New Faculty - Bruan Alves

Bruna Alves, an animal reproduction specialist, recently joined CABNR’s Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Veterinary Sciences as an assistant professor.

Alves’ research centers on interactions between nutrition and reproduction, with a focus on cattle. More specifically, she’s studying how diets can trigger puberty in heifers, and how their diets affect their offspring.

Alves grew up on a dairy farm in Brazil and has always loved working with animals. While attending veterinary school, she discovered her love of reproduction, or as she put it, “working with the magic of new life.” She completed her undergraduate studies before coming to the United States for her graduate studies. In 2014, she earned her doctorate in physiology of reproduction from Texas A&M University.

Bruna Alves
Assistant Professor Bruna Alves

Alves has two goals for her research. To begin with, she wants to help livestock producers better regulate at what age and in which season their cattle reproduce.

“Producers want cattle to reach puberty at a certain age and at the same time,” she said. “They want females producing as soon as possible, and they want the females pregnant during the breeding season instead of at varying times throughout the year.”

Alves also hopes to help scientists better understand human health. She hopes what she discovers about causes of puberty can help prevent young girls from entering puberty too soon. And by studying how cattle’s diets affect their fetuses, she hopes to learn more about how a mother’s diet can affect her children, including conditions such as diabetes.

The University of Nevada, Reno was a perfect fit for her.

“What [the University] needed was what I could accomplish without changing my research and while still doing what I love,” she said.

In her down-time, Alves enjoys painting, drawing, appreciating art, watching ballet and spending time with her dog, Patches.

Story by Tiffany Kozsan