Carbohydrate digestion and metabolism in growing calves
After completing his PhD on growth modelling in pre-ruminant calves in 1996, Dr Walter Gerrits worked as a research scientist for TNO Nutrition & Food Research Institute. In 1999, he was appointed to the Animal Nutrition and Adaptation Physiology groups of Wageningen University. Since 2016, he has held a chair position at the Animal Nutrition Group.
His research focuses on digestive physiology and macronutrient metabolism in various species, mostly pigs and calves. In his work on calves specifically, Dr Gerrits has focused on interactions between solid feed and milk replacers on animal behaviour, health and metabolism. In whole-body metabolism studies, Dr Gerrits combines indirect calorimetry with stable isotope tracer technology. In regard to digestive physiology, understanding of digestion kinetics is a key item in his research across species. Eighteen PhD students have completed their PhD under his supervision, with 10 more currently working on their research. His publication record comprises more than 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
During his keynote lecture in the "Ontogenesis of the newborn ruminant" session, Dr Gerrits will discuss carbohydrate digestion and metabolism in growing calves.