Heather Bruce

Associate Professor

Phone: 780-492-9871
Email: hbruce@ualberta.ca
Department: Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science
Office: 3-18E Agriculture/Forestry Ctr
Office Hours: By appointment
Address: University of Alberta
3-18E Agriculture/Forestry Ctr
Edmonton, AB
Canada T6G 2P5

Ph.D., Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta

Job/Research Area 

Carcass and Meat Science 

Major Responsibilities/Research Interests 

Research in the Carcass and Meat Science specialization will focus on the ante- and post-mortem factors that affect carcass yield/grade and meat quality. Specific research investigations will include examination of the effects of nutrition, genetics and management on carcass yield, muscle colour, and resulting meat toughness and sensory acceptability; determination of collagen cross-linking and how they affect meat toughness; and prediction of meat toughness and quality using non-invasive technology. The objective of the Carcass and Meat Science research program is to provide answers to concerns faced by the Canadian meat industry through basic as well as strategic research. The complimentary teaching program is designed to provide the meat industry as well as the global meat research community with trained, highly qualified personnel. Dr. Bruce welcomes inquiries from students with strong academic and communication skills and training in animal, food, veterinary or biochemical science. 


AN SC 320 Livestock Growth and Meat Production 
AN SC 420 Carcass and Meat Quality 
AFNS 521 Advanced Carcass and Meat Quality

AFNS 601 Graduate Seminar

Selected Publications 

Miar Y., Plastow, G., Bruce, H., Moore, S., Manafiazar, G., Kemp, R., Charagu, P., Huisman, A., van Haandel, B., Zhang, C., McKay, R., Wang, Z. 2014. Genetic and phenotypic correlations between performance traits with meat quality and carcass characteristics in commercial crossbred pigs. PLOS ONE 9(10): e110105.

Roy, B. C., Agawa, Y., Bruce, H. L., Ando, M., Okada, T., Sawada, Y., Itoh, T., Tsukamasa, Y. 2014. Muscle growth in full-cycle cultured Pacific Bluefin tuna Thunnus orientalis from early larval to juvenile stage: histochemical, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural observations. Fisheries Science DOI 10.1007/s12562-014-0773-3.

Holdstock, J., Aalhus, J. L., Uttaro, B. A., López-Campos, Ó., Larsen, I. L. and Bruce, H. L. 2014. The impact of ultimate pH within the dark cutting (Canada B4) grade on muscle characteristics and sensory attributes of the longissimus thoracis. Meat Science 98: 842-849.

Miar, Y., Plastow, G. S., Charagu, P., Kemp, R. A., Van Haandel, B., Husman, A. E., Zhang, C. Y., McKay, R. M., Bruce, H. L., Wang, Z. 2014. Genetic and phenotypic parameters for carcass and meat quality in commercial crossbred pigs. Journal of Animal Science 92:2869-2884.

Zhang, C. Y., Wang, Z., Bruce, H. L, Janz, J., Goddard, E., Moore, S. and Plastow, G. 2014. Associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 33 candidate genes and meat quality traits in commercial pigs. Animal Genetics 45: 508-516.

Miar, Y., Plastow, G. S., Bruce, H. L., Moore, S. S., Durunna, O., Nkrumah, D., and Wang, Z. 2014. Estimation of genetic and phenotypic parameters for ultrasound and carcass merit traits in crossbred beef cattle. Canadian Journal of Animal Science. 94:xxx-xxx.

Omana, D. A., Goddard, E., Plastow, G. S., Janz, J., Ma, L., Anders, S., Moore, S. S. and Bruce, H. L. 2014. Influence of on-farm production practices on sensory and technological quality characteristics of pork loin. Meat Science 96: 315-320.

Duan, Y., Huang, L., Xie, J., Yang, K., Yuan, F., Bruce, H. L., Plastow, G. S., Ma, J., and Huang L. 2013. Effect of temperature and pH on postmortem color development of porcine M. longissimus dorsi and M. semimembranosus. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 93: 1206-1210.

Girard, I., Bruce, H. L., Basarab, J. A., Larsen, I. L. and Aalhus, J. L. 2012. Contribution of myofibrillar and connective tissue components to the Warner-Bratzler shear force of cooked beef. Meat Science 92: 775-782.

Girard, I., Aalhus, J. L., Basarab, J. A., Larsen, I. L. and Bruce, H. L. 2012. Modification of beef quality through age at steer age at slaughter, breed cross and growth promotants. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 92: 175-188.

Girard, I., Aalhus, J. L., Basarab, J. A., Larsen, I. L. and Bruce, H. L. 2011. Modification of muscle inherent properties through age at slaughter, growth promotants and breed crosses. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 91: 635-648.

Jia, W., Rogiewicz, A., Bruce, H. L. and Slominski, B. A. 2010. Feeding flaxseed enhances deposition of omega-3 fatty acids in broiler meat portions in different manner. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 90: 203-206.

Jia, W., Slominski, B. A., Bruce, H. L., Nyachoti, C. M. and Jones, R. M. 2009. Enzyme addition facilitates the post-disease compensatory growth of broiler chickens challenged with Clostridium perfringens. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 89: 369-381.

Jia, W., Slominski, B. A., Bruce H. L., Blank, G., Crow, G. and Jones, O. 2009. Effects of diet type and enzyme addition on growth performance and gut health of broiler chickens during sub-clinical Clostridium perfringens challenge. Poultry Science 88: 132-140.

Müller, W., Bruce, H. L., Tume, R. J., Beilken, S., Barnes, J. A. and Greenfield, H. 2009. National sampling and gross composition of Australian retail pork cuts. Meat Science 81: 626-631.

Chalmers, G., Bruce, H. L., Hunter, D. B., Parreira, V. R., Kulkarni, R. R., Jiang, Y.-F., Prescott, J. F. and Boerlin, P. 2008. Multilocus sequence typing analysis of Clostridium perfringens isolates from necrotic enteritis outbreaks in broiler chickens. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 46: 3957-3964.

Gadbois, P., Brennan, J., Bruce, H., Wilson, J. and Aramini, J. 2008. The role of penicillin G potassium in managing Clostridium perfringens in broiler chickens. Avian Diseases 52: 407-411.

Bruce, H. L., Hewavitharana, A. K. and Hunter, R. A. 2008. Creatinine and pseudouridine in plasma and urine from Brahman-cross steers fed a low, medium or high plane of nutrition. Livestock Science, 119: 95-101.

Greenfield, H., J.A. Barnes, R.J. Tume, S. Beilken, T. Stobaus, H.L. Bruce, W. Muller, and J. Cunningham. 2008. "Surely for doing a nutrient analysis of meat, all you have to do is mince it all up and analyse it? A national study of the nutrient composition of Australian pork." Food Australia 60:30-33. 

Tomkins, N.W., G.S. Harper, H.L. Bruce, and R.A. Hunter. 2006. Effects of different post weaning growth paths on long-term weight gain, carcass characteristics and eating quality of beef cattle. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 46:1571-1578. 

Bruce, H.L., S.L. Beilken, and P. Leppard. 2005. Variation in flavor and textural descriptions of cooked steaks from bovine m. longissimus thoracis et lumborum from different production and aging regimes. Journal of Food Science 70:S309-316. 

Byrne, K.A., Y.H. Wang, A. Reverter, G. Harper, S.M. McWilliam, H.L. Bruce, and S. Lehnert, S. 2005. Gene expression profiling of muscle tissue in Brahman steers fed high, medium and low quality diets. Journal of Animal Science 83:1-12. 

Bruce, H.L., J.L. Stark, and S.L. Beilken. 2004. The effects of finishing diet and post mortem ageing on the eating quality of the M. longissimus thoracis of electrically stimulated Brahman steer carcases. Meat Science 67:261-268.