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Anna-Kate Shoveller


Position/Title: Associate Professor
email: ashovell@uoguelph.ca
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53140
Office: ANNU 240

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Meet Kate ( 60 second OAC  video )

While she was always interested in animals, Kate only discovered her love for nutrition in her senior year of her animal biology degree at the University of Guelph. She subsequently joined the research team of Drs. Ron Ball and Paul Pencharz at the University of Alberta. After her PhD she spent eight months as the Provincial Equine Specialist for Alberta and then returned to Guelph for a post doctoral fellowship in Companion Animal Nutrition. She then spent eight years in the USA working for Procter & Gamble and then Mars. In 2015 she joined the University of Guelph as a faculty member and focuses her research on energy and amino acid metabolism in mono-gastric animals (primarily cats, dogs and pigs). She looks at how diet interacts with the animal and its environment and hopes to lead to companion animals living a longer, healthier life style.

Academic History

  • B.Sc. Honours, in Animal Biology, University of Guelph (1997)
  • Ph.D. Nutrition and Metabolism, University of Alberta (2004)
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship in Animal Nutrition and Metabolism, University of Guelph (2004-2007)

Affiliations and Partnerships

  • Member and past Chair, Companion Animal Committee, American Society of Animal Sciences
  • Member of American Society of Nutrition a
  • Member of Canadian Nutrition Society
  • Member of American Society of Animal Science
  • Section Editor, Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, NRC Press
  • Chair of Academic Petitions committee
  • Member of University of Guelph Senate
  • Scientific board member for Trouw Companion Animal Committee
  • Has held or holds industrial or industry matching research funds from: Champion Petfoods, Mars Pet Care, The Iams Company (formly P&G Pet Care), Simmons Pet Food, Rolf C. Hagen Inc., F.L. Emmert Company, Enviroflight, Kent Pet  Group Inc., Pet Sustainability Coalition
  • Has held or holds competitive provincial or federal funding from: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Discovery and Engage), Mitacs (Accelerate and Elevate), Canada First in Research Excellence Funding

Research Impact

Kate worked in the pet food industry from 2007 to 2015 helping to develop foods with better availability of protein and energy. In industry she led and managed scientific investigations and communicated scientific results to better the lives of companion animals through the improvement of the products they eat. Her expert advice on protein and energy metabolism, effects of nutrition on behavior, and effects of nutrition on performance enhanced various products consumed by companion animals across North America.  

Her current research provides information for feed manufacturers and for others who work with animals to improve the health and welfare of pets and livestock.  Kate also works with sled dogs and service dogs to improve their health and nutrition.

She holds the following patents / patent applications:

  • Compositions comprising a glucose anti-metabolite and selenium, United States Patent Application 20120282373 A1. Also published as WO2012151227A1. Filing date 05.02.2011.
  • Edible Composition with Reduced Glycemic Index. United States Patent Application 61/814,246. Filing date 04.20.13.
  • Mimicking the metabolic effects of caloric restriction by administration of glucose anti-metabolites to enhance positive response in a mammal.  European Patent Application 13168825.1-1464. CM 3853. Filing date: 23.05.13
  • Petfood compositions, United States Patent Application 62199802 A1. Filing date 07.31.2015.

Current Research Projects

  • Sustainability of ingredients used in pet foods
  • Comparison of methods to evaluate protein quality
  • The digestibility and bioavailability of amino acids from black solider fly larvae for pigs
  • Sulfur amino acid metabolism in cats
  • Sulfur amino acid metabolism in dogs
  • The effects of a beta-glucan enriched yeast on the health and well-being of recreational sled dogs
  • The effects of supplemental taurine, methionine or methyl compounds on sulfur amino acid metabolism in dogs
  • Is the grain-free dog food consumer different than those who do not avoid grains?
  • The effects of camelina, canola and flax seed oils on fatty acid metabolism, inflammation and skin and coat health in dogs and horses 
  • The bioavailability of amino acids from field peas using the indicator amino acid oxidation technique in dogs

Graduate Student Information

Not currently accepting applications for MSc or PhD thesis based students. Please consider contacting in 2023.

When working with graduate students, Kate aspires to help her students learn quickly, be willing to accept criticism, accomplish work of extremely high quality and push the envelope. Her lab is known to be high capacity and high energy but also a place where people have a lot of fun.

Kate’s students have gone on to positions in the animal nutrition industry and currently she has former graduate students at: DSM, Pet Valu, RC Hagen, Petcurean, Elmira Pet Food, Simmons Pet Food, Mars Pet Care, and Trouw Nutrition.

Featured Publications

  1. Marinangeli CPF, Foisy S, Shoveller AK, Jenkins D, Anderson H. 2017. An appetite for modernizing the regulatory framework for protein content claims in Canada. Nutrients. 9(9): 921-948. Doi: 10.3390/nu909092
  2. Shoveller AK, Danelon JJ, Atkinson JL, Davenport GM, Ball RO, Pencharz PB. 2017. Calibration and validation of a carbon oxidation system, determination of the bicarbonate retention factor, and the dietary phenylalanine requirement, in the presence of excess tyrosine, of adult, female, mixed breed dogs. 95: 1-11. DOI: 10.2527/jas2017-1525.
  3. Bellows J, Center S, Daristotle L, Estrada A, Flickinger EA, Horwitz DF, Lepine A, Perea S, Scherk M, Shoveller AK. 2016. Evaluating aging in cats: How to determine what is healthy and what is disease. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
  4. Shoveller AK, Stoll B, Ball RO, Burrin DG. 2005. Nutritional and functional importance of intestinal sulfur amino acid metabolism. Journal of Nutrition. 135(7):1609-12.
  5. Shoveller AK, de Godoy MRC, Larsen J, Flickinger E. 2016. Emerging advancements in canine and feline metabolism and nutrition. World Scientific Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9023781.
  6. McKnight LL, Wright D, Root-McCaig J, France J, Shoveller AK. 2015. Dietary mannoheptulose decreases diet induced thermogenesis and physical activity in adult Labrador Retrievers. PLOS One, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0143324.
  7. Gooding MA, Atkinson JA, Duncan IJH, Neil L, Shoveller AK. 2015. Dietary fat and carbohydrate have differential effects on body weight, energy expenditure, glucose homeostasis and behavior in adult cats fed to maintenance energy requirement. Journal of Nutritional Science. doi: 10.1017/jns.2014.60.