Upcoming Events

Apply now to speak at our triennial Morulas Virtual Research Meeting!

Apply Now!

Selected talks for 2022 should feature in vitro culture, cryopreservation, ruminant reproduction, or 3D culture systems. Our next meetings are tentatively scheduled in July and October. Please email morulas@iets.org with any questions. We look forward to reading your application!

Past Events

IETS membership includes access to previously recorded webinars.

July 27, 2022 Webinar


Daniell Angel-Velez
Ghent University
The enigma behind equine oocyte vitrification


Marion Papas
Ghent University
Can the endocrinology of the mare predict the outcomes of an OPU-ICSI program?

Members login to view webinar

1st Morulas Virtual Research Meeting 2022

April 29, 9:00 PDT, 18:00 CEST

Dear Morulas,

We are happy to invite you to join us for the First Virtual Research Meeting of 2022. Your participation was very important in deciding this year’s meeting content, and we hope you will continue your active involvement in Morulas activities.

Morulas members as speakers of the meeting:

DVM. PhD. Alejandro de la Fuente will present the lecture "Understanding the dynamics of equine oocyte maturation using a transcriptomic approach". Dr. de la Fuente is a currently postdoc fellow at the Veterinary Assisted Reproduction Laboratory – University of California Davis, USA, where also accomplished master and PhD studies in animal biology. Dr. de la Fuente graduated as veterinarian at the University of Cordoba (Spain) and University of Concepcion (Chile).

Nima Azari Dolatabad will present the lecture "Tips and tricks for an individual in vitro culture of bovine embryos". Nima is currently a PhD candidate at Ghent University, Belgium. He graduated from Yasuj University, Iran and accomplished his master studies at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.

The link of the meeting will be available via e-mail, website and social media. The record can be accessed by active Morulas members on iets.org website.

Morulas Team

Morulas Third Virtual Research Meeting

October 14, 2021 12:00 p.m. CT

Beatriz Fernandez Fuertes

Regulation of the maternal environment by paternal factors: Insights from the bovine model

Beatriz Fernandez Fuertes is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Agricultural and Food Research in Spain. Her broad scientific interest is the male aspect of fertility in livestock: in particular, how interactions between male factors and the maternal environment shape successful pregnancy. After obtaining her degree in veterinary medicine from the Complutense University of Madrid in 2012, Fernandez Fuertes joined the laboratory of Dr. Pat Lonergan at University College Dublin. There, she completed her PhD in reproductive biology in 2016 and was then awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship investigating different aspects of bull sperm function. In 2018, she was granted a European Commission Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at the University of Girona to study maternal-paternal interactions in cattle. In 2020 she joined the laboratory of Dr. Dimitrios Rizos, where her research continues to focus on this topic.

Guillaume Domain

Can single-layer centrifugation with Canicoll improve semen freezability in dogs?

Guillaume Domain is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University, Belgium. Domain graduated as a doctor of veterinary medicine at Liège University, Belgium, in 2017 and joined Ghent University in 2018 after completing a clinical rotational internship in the small animal department. His PhD focuses on canine andrology and, more precisely, on the improvement of semen cryopreservation and fertility prediction. Parallel to his PhD, Domain is also a resident of the European College of Animal Reproduction.

Morulas Virtual Research Meeting

June 24, 2021
11:00 am CDT
Reminder Art

Giovana Di Donato Catandi,

Colorado State University (USA)

How does mare age affect oocyte metabolic and developmental competence?

Giovana Di Donato Catandi is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University under Dr Elaine Carnevale. Giovana graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2016. She worked as a research assistant at the University of Minnesota in 2017 under Dr Rafael Bisinotto, where her research focused on investigating the impact of hoof lesions on reproductive success in dairy cows. She joined the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Lab in 2017 where she is currently researching how mare conditions, such as aging and obesity, affect oocyte metabolic function and developmental potential. She is also interested in investigating the potential of dietary supplementation in mitigating those effects and ultimately improving fertility outcomes of older and obese mares.

Katrien Smits, Ghent University (Belgium)

OPU-ICSI in the horse: An update

Katrien Smits is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Ghent (Belgium). Katrien graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 and completed her Ph.D. in 2010 on equine in vitro embryo production with emphasis on intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) at Ghent University. The focus of Katrien's postdoc is on unraveling embryo-maternal interactions and optimizing assisted biotechnology techniques in the horse. Among the achievements of Katrien's research: SMICSI, the first ICSI-foal in Belgium, and VICSI, the first foal resulting from ICSI of a vitrified immature oocyte. Katrien is the author of 40 peer-reviewed A1 publications and is the mentor of several masters and Ph.D. students.

First Morulas Virtual Research Meeting

March 4, 2021, at 11 am CST

Hello, Morulas!

We would like to officially invite you all to the Morulas’ first Virtual Research Meeting! These meetings will happen three times a year and are designed to feature research from our own Morulas members. Our first speakers are José Felipe Warmling Spricigo, Universidade Federal de Goiás (Brazil), and Krishna Chaitanya Pavani, Ghent University (Belgium).

The meeting will take place March 4, 6 pm (GMT +1) at the following Zoom link. Hope to see you there!

Name: Krishna Chaitanya Pavani (postdoctoral researcher)
Affiliation: Ghent University (Belgium)
Title of the presentation: Role of extracellular vesicles in bovine embryo communication
Biography: After finishing his BTech degree in biotechnology (2010) in India, Krishna Pavani earned his master’s degree in 2012 at the University of Skövde, Sweden, in molecular biology. He completed his PhD from the University of the Azores, Portugal, in 2016 with specialization in animal reproduction. He finished his second PhD as an early stage researcher from Ghent University with specialization in veterinary sciences. Currently he is working as a postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University. He has been working in reproductive research for nearly eight years; he was a student member of the European Cell Death Organization, International Society of Biometeorology, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, IETS, and the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles. So far, he has published 15 research papers as first author with an H-index of 7. His work has been presented in various national and international peer-reviewed journals. He has supervised two bachelor’s students and one master’s student. Currently, he is guiding three PhD students in extracellular vesicle research.

Name: José Felipe Warmling Spricigo (assistant professor)
Affiliation: Universidade Federal de Goiás (Brazil)
Title of the presentation: Why the intrafollicular transfer of immature oocytes can be an alternative for the conventional systems of embryo production in cattle
Biography: José Felipe Warmling Spricigo earned a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine at the Santa Catarina State University (2009), and MS (2010) and PhD (2016) in animal science at the University of Brasília, Brazil. He conducted some of his projects at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain (2014). His first postdoctoral degree was at Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Brazil (2016). In collaboration with his supervisor, Spricigo studied an alternative system for bovine in vivo embryo production without the use of stimulating hormones. From 2017 to 2019, he held a postdoctoral grant in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph, Canada. During this time, his research focused on dairy cow health, nutrition, and reproductive physiology. Currently, he holds an adjunct professor position at the Escola de Veterinária e Zootecnia, at Universidade Federal de Goiás. Among his research interests are bovine reproductive physiology and biotechnology.