College of Agriculture and Bioresources

Research Area(s)

  • Sperm physiology and its relationship to fertility and artificial insemination


Animal and Poultry Science

Research Interests

My research investigates all apsects of sperm physiology and its relationship to fertility and artificial insemination. We identify membrane molecules and membrane functions related to fertilization, the impact of processing on molecular structure and function, and mechanisms to minimize or prevent this damage. We work primarily with sperm from bulls and boars, but have worked with sperm from elephants, horses, rooster, mice, elk, human, honeybee, frog and dog, including aspects of environmental toxicology, endocrinology and endangered species preservation. Our major thrust is to improve the fertility of sperm used for artificial insemination, working both at the practical level in the artificial insemination industry (proper semen collection procedures, commercial lab procedures and semen handling protocols) and at the fundamental research level (membrane biochemistry and proteomics).


  • Ph.D., University of Waterloo
  • M.Sc., University of Waterloo
  • B.Sc., University of Waterloo

Selected Publications

Kasimanickam, V.R. and Buhr, M.M.  2016.  Fusion of boar sperm with nanoliposomes prepared from synthetic phospholipids.  Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 51(4): 461-466.

Charlebois, S., Sterne, R.H., and Buhr, M.M.  2014.  Sharing and preparing: cross-institutional, food security-based knowledge in Canada. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 21(6): 532-539.

Awda, B.J., Miller, S.P., Montanholi, Y.R., Vander Voort, G., Caldwell, T., Buhr, M.M., and Swanson, K.C.  2012.  The relationship between feed efficiency traits and fertility in young beef bulls.  Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 93(2): 185-192.

Hickey, KD. and Buhr, MM.  2012.  Characterization of Na+K+-ATPase in bovine sperm. Theriogenology, 77(7): 1369-1380.

Radomil, L., Pettitt, M.J., Merkies, K.M., Hickey, K.D., and Buhr, M.M.  2011.  Stress and dietary factors modify boar sperm for processing.  Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 46(s2): 39-44.

Mouttham, L.L., Buhr, M, Freeman, E.W., Widowski, T.M., Graham, L.H., and Brown, J.L.  2011.  Interrelationship of serum testosterone, dominance and ovarian cyclicity status in female African elephants.  Animal Reproduction Science, 126(1-2):115-121.

Hickey, K.D. and Buhr, M.M.  2011.  Lipid bilayer composition affects transmembrane protein orientation and function.  Journal of Lipids, 2011: 208457.  https://10.1155/2011/208457