Dr. Erico Ribeiro.

Introducing…Dr. Erico Ribeiro!

With a new school year starting, we are excited to introduce you to our new team members who have joined us this fall! We will be interviewing our new team members to help you become acquainted with them as professionals, students and people.

Erico in a purple shirt, purple and white tie and a black suit jacket.

My name is Erico Ribeiro, and I have started the Doctor of Veterinary Science program and the residency in Clinical Nutrition at the Ontario Veterinary College, remotely from Brazil.  

1. How would you describe yourself? 

I am a calm person, who enjoys pizza, burgers, and beer! I also like reading, music, e-games, sports and spending time with my wife, pets, family, and friends.  

2. What interests or motivates you most? 

I like to understand how different ingredients and nutrients can affect the body and how to apply this knowledge to give optimal nutrition to our pets when they are healthy or sick. It is great to see a pet get better after a change in the diet! 

3. What program were you in before this? 

I completed my PhD at Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) – Jaboticabal campus, under supervision of Prof. Aulus Carciofi, where I worked with carbohydrate processing, digestibility and intestinal microbiota composition and metabolism in cats. Previously I have finished a residency and a Master’s in Nutrition and Clinical Nutrition of dogs and cats at UNESP. 

4. When did you become interested in nutrition? Describe why you are interested in nutrition. 

I became interested in nutrition during the Animal Nutrition course back in my veterinary school. After that I did internships with animal nutrition and tried to apply it to veterinary practice.  

I am interested in nutrition because it allows our pets to live longer and it can improve quality of life even when there is a disease. By working with nutrition it is possible to improve life, the goal of University of Guelph.  

5. What made you choose this graduate program and what are you looking forward to most about it? 

I like the possibility of doing research and working in the clinical nutrition service of the veterinary hospital. Dr. Verbrugghe’s research group and residents have been internationally awarded and really got my attention with the quality of the research and clinical nutrition service at OVC. I am really looking forward to starting the program in person since I needed to start remotely due to COVID. 

6. What animals do you hope/plan to work with? 

Besides dogs and cats, I hope to work with and learn more about nutrition of wild species that are not found in Brazil. 

7. What have you done during COVID (what kept you busy?) and how has it affected your studies? 

I have been studying and working with pet nutrition and trying to live healthier (staying at home, eating better and physical exercise when possible). For leisure I have been listening to podcasts, reading, and watching Netflix. COVID has affected my studies a lot since I was not able to start the program in person, but luckily Ribeirao Preto, where I live in Brazil, is only one hour of difference from Guelph, so it has not changed my daily routine a lot. 

8. Tell us about your pets, past or present.

The cat, Kinder, was abandoned in the campus at UNESP during my residency in clinical nutrition. Luckily for both of us she has been living with me since then.  

A tabby cat underneath a table.

The dogs Hannah and Poli are two Shih Tzus, mother and daughter, that are living with me since I started to live with my wife. 

9. What is the topic of your upcoming research project? 

The topic of my research will be the intake and metabolism of essential fatty acids in cats. 

Written by: Dr. Erico de Mello Ribeiro, MV, MSc, PhD, DVSc Candidate (Department of Clinical Studies), ECVCN Resident

Edited by: Shoshana Verton-Shaw, RVT, VTS (Nutrition)