Picture of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Mary Buhr

Mary Buhr Dean and Professor

2D30 - Agriculture Building

Research Area(s)

  • Sperm physiology and its relationship to fertility and artificial insemination


Animal and Poultry Science,College Administration

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).


B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (University of Waterloo)

Selected Recent Publications

Kasimanickam, V. R., Buhr, M.M. (2016) Fusion of boar sperm with nanoliposomes prepared from synthetic phospholipids. In press. Reproduction in Domestic Animals.

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

Awda, B.J., Miller, S.P., Montanholi, Y.R., Vander Voort, G., Caldwell, T., Buhr, M.M., Swanson, K.C. (2012) The relationship between feed efficiency traits and fertility in young beef bulls. Can. J. Anim. Sci. (2013) 93: 185-192

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

Radomil, L., Pettitt, MJ., Merkies, KM., Hickey, KD., Buhr. MM. (2011) Stress and dietary factors modify boar sperm for processing. Reprod Domest Anim. 46: Suppl 2:39-44

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

Hickey, KD., Buhr, MM. (2011) Lipid bilayer composition affects transmembrane protein orientation and function. Journal of Lipids v. 2011, doi:10.1155/2011/208457