"Sometimes you wonder for a long time: "How does this work?" And suddenly you have an answer. This is all very exciting."

The Canadian agriculture sector has more that 5,500 biotech products in development and on the market


You've probably heard of in vitro fertilization for humans. Giving mother nature a helping hand to create babies? Well, research scientist Sylvie Bilodeau-Goeseels does a similar thing with cows. Her on-the-job mission is to improve cow fertility and reduce the incidence of embryonic mortality.

Along with scientific work, Sylvie's job includes business management. In a team of scientists, Sylvie comes up with new projects, proposes them to the government, secures funding, manages resources and publishes results in scientific journals.

Did you know? About 35% of all employees within biotech companies work in research.

There are 5 levels of scientists, with level 5 being the highest level. To be promoted to the next level, Sylvie has to demonstrate significant accomplishments in scientific research. The higher the level, the larger the starting salary is. For level 1, the starting salary is $41,900/year. For level 5 - $107,779/year.

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Sylvie works at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Lethbridge Research Centre. The purpose of her research is to improve efficiency of bovine reproduction. Embryonic mortality is one of the factors responsible for reproductive failure which causes major economic loss to beef producers. So far, there are no specific interventions designed to prevent embryonic mortality, other than good management practice. Little is known about numerous reasons for embryonic mortality and the molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of a fertilized egg. The challenge researchers like Sylvie face today is to find out how embryos develop, what happens at all stages of development, what happens when embryos die, why they die and what can be done about it.


Education: PhD in developmental biology, MBA in molecular endocrinology, BA in biology.

Hobbies: Spending time with family.