Microbiome 101

Presented as part of the KEMTalk Series on April 20, 2018, by Dr. Shannon Pratt-Phillips, Associate Professor of Equine Nutrition in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Shannon Pratt Phillips is an Associate Professor of Equine Nutrition in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University. Pratt Phillips received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph in Nutritional Science. Her Master of Science is from the University of Kentucky and her Doctor of Philosophy is from the University of Guelph, both focused on equine nutrition and exercise physiology. She joined the faculty at NCSU in 2006 where she teaches in the field of equine science and nutrition, both via traditional face-to-face classes and online. She received numerous accolades for her teaching efforts, including the North Carolina State University Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor award in 2017, the Equine Science Society Outstanding Educator Award in 2017, the North Carolina State University Outstanding Teacher Award in 2013, the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology in 2014, and was elected as a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teacher Fellow in 2014. Her field of research focuses on glucose metabolism, insulin resistance and obesity in horses as well as nutrient requirements of both equine and canine athletes. She also conducts pedagogical research investigating the effectiveness of distance education learning, and developed a teaching game for her students, Trot to Trophy. She is a member of the Equine Science Society, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, American Society of Animal Science, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. She is a Past-President of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Equine Science Society.

Q&A Breakout

Question 1: Would a decrease in fecal fiber digesting bacteria possibly indicate a horse that is at risk of digestive problems?

 

Question 2: Does the intestinal microbiome communicate with the intestinal immune system, or influence systemic health? In other words, how does the microbiome influence the gut-brain axis?

 

Question 3: Geriatric horses with a liquid component at the end of defecation are not uncommon. Do we know what changes in the microbiome relate to the cause of the fecal "soup" at the end of defication?

 

Question 4: Where do you think microbiome is and where do you think we need to go?

 

Question 5: Can you tell us more about what kind of research you are conducting?

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