Tesa in a graduation gown.

Introducing… Tesa Kinasih

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.

Hello! I’d like to formally introduce myself to everyone. I’m Tesa, a new master’s by thesis student with the OVC Pet Nutrition team at the University of Guelph Department of Clinical Studies.

How would you describe yourself?

I’d describe myself as someone who is determined and mindful about growth and progress. With any task that comes my way, I’d give my utmost effort. I also seek opportunities for learning about, well, anything! From laboratory techniques to recipes for dinner to yoga poses, I enjoy discovering new things and trying out new skills. I’d also describe myself as an open-minded person. In any situation, I’d try to see things from different perspectives and consider different approaches for problem solving.

A photo of Tesa in her convocation gown. The gown is black. The convocation hood is red with a gold stripe on the inner edge.

What interests or motivates you most?

My mother is my biggest inspiration and source of motivation. One value that she had instilled since I was little is that success is when you can touch lives and make a difference. Holding on to this value, I enjoy learning and I’m determined to pursue further education and undertake challenges to equip myself to make an impact in this field in the future.

In my personal life, I enjoy arts of various forms – music, dance, movies, novels, paintings, fashion, and more. Moments when I can focus on my artistic sensibilities are meditative and helps me feel good mentally.

What led me to the University of Guelph and a Graduate Program?

My passion for animal studies led me to place University of Guelph at the top of my list when I was applying for undergraduate programs back in my final year of high school. Fast forward a few years later, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree here in 2021 after completing the Animal Biology program. During my undergrad, I became very interested in research and my conviction to want to be involved in the world of research grew stronger. Without a doubt, I knew I wanted to pursue higher education and be involved in research, so here I am now!

What sparked your passion for pet nutrition?

I took an array of animal nutrition courses during undergrad, and not only did I find myself performing great at them, I enjoyed them wholeheartedly. Moreover, I came to the realization that our bond with animals – especially pets – is special. Therefore, to fully cherish our beloved pets, I believe we have the responsibility to respect that bond in the ways we interact with them. This, of course, includes their diet and nutrition. Our pets’ health is profoundly influenced by nutrition and therefore advancements in animal nutrition is of great importance.

Tell us about your pets, past or present

I’ve lived most of my life surrounded by animals, four-legged and finned.

Young Tesa with her white dog Priti.

Priti was the dog in my family since before I was born. She’s a Maltese/Shih Tzu mix who was practically my big sister and guardian angel throughout my childhood and teenage years.

Here is my dog Snowball that joined my family in 2009. She’s a Maltese/Westie mix who enjoys sunbathing and claiming my pillow as her bed.

Snowball is a white maltese/westie mix. He is looking outside of a window with a white window pane. A shadow of a tree is cast onto his face.

My family also has a self-sustaining pond where we keep koi and a few other kinds of fish. We’ve been lucky to have multiple generations of the fish we keep.

What is your research about?

My thesis focuses on the effect of feeding frequency on cats’ body composition and energy metabolism. Feeding frequency is an interesting area of research, and specifically in cats, this has been gaining attention due to its relevance in terms of health and longevity. I’m very excited for my next few years with the Pet Nutrition team and deepening my knowledge of animal nutrition!