College of Agriculture and Bioresources

Research Area(s)

  • Swine nutrition
  • Nutritional physiology
  • Protein/amino acid metabolism
  • Nutrient utilization
  • Nutrient requirements

Brief Biography

Dr. Daniel Columbus is a Research Scientist in Nutrition at Prairie Swine Centre and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Columbus completed his BSc, MSc, and PhD from the University of Guelph in 2004, 2008, and 2012, respectively. He then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. He joined the Prairie Swine Centre in 2015 and became Research Scientist in 2016. Dr. Columbus’ research focuses on the interaction of nutrition and health and nutrient utilization in swine and he has secured more than $4 million in research funding as PI and Co-I. His research is supported by NSERC, the Government of Saskatchewan, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Swine Innovation Porc – Canadian Agricultural Partnership, among other agencies and industry sponsors. He recently served as Western Director for the Canadian Society of Animal Science and is an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Animal Science. He is involved in both undergraduate and graduate teaching and mentorship and has provided training to more than 20 HQP including undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and research assistants. He has published 29 peer-reviewed scientific publications, 70 conference abstracts, and 19 industry publications and has given 23 presentations and interviews. He was the 2019 recipient of the Canadian Society of Animal Science Young Scientist Award.


Animal and Poultry Science

Research Interests

  • Nutritional requirement of disease
  • Early-life nutrition
  • Birth weight and long-term performance
  • Diet composition and nutrient requirements


  • Postdoc, USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine
  • PhD, University of Guelph
  • MSc, University of Guelph
  • BSc, University of Guelph

Selected Publications

Rodrigues LA, Wellington MO, Sands JM, Weber LP, Olver TD, Ferguson DP, and Columbus DA (2020) Characterization of a swine model of birth weight and neonatal nutrient restriction. Curr. Dev. Nutr. In press. doi:10.1093/cdn/nzaa116

Wellington MO, Hamonic K, Krone JEC, Htoo JK, Van Kessel AG, and Columbus DA (2020) Effect of dietary fiber and threonine content on intestinal barrier function in pigs challenged with either systemic E. coli lipopolysaccharide or enteric Salmonella typhimurium. J. Anim. Sci. Biotechnol. 11:38. doi:10.1186/s40104-020-00444-3.

Hernandez GV, Smith VA, Melnyk M, Columbus DA, Burd MA, Sprayberry KA, Edwards MS, Peterson DG, Bennett DC, Fanter RK, Steibel JP, Glanz H, Santiago-Rodrigues TM, Immoos C, Rice MS, Blank J, Vanderkelen JJ, Kitts CL, Piccolo BD, La Frano MR, Burrin DG, Maj M, and Manjarin R (2020) Dysregulated FXR-FGF19 signaling and choline metabolism is associated with gut dysbiosis and hyperplasia in a novel pig model of pediatric NASH. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver. Physiol. 318:G582-G609. doi:10.1152/ajpgi.00344.2019.

Rudar M, Columbus DA, Steinhoff-Wagner J, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, Fleischmann R, Davis TA, and Fiorotto ML (2020) Leucine supplementation does not restore diminished skeletal muscle satellite cell abundance and myonuclear accretion when protein intake is limiting. J. Nutr. 150:22-30. doi:10.1093/jn/nxz216.

Krone JEC, Agyekum AK, ter Borgh M, Hamonic K, Penner GB, and Columbus DA (2019) Characterization of urea transport mechanisms in the intestinal tract of growing pigs. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver. Physiol. 317:G839-G844. doi:10.1152/ajpgi.00220.2019.

Agyekum AK, Columbus DA, Farmer C, and Beaulieu AD (2019) Effects of supplementing processed straw during late gestation on sow physiology, lactation feed intake, and offspring body weight and carcass quality. J. Anim. Sci. 97:3958-3971. doi:10.1093/jas/skz242.

Wellington MO, Agyekum AK, Hamonic K, Htoo JK, Van Kessel AG, and Columbus DA (2019) Effect of supplemental threonine above requirement on growth performance of Salmonella typhimurium challenged pigs fed high fiber diets. J. Anim. Sci. 97:3636-3647. doi:10.1093/jas/skz225. (Featured Article – Amino Acid Supplementation and Performance)

Wellington MO, Htoo JK, Van Kessel AG, and Columbus DA (2019) Estimating the optimal threonine requirement for 25-50 kg pigs fed a mixture of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 99:634-638. doi:10.1139/cjas-2018-0218.

Mansilla WD, Marinangeli CPF, Abood SK, Columbus DA, Larsen J, Ekenstedt KJ, Weber L, and Shoveller AK (2019) The association between pulse ingredients and canine dilated cardiomyopathy: addressing the knowledge gaps before establishing causation. J. Anim. Sci. 97:983-997. doi:10.1093/jas/sky488.

Wellington MO, Htoo JK, Van Kessel AG, and Columbus DA (2018) Impact of high dietary fiber and immune system stimulation on threonine requirement for whole body protein deposition in growing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 96:5222-5232. doi:10.1093/jas/sky381.

Courses Taught

ANSC 818 Advanced Monogastric Nutrition
ANSC 498 Swine Production and Management
ANSC/ANBI 492 and 494 Literature and Research Thesis in Animal Science/Bioscience