Edward Hernando Cabezas Garcia

GarciaTell us about yourself.
My name is Edward Hernando Cabezas Garcia and I am enrolled as a PhD student at Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU) in Umeå.

I am originally from Colombia, the land of coffee. I came from the country side and grew up in a small scale dairy farm located in the Andean mountains. Since that time, I realized the huge potential which Agriculture offers to me.

Educational background
BSc. Animal Science, 2005. Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)
MSc. Animal Science and Pastures, 2011. Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)
PhD student in Ruminant Nutrition at SLU (Sweden)

What is your role in RuminOmics?
The aim of my PhD project is to elucidate the role of specific factors contributing to the observed levels of methane production on individual basis (animal variation) in order to develop useful mitigation strategies. The project includes sample collection, data processing, barn and lab work from in vivo trials. Meta-analysis approaches are also considered. Specifically, I am involved in the following RuminOmics work packages (WP): WP3 (animal factors) and WP5 (effects of nutrition).

What interested you most about the project?
Despite that is widely documented in the scientific literature the diet effect on cattle methane emissions, there is a lack of information regarding the causes of observed animal-to-animal variation. Current evidence from Animal Breeding field suggested that there is a possibility to select low methane emitters based on specific high repeatability characteristics. As RuminOmics project works with a large individual animal’s dataset, it has the big potential to give us a comprehensive answer about that phenomena by combining different approaches (i.e. rumen ecology, nutrition, genomics, etc.).

What and/or who inspired you to make a career in science?
My supervisors from both PhD and MSc. courses, all of them top scientists in their fields. They encourage me to continue my scientific career.

Also, three books have a remarkably influence to pursue my goals as a scientist and open my mind for coming new ideas:

  • Nutritional Ecology of Ruminant, Peter Van Soest
  • The Web of Life, Fritjof Capra
  • The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra

What do you enjoy most about the work?
The possibility to better understanding how complex ruminants are, and their role in the nature (i.e. interactions, relationships, etc.). The RuminOmics project give me a unique opportunity to share experience and knowledge with researchers from other related disciplines, in order as I use to say, to “figure out the puzzle” of cattle methane emissions.

Did you have any other career aspirations?
Yes, but it is in some way related to my current research topic. When I was in the High School, I discovered that I liked Physics. Who knew? At the moment, I would like to address and focus my ruminant nutrition research to mathematical modeling, maybe by a postdoctoral position. I think that field is very promising in the near future.