Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53692
Office: ANNU 225
Dr. Grégoy Bédécarrats was born in France where he later pursued his undergraduate and master’s studies. He did his first research with poultry while working on his master’s, studying the effects of prolactin on incubation behaviour in turkey hens. After completing a PhD at McGill University, he did three years of post-doc work at Harvard Medical School studying the molecular mechanisms controlling human reproduction. In 2003, he returned to Canada and joined the University of Guelph.
As well as his research, Grégoy is actively involved in undergraduate training, teaching and curriculum development. He mentors the University of Guelph Poultry Club which, among many other industry-related activities, maintains and breeds the heritage “Shaver lines” of chickens given to the university by Dr. Donald Shaver. He has held several editorial position in multiple scientific journals.
- License, Biochemistry, University of Rennes (1990)
- Maitrise, Animal Physiology, University of Rennes (1991)
- M.Sc. Biology Agronomy, University of Rennes (1992)
- Ph.D. McGill University (1999)
Affiliations and Partnerships
- The Poultry Industry Council
- Thies Electrical Distribution, Inc. (developer of the Agrilux lighting system for poultry based on Dr. Bédécarrats’ research)
Awards and Honours
- 2017 Novus International Inc. Teaching Award, presented at the 2017 Poultry Science Association Annual Meeting. This award is provided to recognize that excellence in teaching is basic to the future welfare of the poultry industry. It is given to a member who, over several years, has demonstrated outstanding success as a teacher.
- Faculty Association Teaching Award 2013-14
- Honorary President of the 2010 OAC Class
Grégoy’s main research interests focus on improving the reproductive efficiency of domestic birds, with the goal of finding a better balance between production parameters, health, welfare and the environment. His studies seek to determine the mechanisms affecting reproduction, especially at the brain-pituitary gland level. Based on his basic fundamental work, he has proposed a new model to describe the activation of the reproductive axis in chickens and has developed a new lighting system for poultry based on his research on spectrum lighting. These LED light bulbs are commercially available (www.Agrilux.ca) and are increasingly being used by commercial farms across Canada. In a nut shell, his and others research demonstrated that a 60 percent red light bulb promotes egg production in layers while the 60 percent green light promotes growth and weight gain in birds raised to be eaten (broilers).
Current Research Projects
Grégoy has two major projects underway. One is exploring the effect of light spectrums to be used in combination with a precision feeding system developed by his collaborator Dr. Martin Zuidhof (University of Alberta). The ultimate aim is to provide supplemental lighting to the feeding station to allow birds 24h access without negatively impacting subsequent egg production in broiler breeders. The second project is dedicated to understand the impacts intensive genetic selection of layer birds have had on the physiological control of reproduction. The knowledge gained will help better manage chicks and pullets to improve efficiency as well as birds’ health and welfare.
Graduate Student Information
Grégoy recognizes that graduate students need different types of support in their work and he tries to be flexible. While he likes to put students in charge of their own projects, he finds that some are ready to be more autonomous and others need more assistance, at least initially. Grégoy encourages his students to attend at least one international science meeting per year, and to present their work and publish as much as possible. He also works with undergraduates interested in doing research projects with similar expectations. Most have moved on to higher education and many have gone on to significant positions in the livestock industry.
- Baxter M, Joseph N, Osborne VR, Bédécarrats GY. Red light is necessary to activate the reproductive axis in chickens independently of the retina of the eye. Poult Sci. 2014 May;93(5):1289-97. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03799.
- Bédécarrats GY, Baxter M, Sparling B. An updated model to describe the neuroendocrine control of reproduction in chickens. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2016 Feb 1;227:58-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.09.023. Review.
- Tran TT, Bedecarrats GY, Choh V. Inner retinal cell development is impaired in Smoky Joe chickens. Poult Sci. 2013 May;92(5):1322-30. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02848.
- Shimizu M, Bédécarrats GY. Activation of the chicken gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone receptor reduces gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor signaling. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2010 Jun 1;167(2):331-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.03.029.
- Bédécarrats GY, Kaiser UB. Differential regulation of gonadotropin subunit gene promoter activity by pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in perifused L beta T2 cells: role of GnRH receptor concentration. Endocrinology. 2003 May;144(5):1802-11.