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(306) 373-9922

Fax: 306-955-2510

2105 – 8th Street East

Saskatoon, SK, S7H 5N9

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Dr. Dan Columbus

Research Scientist, Nutrition

Phone (306) 667-7432
Email  Contact Dan

Dr. Columbus joined the Prairie Swine Centre in 2015 as a Research Associate in Nutrition and was promoted to Research Scientist in 2016. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan. He is responsible for overseeing the nutrition research program at Prairie Swine Centre and development of collaborations between PSC and USask.

Previously, Dr. Columbus was a Postdoctoral Associate at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Centre at Baylor College of Medicine. His research at the CNRC focused on understanding the physiology of muscle growth and on developing strategies to improve lean tissue gain as a means to improve development and long-term health of low-birth weight infants. Dr. Columbus completed his PhD at the University of Guelph where he studied nitrogen metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract of the growing pig and the interaction of dietary nutrients/ingredients and gut microbes and the effect on amino acid availability.


  • PhD, University of Guelph, 2012
  • MSc, University of Guelph, 2008
  • BSc, University of Guelph, 2004


  • Canadian Society of Animal Science Young Scientist Award, 2019
  • Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (NSERC), 2010
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2009
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology, 2009
  • Animal Nutrition Association of Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • Keith Gilmore Foundation Post-Graduate Scholarship

Professional Associations

  • Member and Awards Committee Chair (Executive), Canadian Society of Animal Science
  • Member, American Society of Animal Science


  • Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium Steering Committee
  • Reviewer: Journal of Nutrition, Journal of Animal Science, Canadian Journal of Animal Science (Associate Editor), Amino Acids, Nutrients
  • Reviewer: NSERC, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Mitacs

Current Research Program

  1. Interaction of nutrition and health status on nutrient utilization and pig robustness.
  2. Impact of early-life nutrition on long-term growth performance and health.
  3. Evaluation of alternative feed ingredients and feeding practices to enhance nutrient utilization and animal performance.

Current research funding provided by: Government of Saskatchewan – Agriculture Development Fund, Swine Innovation Porc – Canadian Agricultural Partnership, NSERC Discovery, Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH, BIOMIN Holding GmbH, Mitacs, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, and Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission.

Selected Publications

  • https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=OZsEC_cAAAAJ&oi=ao):
  • Rudar M, Columbus DA, Steinhoff-Wagner J, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, Fleischmann R, Davis TA, and Fiorotto ML (2019) Leucine supplementation does not restore diminished skeletal muscle satellite cell abundance and myonuclear accretion when protein intake is limiting. J. Nutr. In press.
  • 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. In press.
  • 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. In press.
  • 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. In Press.
  • Mansilla WD, Marinangeli CPF, Ekenstedt KJ, Larsen JA, Aldrich G, Columbus DA, Weber L, Abood SK, 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.
  • 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.
  • Manjarin R, Columbus DA, Solis J, Hernandez-Garcia AD, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, McGuckin MM, Jimenez RT, Fiorotto ML, and Davis TA (2018) Short- and long-term effects of leucine and branched-chain amino acid supplementation of a protein- and energy-reduced diet on muscle protein metabolism in neonatal pigs. Amino Acids. 50:943-959.