Position/Title: Associate Professor
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53746
Office: ANNU 226
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.
The gastrointestinal tract is a potential rate-limiting factor in the survival and productivity of monogastric farm animals 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:
- Hannah Facey (MSc. student)
- Juan Sanchez (MSc. student)
- Reza Akbari Moghaddam Kakhki (PhD student)
- Youngji Rho (PhD student)
- Emily Kim (PhD student)
- Munene Kithama (PhD student); Co-advised Dr. Moussa S. Diarra
- Lisa Hodgins (PhD student)
- Aizwarya Thanabalan (PhD student)
- Philip Mak (PhD student); Co-advised Dr. Moussa S. Diarra
- Junhyung Lee (PhD student)
- Mohsen Mohammadigheisar (PDF)
- Cuilan (Julia) Zhu (Research Technician)
- Zipporah Mwaniki (Research Assistant)
- Tanka Khanal, PhD (2017-2020)
- Alisha Mills (nee. Wornath-Vanhumbeck), MSc., 2016-2020
- Aizwarya Thanabalan, MSc., 2017-2019
- Zipporah Mwaniki, MSc., 2017-2019
- Ilona Parenteau, MSc., 2017-2019
- Mohamed Neijat, PDF, 2017-2019
- Haley Leung, MSc., 2016-2018
- Emily Kim, MSc., 2016-2018
- Youngji Rho, MSc., 2015-2017