Postdoctoral researchers

Education & Research Focus

Laia Blavi Josa

· Ph.D., Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2017.

· MSc, The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza CIHEAM-IAMZ/Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2013.

· Postgraduate Specialization in Animal Nutrition, The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza CIHEAM-IAMZ, 2012.

· B.Sc. in Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2011.


I started my research activities during my master’s, where I was studying how to ameliorate post-weaning feed intake in pigs, focused on maternal learning and creep-feeding strategies. When I started my thesis I kept studying strategies to improve the post-weaning but with another point of view: Zinc (Zn) metabolism and its interaction with Calcium and Phosphorus. After that, I continued my formation as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States, where I conducted several research projects for private companies to test different feed additives, such as pre-and probiotics, enzymes, organic acids, etc. and also feed ingredient evaluation in swine. Nowadays, I am working as a post-doc at the UAB and I carry different projects related to minerals, especially Copper (Cu) and Zn, in swine and poultry. My research focus is trying to find alternative sources of Cu and Zn to be able to reduce their levels in monogastric diets and therefore, the damaging effects on soil accumulation and the increase in antimicrobial resistance, but without losing their beneficial effects such as growth promoting effect and the reduction of post-weaning diarrhea.

Matilde D'Angelo

· PhD in Biological Sciences. Biochemistry and Pharmacy Faculty, National University of Rosario (FBIOyF-UNR). Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario (IBR-CONICET). Argentina. 2016.

· Licentiate in Biotechnology (Eq. to Ms Sc). Biochemistry and Pharmacy Faculty, National University of Rosario (FBIOyF-UNR). Undergraduate thesis at Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario (IBR-CONICET). Argentina. 2009.


I started my research activities during my undergraduate thesis where I worked on a project whose purpose was to study the transcriptional regulation of fab operon involved in fatty acid biosynthesis in Streptomyces coelicolor. After that, during my PhD, I worked on a project whose objective was to define the chemical composition of the characteristic tomato flavor and to understand the mechanisms of regulation of compounds that confer quality to tomato fruits, in this sense I did Metabolomics, Transcriptomics and Multivariate Data Analysis. Then, during my first postdoc (2016-2018) at Rosario Chemistry Institute (IQUIR-CONICET), I worked on metabolism of lactic bacteria, in the screening of E. faecium strains with diversity of volatile organic compounds production that could positively contribute in cheese flavor development. Nowadays, I am working at Animal Nutrition and Welfare Service of Autonomous University of Barcelona in a project titled “Priming the nursery pig: An opportunity to improve its post-weaning performance” whose principal objectives are to demonstrate the relevance of nutrients and microbial colonization in the perinatal life of the piglet in the development of the digestive and immune function. My responsibility in this project was to lead the studies of Metabolomics and Transcript profiles associated with the different treatments. Moreover, I collaborate in diverse projects at SNIBA, leading Ómics studies.

Oriol Talló Parra

. Ph.D., Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2016.

. MSc, Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2012.

. BVSc, Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2011.


Both my master thesis and PhD focused on the development of endocrinological indicators of stress in production animals. Although I have done research on the welfare of production and companion animals, currently I mainly work in the field of wild animal welfare (both free-ranging and captive). My current research involves research projects focused on developing and validating new welfare indicators (in cetaceans -dolphins, beluga whales and killer whales-, penguins or sharks, among others), on the creation of welfare assessment protocols for wild captive animals (bottlenose dolphin, polar bear, big cats), and on the study of factors, elements and situations affecting animal welfare (visitor effects in beluga whales, ringing in bats, marine acoustic pollution in sharks, marine pollutants in free-ranging cetaceans, or environmental enrichment in the success of rewilding efforts in loggerhead sea turtle, among others). I am also the Animal Welfare Officer at Oceanogràfic de València aquarium.

Sergi López Vergé

. Ph.D., Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2018.

. MSc, Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2012.

. B.Sc. in Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Universitat de Girona, 2002.


I started my research career during my master’s. My dissertation was about finding new ingredients (insects) as an alternative to more traditional ones for broilers.

During my PhD studies my main research focused on pig production, studying the principal factors affecting body weight variability in pig production. Variability constitutes and issue in swine production, because of the importance of the integrity and homogeneity of the production batch, which is crucial in order not to interrupt production flows. The general objective of my PhD thesis was to know some factors related to the variability of live weight, with special emphasis on its effects at the end of the production cycle.

Nowadays, I’m working as a post-doc in the SMARTFARM project, in which I’m involved in different areas, all of them pursuing to improve the efficiency of livestock farms. This project, in cooperation with the sector, aims to make the intensification of livestock compatible with an increase in competitiveness in a sustainable way and also guaranteeing animal welfare. The final objective is to technify production processes to obtain real-time and continuous data to facilitate decision-making at farm level.

Susana Le Brech

· Ph.D., Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2014.

· MSc, Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2009.

· BVSc, Veterinary Faculty, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Argentina, 1999.


Specialist in animal behavior and welfare, mainly companion animals. Her PhD focused on Individual differences in behavior and stress response in dogs. Her main areas of interest are: (1) stress un cats, (2) aggressive behaviour in dogs, (3) cognitive dysfunction in dogs and cats, (4) welfare in the veterinary practice.

She is working in the Animal Behavior Services of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (Barcelona School of Veterinary Medicine) and participate in projects related to companion animal behavior and welfare.