Melissa Cantor

Melissa Cantor

  • Assistant Professor Precision Dairy Science
345 Ag Science & Industries Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Epidemiology
  • Animal behavior
  • OneHealth
  • Precision livestock farming
  • Animal welfare
  • Dairy calf management
  • Calf nutrition


  • University of Kentucky. BSc. Animal Science, 2011
  • UW-Madison. MSc. Dairy Science, 2015.
  • University of Kentucky Ph.D. Animal Science, 2021.
  • University of Guelph Post-doctoral fellowship, 2021-2023.

Dr. Melissa Cantor is an Assistant Professor in Precision Dairy Science at Penn State University. Cantor has an applied dairy research program that explores the potential of new precision technologies and investigates the impact of disease, precision nutrition strategies, and environment on the health, performance, and welfare of purebred and dairy x beef cattle. Cantor has an extension program focused on strengthening stakeholder partnerships throughout the dairy industry. For example, Cantor is a leader for the Penn State Dairy Nutrition workshop which brings hundreds of industry representatives together with over two dozen speakers annually. Cantor also works with producers to bring them together to improve the use of precision technologies on their farm, and has a “calf success” extension program by providing educational material to producers in topics surrounding dairy calf and heifer management. Cantor is passionate about undergraduate research; their precision technology program started as an undergraduate at U. Kentucky (BSc. 2011), where they developed a corrective algorithm for a temperature bolus to adjust for water intake in lactating cattle. For UW-Madison (MSc. 2015), they quantified the impacts of improving calf welfare through nutritional concepts: feeding high planes of milk to calves and feeding probiotics as an antimicrobial alternative. The dissertation (PhD. 2021) used sickness behavior classified by wearable sensors to monitor the health of preweaned calves. Cantor’s post-doc training was at the Ontario Veterinary College with an emphasis on Population Medicine. (U. Guelph 2021-2023). Cantor's expertise focuses in epidemiology,  animal behavior, precision livestock farming concepts, OneHealth, and dairy calf nutrition.


Penn State Extension AI Guidelines, Ladlee, J, Beresnyak, Tom, Butzler, T, Cantor, Melissa, Esker, P, Felix, T, Fetter, J, Grozinger, C, Long, He, Hines, E, Hirneisen, Andy, Krali, Richard, LaBorde, L, Onopa, Jenn, Schmidt, C, Snyder, Carla, Yutzy, Amber, Mahan, Wendy, Millet, Chris, 2024

The development and validation of a milk feeding behavior alert from automated feeder data to classify calves at risk for a diarrhea bout: A diagnostic accuracy study
Journal of Dairy Science, Cantor, M. C., Welk, A. A., Creutzinger, K. C., Woodrum Setser, M. M., Costa, J. H.C., Renaud, D. L., 2024

Purchasing Guide for the Dairy: Precision Technology System, Cantor, Melissa, Bone, Breanna, 2024

Dairy Farm Transformation: Artificial Intelligence, Cantor, Melissa, Bone, Breanna, 2024

Stop the Suck: Avoiding Cross-sucking with Automated Feeders, Cantor, Melissa, James, Robert, 2024

Why Do Dairy Calves Cross-suck Each Other: A Success Guide, Cantor, Melissa, James, Robert, 2024

Precision Livestock Farming: Dairy Technologies, Cantor, Melissa, Monroe, Jennifer, 2023

Effects of supplementing colostrum beyond the first day of life on growth and health parameters of preweaned Holstein heifers
Journal of Dairy Science, McCarthy, Hannah, Cantor, Melissa, Lopez, Alberto, Pineda, A., Nagorske, Mike, Renaud, Dave, Steele, Mike, 2023

The Endemic Calf Parasite Cryptosporidium Parvum, Cantor, Melissa, Springer, H, 2023

A Machine Learning and Optimization Framework for the Early Diagnosis of Bovine Respiratory Disease
IEEE Access, Casella, Enrico, Cantor, Melissa C., Setser, Megan M.Woodrum, Silvestri, Simone, Costa, Joao H.C., 2023

Association of a green tea extract with serum immunoglobulin G status and neonatal vitality in newborn dairy calves
Journal of Dairy Science, Reis, M. E., Cantor, M., Bittar, C. M.M., Costa, J. H.C., 2022

Effect of supplementation with algae β-glucans on performance, health, and blood metabolites of Holstein dairy calves
Journal of Dairy Science, Reis, M. E., de Toledo, A. F., da Silva, A. P., Poczynek, M., Cantor, M. C., Virgínío Júnior, G. F., Greco, L., Bittar, C. M.M., 2022

Evaluation of an infrared thermography camera for measuring body temperature in dairy calves
JDS Communications, Cantor, M. C., Goetz, H. M., Beattie, K., Renaud, D. L., 2022

Evaluation of a point-of-care meter for measuring glucose concentrations in dairy calves: A diagnostic accuracy study
JDS Communications, Renaud, D. L., Hare, K. S., Wood, K. M., Steele, M. A., Cantor, M. C., 2022

Cost-aware Inference of Bovine Respiratory Disease in Calves using Precision Livestock Technology, Casella, Enrico, Cantor, Melissa C., Silvestri, Simone, Renaud, Dave L., Costa, Joao H.C., 2022

Associations between Feeding Behaviors Collected from an Automated Milk Feeder and Neonatal Calf Diarrhea in Group Housed Dairy Calves: A Case-Control Study
Animals, Conboy, Meridith H., Winder, Charlotte B., Cantor, Melissa C., Costa, Joao H.C., Steele, Michael A., Medrano-Galarza, Catalina, von Konigslow, Taika E., Kerr, Amanda, Renaud, Dave L., 2022

Using machine learning and precision livestock farming technology for early indication of health status in preweaned dairy calves, Cantor, M. C., Casella, E., Silvestri, S., Renaud, D. L., Costa, J. H.C., 2022

Supplementation of lysolecithin in milk replacer for Holstein dairy calves: Effects on growth performance, health, and metabolites
Journal of Dairy Science, Reis, M. E., Toledo, A. F., da Silva, A. P., Poczynek, M., Fioruci, E. A., Cantor, M. C., Greco, L., Bittar, C. M.M., 2021

Symposium review: Precision technologies for dairy calves and management applications
Journal of Dairy Science, Costa, Joao H.C., Cantor, Melissa C., Neave, Heather W., 2021

A comprehensive evaluation of microchips to measure temperature in dairy calves
Journal of Dairy Science, Woodrum Setser, M. M., Cantor, M. C., Costa, J. H.C., 2020

Technical note: Estimating body weight of dairy calves with a partial-weight scale attached to an automated milk feeder
Journal of Dairy Science, Cantor, Melissa C., Pertuisel, Charlotte H., Costa, Joao H.C., 2020

Effect of milk feeding strategy and lactic acid probiotics on growth and behavior of dairy calves fed using an automated feeding system
Journal of Animal Science, Cantor, Melissa C., Stanton, Amy L., Combs, David K., Costa, Joao H.C., 2019

Key animal welfare issues in commercially raised dairy calves: Social environment, nutrition, and painful procedures
Canadian Journal of Animal Science, Costa, Joao H.C., Cantor, Melissa C., Adderley, Nicola A., Neave, Heather W., 2019

Impact of observed and controlled water intake on reticulorumen temperature in lactating dairy cattle
Animals, Cantor, Melissa C., Costa, Joao H.C., Bewley, Jeffrey M., 2018

Bovine Life History, Costa, Joao, Cantor, Melissa, Neave, Heather, 2018