Anne Laarman, PhD, PAS
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept
- (780) 492-8228
3-10E Agriculture/Forestry Centre
9011 - 116 St NWEdmonton ABT6G 2P5
Area of Study / Keywords
Nutrition physiology ruminant absorption physiology gut development diet adaptation
- PhD: Animal Science | University of Guelph | 2015
- MSc: Animal Science | University of Alberta | 2011
- BSc: Physiology & Developmental Biology | University of Alberta | 2008
- Assistant Professor, Dairy Nutrition & Physiology | University of Alberta | 2019 - Present
- Assistant Professor, Ruminant Nutrition & Metabolism | University of Idaho (USA) | 2015 - 2019
- Research Assistant, Animal Science | University of Guelph | 2011 - 2015
- Knowledge Transfer Intern, Dairy Nutrition | Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs | 2011 - 2012
- Research Assistant, Animal Science | University of Alberta | 2008 - 2010
- Research Assistant, Dairy & Meat Science | AgroScope Liebefeld/Posieux (Switzerland) | 2008
- Research Assistant, Ruminant Nutrition | Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada | 2006 - 2007
Our research team is focused on improving nutrient absorption in cows and calves with the goal of making them healthier, more productive, and more able to withstand dietary changes. Our team has three principal foci:
- Gut development - In the first few weeks of life, ruminants undergo a transformation from a pseudo-ruminant monogastric to ruminant. At birth, the rumen is non-functional, and must be functional by weaning, typically at 6 weeks of life. My research program focuses on what this transition involves, what triggers it, and developing nutritional strategies for calves to promote rumen development. Two key aspects of rumen development studied in my lab is the development of nutrient absorption capacity and the ability to prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream.
- Calf health - Calves are born without immunoglobulins, antibodies needed to fight disease. The only source of immunoglobulins in calves is colostrum, which can only be absorbed in the first few days of life, when the gut is permeable to immunoglobulins; this process is known as Passive Transfer of Immunity. My team studies the factors involved in the absorption of immunoglobulins in calves, and what makes a gut begin the process of "gut closure", reducing permeability to immunoglobulins. Ultimately, our goal is to develop strategies that prolong the window for immunoglobulin absorption and increase the rate of immunoglobulin absorption by the calf to improve Passive Transfer of Immunity.
- Gut adaptation - Dairy and beef cows are switched to highly fermentable diets to provide energy for milk and meat production as part of industry production practices. During the adaptation process, cows are susceptible to subacute ruminal acidosis and breakdown of the gut barrier, leading to adverse health outcomes. My research program studies dietary adaptation, which biomarkers are key to successful and healthy adaptation, and how we can use feed additives (e.g. probiotics, prebiotics) to improve health and productivity during dietary transitions.
If you are interested in having a follow-up conversation, or would like to explore the possibility of research experience, please contact me. Opportunities are available as funding and space allows. Due to supply-chain issues and COVID waves, planned animal projects may be delayed on short notice.
AFNS 561 - Ruminant Digestion, Metabolism, and Nutrition
Integration of theory and practical concepts in ruminant nutrition, digestion and metabolism through topics such as energy flow in ruminants, protein systems and net feed efficiency. Laboratories will involve formulation of rations for various physiological states of beef and dairy cattle, economical rations, feed mixes, protein systems (degradable and undegradable protein systems) and net feed efficiency formulations. Not to be taken if credit received for AN SC 461. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
AN SC 400 - Individual Study
Project or reading course supervised by a Faculty member, requiring preparation of a comprehensive report. Prerequisites: Third year standing or higher and consent of Department. Note: May be taken more than once if topic is different.
AN SC 461 - Ruminant Digestion, Metabolism, and Nutrition
Integration of theory and practical concepts in ruminant nutrition, digestion and metabolism through topics such as energy flow in ruminants, protein systems and net feed efficiency. Laboratories will involve formulation of rations for various physiological states of beef and dairy cattle, economical rations, feed mixes, protein systems (degradable and undegradable protein systems) and net feed efficiency formulations. Prerequisite: AN SC 260 or *3 NUTR.