Picture of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Gregory Penner

Gregory Penner Associate Professor

6D18 - Agriculture Building

Research Area(s)

  • Ruminant nutritional physiology
  • Cattle nutrition to enhance health and productivity
  • Gut function

Brief Biography

Dr. Greg Penner is an Associate Professor and Centennial Enhancement Chair in Nutritional Physiology. He joined the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan in 2009 after obtaining his BSA (2004) and M.Sc. (2004) degrees from the same University, and his PhD from the University of Alberta (2009). His research covers forage utilization, ruminant nutrition, and regulation gut function in cattle. He has developed 2 indwelling pH measurement systems that have been adopted by the research community worldwide. Dr. Penner has a well-funded research program supporting and has trained more than 10 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and provided over 40 invited presentations. Greg also has an active extension program helping to communicate research results to end users and  serves as the co-chair for the Saskatchewan Beef and Forage Symposium.


Animal and Poultry Science

Other Affiliations/positions

Associate editor, Canadian Journal of Animal Science

Research Interests

My research program focuses on the development of nutritional strategies to enhance the health and productivity of cattle. This includes fundamental research investigating gut function with an emphasis on regulatory processes involved in adaptive and recovery responses. Research techniques used within this theme include the use of Ussing chambers as an ex vivo approach and the temporarily isolated reticulo-rumen technique as an in vivo approach. Results from these studies are used within my second theme, applied research, to evaluate efficacy of nutritional management strategies to enhance productivity and health of beef cattle, dairy cattle, and sheep.


2004 BSA, University of Saskatchewan 
2006 MSc, University of Saskatchewan 
2009 PhD, University of Alberta

Selected Recent Publications

Rosser, C.L., A.D. Beattie, H.C. Block, J.J. McKinnon, H.A. Lardner, P. Górka, and G.B. Penner. 2016. Effect of maturity at harvest for whole-crop barley and oat on dry matter intake, sorting, and digestibility when fed to beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 94: 697-708

Górka, P., E. Castillo-Lopez, F. Joy, G.E. Chibisa, J.J. McKinnon, and G.B. Penner. 2015. Effect of including high-lipid by-product pellets in substitution for barley grain and canola mean in diets for beef cattle on rumen fermentation and nutrient digestibility. J. Anim. Sci. 93:4891-4902.

Wood, K.M., S. Palmer, M.A. Steele, J. Metcalf, and G.B. Penner. 2015. Effect of age and weaning on permeability of the gastrointestinal tract in Holstein bull calves. J. Dairy Sci. 98:7226–7237.

Schurmann, B.L., M.E. Walpole, P. Górka, J.C.H. Ching, M.E. Loewen, and G.B. Penner. 2014. Short-term adaptation of the ruminal epithelium involves abrupt changes in sodium and short-chain fatty acid transport. Am. J. Physiol. Reg. Integ. Comp. 307:R802-R816

Castillo-Lopez, E., B.I. Wiese, S. Hendrick, J.J. McKinnon, T.A. McAllister, K.A. Beauchemin, and G.B. Penner. 2014. Incidence, prevalence, severity, and risk factors for ruminal acidosis in feedlot steers during backgrounding, diet transition, and finishing. J. Anim. Sci. 92:3053-3063

Selected Awards

Canadian Society of Animal Science Young Scientist Award (2012)

Funding Sources

Funding for Dr. Penner’s research program has been provided from the (in alphabetical order); Agriculture Development Fund, Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF), Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Alberta Milk, Beef Cattle Research Council, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, DuPont Pioneer, Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC), Nutreco Canada, Saputo, Saskatchewan Barley Commission, Saskatchewan Canola Council, SaskMilk, and Western Grains Research Foundation


ANSC 250.3 Sheep and goat management
ANSC 315.3 Animal and poultry nutrition
ANSC 410.3 Cow-calf management
ANSC 492.3 Thesis in Animal Science
ANSC 815.3 Advanced ruminant nutrition
VBMS 828.3 Gastrointestinal physiology
ANSC 820.3 Energetics and micronutrient nutrition