular. Beyond Wisconsin, I hope my research achievements can help reduce the environmental impact of dairy production in the U.S. and worldwide.

What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties?Cows, like humans, develop insulin resistance (a pre-diabetes stage) after delivery. We still don’t know if that is good or bad for the cow, and if/how it affects milk production at different stages of lactation.

Hobbies/other interests: I enjoy outdoor family activities including ​gardening, hiking and camping, as well as wildlife photography.