UK Graduate Student Spotlight: Yatta Boakari

Photo: University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Name: Yatta Linhares Boakari
From: Teresina, Brazil
Degree and institutions where received: University of the Incarnate Word, BS in psychology; Federal University of Piaui, DVM; State University of Sao Paulo, MS in equine reproduction.

Yatta Boakari, DVM, MS, completed a three-month research internship at the University of Kentucky (UK) while completing her master’s in Brazil. This led her to return to UK for her doctoral degree under the direction of Barry Ball, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, Albert G. Clay Endowed Chair in Equine Reproduction at UK’s Gluck Equine Research Center, and Alex Esteller-Vico, PhD, DVM, assistant research professor at the Gluck Center.

“In this short period of time I learned so much and saw the type and quality of research they were doing and knew I wanted to complete my PhD at UK,” Boakari said.

Boakari’s research focuses on the influence of high levels of dietary crude protein on a mare’s reproduction. Currently, there are no published reports about effects of dietary crude protein on reproductive parameters of horses. Her objective is to clarify the effects and mechanisms of protein on parameters such as uterine pH, early pregnancy loss, and embryo quality.

When asked what her most valuable takeaway from the program has been so far, Boakari said, “I am learning about modern laboratory techniques such, as PCR, and next-generation techniques. In addition, I am learning to organize my time and choose priorities in a way I did not know before.”

Boakari plans to graduate in 2019. After graduation, she is interested in becoming a professor.

Alexandra Harper, MBA, is the operations and communications coordinator for the UK Ag Equine Programs.

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