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Anna Kate Shoveller

Position/Title: Professor
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53140
Office: ANNU 240

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Meet Kate ( 60 second OAC  video )

Being raised on a hobby farm was one of the founding experiences that led Anna Kate Shoveller to pursue her undergraduate degree in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph. Shoveller received her PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Alberta in 2004 and is currently a Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph. Her enthusiasm for research is credited to her PhD advisor, Dr. Ron Ball at the University of Alberta where Shoveller completed a PhD studying sulfur amino acid requirements and metabolism in pigs. 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. From 2007-2015 she was employed by Procter & Gamble and Mars Pet Care where she added to the knowledge of dog and cat nutrition through investigation in the areas of energy metabolism and nutrient budgets of dogs and cats using indirect calorimetry and applying the indicator amino acid oxidation technique and indirect calorimetry to quantify amino acids requirements in adult dogs. Additionally, Shoveller laddered nutrition to owner noticeable behaviour and often factors behaviour and quality of life into her nutrition and physiology based studies. Shoveller took her industrial experience and returned to academia where she now teaches companion animal and equine nutrition and runs an active comparative nutrition research group primarily focused on amino acid metabolism, protein quality, and macronutrient partitioning in dogs, cats, horses, and pigs. The global focus for the Shoveller lab is optimizing nutrition across mammalian species for health and longevity without compromising the future of our food chain. Shoveller is the recipient of the American Society of Nutrition Peter Reed’s Young Investigator Award (2009), The John G. Smale Award in Innovation from Procter & Gamble (2009), the American Society of Animal Science Jim Corbin Award in Companion Animal Biology (2018), the AFIA Best Friend of Pet Food (2020), and the Canadian Society of Animal Sciences Excellence in Nutrition and Meat Science (2021). She has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, contributed to multiple book chapters, applied for multiple patents, and has gained over $5 million in less than 6 years from private industry and public funding agencies. In 2021, Shoveller was named the inaugural Champion Petfoods Chair in Canine and Feline Nutrition, Physiology and Metabolism. The global focus for the Shoveller lab is optimizing nutrition across mammalian species for health and longevity without compromising the future of our food chain.

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

  • Champion Petfoods Chair in Canine and Feline Nutrition, Physiology and Metabolism
  • Member and past Chair, Companion Animal Committee, American Society of Animal Sciences
  • Member of American Society of Nutrition
  • Member of Canadian Nutrition Society
  • Member of American Society of Animal Science
  • Associate Editor, Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, NRC Press
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Animal Science
  • Chair of The University of Guelph Senate subcommittee: Academic Petitions
  • 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 Pet Foods, Mars Pet Care, Simmons Pet Food, Rolf C. Hagen Inc., F.L. Emmert Company, Enviroflight, Kent Pet Group Inc., Pet Sustainability Coalition, Petcurean Pet Nutrition, Novus, Haygain, Pancosma (an ADM company), WINN Feline Foundation, JM Smuckers, Ketonaturals Pet Foods
  • Has held or holds competitive provincial or federal funding from: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Discovery, CRD, Alliance and Engage), Mitacs (Accelerate and Elevate), Canada First in Research Excellence Funding



Awards and Honours

  • Excellence in Nutrition and Meat Sciences, Canadian Society of Animal Science animal nutrition or meat science (2020-2021) 
  • Friend of Pet Food, American Feed Industry Association (2019-2020)
  • Corbin National Award, American Society of Animal Science (2017-2018)
  • Procter & Gamble New Scientist Travel Award, Procter & Gamble (2012-2013)
  • John G. Smale Award, Procter & Gamble (2009-2010) 
  • Nutrition Community of Practice Future Shares, Procter & Gamble (2008-2009)
  • The Peter Reeds Young Investigator Award, American Society for Nutrition (2008-2009)


  • ANSC*4560 Pet Nutrition
    • This course covers nutrient requirements, feed formulation and nutritional idiosyncrasies for dogs, cats, and exotic pets
  • EQN*4020 Advanced Equine Nutrition
    • This course focuses on the nutrition of horses at peak levels of performance or endurance
    • The use of real-world, case-study scenarios allows for the evaluation of practical feeding programs across a range of equine performance situations

Research Impact

Kate worked in the pet food industry from 2007 to 2015 helping to develop foods optimized protein and energy for dogs and cats of different breeds, physiological stages, and age. 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 ingredient suppliers and pet food manufacturers and for others who work with animals, such as veterinarians, to improve the health and welfare of pets and livestock.

Current Research Projects

  • 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 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
  • The effects of increasing legume inclusion on cardiac health and metabolic indices

Graduate Student Information

Not currently accepting applications for M.Sc. or Ph.D. 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. Work hard, play hard is a moto she lives by.

Kate’s students have gone on to positions in the animal nutrition industry and currently she has former graduate students at: Mars USA, Trouw Nutrition, DSM, PetValu, RC Hagen, Petcurean, Elmira Pet Foods, Simmons Pet Food, Crumps, The Toronto Zoo. Many MSc students have gone to veterinary college and one has combined arts with science and is a freelance science communicator.


Current Team

Featured Publications

  1. Robinson, E., Thornton, E., Templeman, J. R., Croney, C. C., Niel, L., et al. (2021). Changes in Behaviour and Voluntary Physical Activity Exhibited by Sled Dogs throughout Incremental Exercise Conditioning and Intermittent Rest Days. Animals, 11 (118), 11.
  2.  Banton, S., Shoveller, A. K., von Massow, M., Pezzali, J. G., & Baynham, A. (2021).  Grains on the brain: Consumer purchasing habits with regards to no-grain dog food. PLoS ONE., doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250806.
  3.  Thornton, E., Robinson, E., Templeman, J., Bruggink, L., Bower, M., et al. (2021). Supplemental fiber affects body temperature and fecal metabolites but not respiratory rate or body composition in mid-distance training sled dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science., doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.639335.
  4. Templeman, J. R., Hogan, K., Blanchard, A., Marinangeli, C. P., Verbrugghe, A., et al. (2021). The effect of raw and encapsulated policosanol on lipid profiles, blood chemistry, activity, energy expenditure, and macronutrient metabolism in adult cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
  5. Mansilla, W. D., Templeman, J. R., Fortener, L., & Shoveller, A. K. (2020).  Minimum dietary methionine requirements in miniature Daschund, Beagles and Labrador Retriever adult dogs using the indicator amino acid oxidation technique. Journal of Animal Science, 98 (11)., doi:
  6. Thornton, E., Templeman, J. R., Bower, M., Holloway, G., & Shoveller, A. (2020).  Exercise but Not Supplemental Dietary Tryptophan Influences Heart Rate and Respiratory Rate in Sled Dogs. Veterinary Sciences, 7 (3), 97, doi:
  7. Grant, C., Shoveller, A., Shauna, B., Bakovic, M., Vebrugghe, A., et al. (2020).  Dietary intake of arginine and choline below recommended allowance in obese cats undergoing energy restriction for weight loss. BMC Veterinary Research, 16 (426).
  8. Pfeuti, G., & Shoveller, A. (2019).  A Novel Enzymatic Pre-treatment Improves Amino Acid Utilization in Feather Meal Fed to Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquaculture Research, 50 (5), 1459-1474, doi:
  9. Shoveller, A., McKnight, L. L., Wood, K., & Cant, J. (2018).  Lessons from animal nutritionists: Dietary amino acid requirement studies and considerations for healthy aging studies. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 14181 (1), 20-30, doi: 10.1111/nyas.13546.
  10. Shoveller, A., Mansilla, W., Fortener, L., & Gorman, A. (2018).  Dietary phenylalanine requirements are similar in small, medium, and large breed adult dogs using the indicator amino acid oxidation technique. Journal of Animal Science.

For a full list of publications, please visit Kate's Google Scholar page.