Research Area(s)

  • Ruminant nutrition and metabolism
  • Transition cow metabolism
  • Manipulation of milk composition

Brief Biography

Dr. Timothy (Tim) Mutsvangwa is a Professor of Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism. He grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe, and spent his school holidays milking indigenous Bos indicus cows in the village. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Zimbabwe, a Master’s degree in Animal Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and a Ph.D. degree in Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Guelph. He joined the University of Saskatchewan as an Assistant Professor in September 2003. Before that, he was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph and also worked as a Principal Research Scientist (Dairy Nutrition and Management) at Henderson Research Station (Department of Research and Specialist Services, Ministry of Agriculture) in Zimbabwe.

Department

Animal and Poultry Science

Research Interests

My research group focuses on improving the efficiency of nitrogen utilization in ruminants, with a specific emphasis on improving our understanding of the nutritional, physiological and molecular mechanisms that regulate nitrogen (urea-nitrogen) recycling to the gut and the incorporation of recycled nitrogen into microbial protein in ruminants. Two types of protein molecules, referred to as urea transporters and aquaporins, are expressed in the wall of the ruminant fore-stomachs and are involved in the transport of urea-nitrogen from the bloodstream into the fore-stomachs; however, we do not know what regulates the activity of these protein molecules and that is a major focus of my research group. For this research, we use isotopic techniques to study in vivo whole-body urea-nitrogen kinetics and serosal-to-mucosal passage of urea-nitrogen across gut tissues mounted under varying ex vivo conditions in Ussing chambers. Other recent research has focused on the characterization of the transitional changes in body protein metabolism and gene expression profiles for the major protein degradation systems in skeletal muscle in dairy cows, and how transition cow feeding management might alter these changes. My research group has also focused on feed evaluation, primarily the utilization of protein supplements such as canola meal and wheat-based dried distillers grains in dairy cow diets.

Education

B.Sc. (Honours) in Animal Science, University of Zimbabwe (1985) 
M.Sc. in Animal Nutrition, University of Aberdeen, Scotland (1989) 
Ph.D. in Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism, University of Guelph (1997)

Selected Recent Publications

T. Mutsvangwa, D. Kiran, and S. Abeysekara. 2016. Effects of feeding canola meal or wheat dried distillers grains with solubles as a major protein source in low- or high-crude protein diets on ruminal fermentation, omasal flow, and production in cows. Journal of Dairy Science 99:1216–1227.

M. E. Walpole, B. L. Schurmann, P. Górka, G. B. Penner, M. Loewen, and T. Mutsvangwa. 2015. Serosal-to-mucosal urea flux across the isolated ruminal epithelium is mediated via urea transporter-B and aquaporins when Holstein calves are abruptly changed to a moderately fermentable diet. Journal of Dairy Science 98:1204-1213.

G. E. Chibisa, P. Gorka, G. B. Penner, R. Berthiaume, and T. Mutsvangwa. 2015. Effects of partial replacement of dietary starch from barley or corn with lactose on ruminal function, short-chain fatty acid absorption, nitrogen utilization, and production performance of dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 98:2627-2640.

G. E. Chibisa, D. A. Christensen, and T. Mutsvangwa. 2013. Replacing canola meal as the major protein source with wheat dried distillers grains alters omasal fatty acid flow and milk fatty acid composition in dairy cows. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 93:137-147.

K. L. Davies, J. J. McKinnon, and T. Mutsvangwa. 2013. Effects of dietary ruminally-degradable starch and ruminally-degradable protein levels on urea recycling, microbial protein production, nitrogen balance, and duodenal nutrient flow in beef heifers fed low crude protein diets. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 93:123-136.

Funding Sources

Dr. Mutsvangwa’s research program has been funded primarily from the following funding agencies (in alphabetical order):

  • Canola Council of Canada
  • Dairy Farmers of Canada
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC Discovery Grant and Collaborative Research and Development Grant Programs)
  • Saskatchewan Agricultural Development Fund
  • Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission
  • SaskMilk

Courses

ANSC 315.3: Animal and Poultry Nutrition

ANSC 460.3: Intensive Management of Dairy Cattle

ANSC 492.3: Thesis in Animal Science

ANSC 802.3: Advanced Animal Metabolism

ANSC 815.3: Advanced Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism

ANSC 820.3: Advanced Energy and Micronutrient Nutrition