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Elijah Kiarie

Position/Title: Associate Professor and McIntosh Family Professor in Poultry Nutrition
email: ekiarie@uoguelph.ca
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53746
Office: ANNU 226

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Meet Elijah ( 60 second OAC video )

Elijah Kiarie grew up in Central Kenya on a small farm where his family raised pigs, chickens, and cows – but just a few of each. This led to an interest in learning more about animal science and nutrition. His research work is now focused primarily in poultry. Elijah joined the University of Guelph in 2016 in the McIntosh Family Professorship in Poultry Nutrition position. In addition to his academic degrees he also has the University of Manitoba Certificate of Higher Education Teaching and University of Georgia International Poultry Course.

Academic History

  • Bachelor of Science (1st class honors) Agriculture, University of Nairobi, 1998
  • Master of Science, Animal Science, University of Nairobi, 2003
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Animal Science, University of Manitoba, 2008

Affiliations and Partnerships

  • Centre for Nutrition Modelling
  • Poultry Health Research Network
  • Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba

Awards and Honours

  • Outstanding Associate Editor for 2017, Canadian Science Publishing

  • National Pork Board Award, Annual Midwest ASAS/ADSA meeting Des Moines, IA, (2010)

Research Impact

Elijah is an enthusiastic monogastric nutritionist with strong interests in contributing to intellectual and technical innovations for efficient, safe, high quality, sustainable and profitable animal protein industry. One of the thematic areas of research that he has made notable contributions over the years is in advancing the understanding of the application of exogenous feed enzymes to improve nutrient utilization, modulate gut health, reduce feed cost and minimize nutrients excretion into the environment.

Current Research Projects

The gastrointestinal tract is a potential rate-limiting factor in the survival and productivity of poultry in the light of advances in genetic improvement and restriction on the use of anti-microbial growth promoters. A healthy and functional digestive system is critical for efficient digestion and absorption of nutrients, but there are many pathogens present in the gut that needs to be controlled. Our group has been looking at alternative approaches such as functional feed additives and formulation strategies to develop feeding programs that enhance gut health and function.

Another serious problem in modern poultry is the dysfunctional skeletal system. There are two main concerns relating to skeletal disorders in poultry: (a) osteoporosis in egg-laying hens; (b) leg disorders caused by rapid bone growth in broiler (meat-type) chickens. Both of these disorders cause concern for animal welfare and also impacts food safety as broken bones and bone splinters find their way into the food chain. Our group is studying ways to manipulate perinatal nutrition for stronger skeletal growth in early life to improve later life productivity, skeletal integrity, and welfare.

Graduate Student Information

We have access to advanced poultry research facilities ranging from isolator units for specific pathogen studies, hatchery to modular barns for any scale of poultry nutrition research. The Department of Animal Biosciences has more than 30 faculty members with a range of expertise to draw upon. Students have access to the state of the art instrumentations for high-throughput genomics, spectrometry, chromatography, microscopy, microfluidics, cell culture, and advanced nutrition analytics. All these provide an excellent training environment for graduate students in terms of modern facilities, a large cohort of graduate students, a large pool of expertise to serve in graduate advisory committees and faculty to interact with in a well-organized graduate program.

Current research team: