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Gavin White

Assistant Professor in Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Science

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Biography

Gavin graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science (Leeds) before completing an MSc in Animal Production (Aberdeen). Subsequent employment with DEFRA included extensive on-farm blood sampling of livestock around the UK during the swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks of 2000/1. He obtained his PhD in 2007 (Nottingham) where his thesis examined nutritional strategies for improving starch digestibility and digestive integrity in the newly-weaned piglet. After postdoctoral research at Nottingham (School of Veterinary Medicine and Science 2008-2011 and School of Biosciences 2011-2013) he was appointed Teaching Associate in Animal Nutrition (Division of Animal Sciences) and, in his role as Course Manager, helped to establish a new MSc degree in Animal Nutrition. He is currently a member of the Register of Accredited Animal Scientists and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2017, he was promoted to Assistant Professor in Animal Nutrition and won a Lord Dearing Award for outstanding contribution to teaching and learning in November 2020.

Gavin's research interests generally fall under the main headings of non-ruminant and companion animal nutrition and health. Current research areas include:

  • Non-ruminant nutrition
  • Companion animal obesity

Gavin also has a keen interest in how to better support students in their transition from Undergraduate to Postgraduate Taught (PGT) study. Along with a small team of colleagues at Nottingham, he has recently developed a revised course experience survey and has launched a new PGT support programme that delivers a series of academic seminars, workshops, careers advice and wellbeing sessions throughout the year for PGT students (many of whom are from an International background). This new initiative has recently been published in Innovations in Education and Teaching International (see publications list).

Teaching Summary

Gavin is Course Manager for the MSc degree in Animal Nutrition and delivers teaching across a number of the course modules:

  • BIOS4082 Companion/Zoo Animal Nutrition (module convenor)
  • BIOS4083 Non-Ruminant Nutrition
  • BIOS4085 Research Techniques in Animal Nutrition (module convenor)
  • BIOS4086 Feed Industry, Business and Case Studies
  • BIOS4096 Postgraduate Research Project (module co-convenor)

He also delivers undergraduate teaching in both the School of Biosciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. His teaching covers a range of topics including pig production and husbandry, feed recognition and diet formulation for non-ruminants, companion animal obesity and comparative anatomy of animal digestive systems as part of the following undergraduate modules:

  • D223A7 Applied Animal Science
  • BIOS3027 Companion Animal Science (module convenor)
  • D10IBS Introduction to Body systems
  • D11AHW Animal Health and Welfare 1

Gavin also has a keen interest in how to better support students in their transition from Undergraduate to Postgraduate Taught (PGT) study. Along with a small team of colleagues at Nottingham, he has recently developed a revised course experience survey and has launched a new PGT support programme that delivers a series of academic seminars, workshops, careers advice and wellbeing sessions throughout the year for Home and International students. This work has recently been published in Innovations in Education and Teaching International (see publications list)

Research Summary

My primary research background is in farm animal nutrition where I have been involved in a number of large research programmes examining nutritional approaches to sustainable livestock production.… read more

Selected Publications

Gavin currently sits on several committees at University and School level:

  • School of Biosciences Academic Misconduct Officer (Postgraduate)
  • School of Biosciences Learning and Teaching Development Group
  • School of Biosciences Learning and Teaching Strategy Committee
  • Postgraduate Taught Courses Committee
  • Postgraduate Marketing and Recruitment Committee

Current Research

My primary research background is in farm animal nutrition where I have been involved in a number of large research programmes examining nutritional approaches to sustainable livestock production. These have included examining nutritional strategies for post-weaned piglets, in the absence of antibiotic growth promoters and evaluating alterative protein sources to soya bean meal such as peas and beans (in UK pig diets) or wheat distillers dried grains with solubles (in pig and poultry diets) - see below for project details, Further research has assessed the nutritional value and inclusion levels of modern oilseed rape (OSR) meal varieties in non-ruminant diets.

My other main area of research interest is companion animal health and nutrition , particularly the issue of pet obesity. As in human obesity, the underlying causes are multiple, social, and difficult to quantify. This is because companion animal obesity relates to several aspects of the human-animal bond. I am looking to develop this research area further and have recently co-supervised a number of undergraduate research projects on this topic with a particular focus on aspects of the human-animal bond, feeding and treat giving behaviour. This published research (White et al., 2016) builds upon previously published study findings (White et al, 2011) about owner perception of canine obesity - see publications.

I have also supervised a number of MSc research projects on animal nutrition across a range of livestock, companion and zoo species - some examples are listed below:

  • Growth performance and lipid digestibility in weaned piglets.
  • Nutritional evaluation of forage and assessment of fibre digestibility in captive Asian elephants.
  • Evaluation of vegetable protein in canine diets.
  • Determination of glucose content of dietary fruits and vegetables for captive western lowland gorillas.
  • Evaluation of performance, protein, mineral and starch digestibility in extruded canine diets, using a broiler model.
  • Diet suitability in captive new world primates: non-invasive assessment of gut transit time, digestive anatomy and diet analysis.
  • Effect of bioavailable silicon on growth, performance and skeletal integrity in broilers.
  • Nutritional evaluation of dietary calcium content of seafood for captive asian small-clawed otters (Amblonyx cinereus).
  • Nutritional assessment and non-invasive evaluation of gut health in captive chimpanzees.
  • Evaluation of dietary nitrogen and NDF content of browse species fed to captive western lowland gorillas and bornean orangutans.
  • Use of plant-based antioxidant, omega 3 and branched chain amino acids in extruded canine diets and effects on nitrogen digestibility, performance and muscle parameters, using a broiler model.
  • Evaluation of amino acid digestibility in extruded canine diets differing in protein & starch source, using a broiler model.
  • Assessment of mineral and starch content and palatability of semi-aquatic plants for captive western lowland gorillas
  • Degree of extrusion processing in dry canine diets on nutrient digestibility.
  • Sustainable protein in canine diets: availability, acceptability and amino acid profile/digestibility.
  • Vitamin D in captive great apes: meeting nutritional requirements.

Past Research

Examples of previous research are detailed below:

Animal Nutrition

-Companion animal obesity

I have a keen interest in companion animal nutrition and welfare, more specifically the issue of pet obesity. This research topic is of significant professional interest due to the alarming increase in the prevalence of overweight and obese pets. The situation is considered serious enough for some professionals to believe that obesity is the most common nutritional disease in dogs and the single biggest health issue facing domestic animals in Europe. Previous research has involved investigating the relationship between dog and owner. More specifically, it examined what factors may influence dog owner's perceptions and evaluation of their dog's weight (explored in two cohorts of dog owners with either overweight or non-overweight dogs) and whether owner perception was in agreement with assessment by a veterinary professional. This research was part of a collaborative project between the Centre for Applied Bioethics, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and the Institute for Science and Society. This study has been published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice. Further research has examined owner perception and motivation for treat feeding in dogs. This study has been published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine. See publications section, for further details.

- Evaluation of Wheat Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles (W-DDGS) in non-ruminant diets (ENBBIO project)

This research aimed to evaluate the environmental and nutritional benefits of using bioethanol co-products for UK livestock. This large research programme (involving over twenty academic and industry partners) assessed the nutritional values of UK sources of W-DDGS for a range of livestock species.

-The potential of using home-grown legumes as a protein source in UK pig diets (Green Pig project)

This DEFRA-funded LINK research project brought together pulse growers, feed manufacturers and pig producers to investigate the potential use of using homegrown legumes (pea and faba beans) as a replacement for soya bean meal in the diets of UK grower and finisher pigs, in order to reduce the environmental burdens associated with pig production. A key objective of this research involved performance, nitrogen balance and carcass evaluation trials in growing and finishing pigs. To achieve the overall project aim, the consortium used multiple approaches including life cycle assessment modeling, digestibility and amino acid profiling of different pea and bean varieties, a survey of home-mixers and pig feed producers to identify perceived constraints to legume use, along with large scale commercial demonstrations.

-Sustainable nutrition of the weaned piglet (NUTWEAN project)

My doctoral research examined nutritional strategies for the post-weaned piglet in the absence of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs). To overcome the 'post-weaning growth check' commonly seen at weaning, the incorporation of AGPs to the diets had historically been a useful management tool. However, legislation within the European Union to ban the use of AGPs at sub-therapeutic levels in animal feed means that the quality of dietary ingredients used in weaner pig diets has now assumed a much more fundamental role. This research required assessment of the physicochemical properties of precisely processed dietary cereals (employing in vitro techniques commonly used in the field of human food science) and relating this rheological data to biological responses (e.g. starch digestibility, intestinal morphology) when the same cereals were fed in diets to newly-weaned piglets. With the application of computer modelling, it was possible to demonstrate a correlation between in-vitro starch parameters and in-vivo starch digestion in the small intestine of the young piglet. This work was part of a larger national research consortium involving collaborations between industry, government and academic partners.

  • C.L. ELVIS-CHINWEM, G.A. WHITE, E. BURTON, K. DERECKA, S.V. REINA, J. HANKINS and C.J. O'SHEA, 2021. Evaluation of the tibial bone ash and mineral concentration of Ross 308 broilers with divergent bodyweights on Day 7. In: Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science 2021. 150.
  • T. WEBB, H. DU PLESSIS, H. CHRISTIAN, E. RAFFAN, V. ROHLFF and G.A. WHITE, 2020. Understanding obesity among companion dogs: New measures of owner's beliefs and behaviours, and associations with body condition score. Preventive Veterinary Medicine.
  • S. AFRIN, J.S. LEWIS, J.A. LOWE, V. STREET, S. JOHNSON and G.A. WHITE, 2020. Evaluation of extrusion processing in canine diets, as influenced by dietary protein source In: Companion Animal Nutrition Conference 2020 (University of Northampton and Pet Food Manufacturers Association) 13 February 2020.
  • S. HORMOZI, G.A. WHITE and J.A. LOWE, 2020. Evaluation of amino acid digestibility in extruded canine diets, differing in protein and starch source, using a broiler model In: Companion Animal Nutrition Conference 2020 (University of Northampton and Pet Food Manufacturers Association) 13 February 2020.
  • G.A. WHITE, E. BERRY, N. WALLIS, R.F. SMITH and K.M. MILLAR, 2020. Canine nutrition: attitudes and purchasing decisions, as influenced by owner age In: Companion Animal Nutrition Conference 2020 (University of Northampton and Pet Food Manufacturers Association) 13 February 2020.
  • M. TIERNEY, H. ELLIOTT, V. DANGPRASERT, V. STREET, S. JOHNSON, J. LOWE and G.A. WHITE, 2020. Cereal vs. vegetable starch: evaluation of nutrient digestibility and performance in extruded canine diets In: Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science 2020. 168.
  • M. KOOT, M. LIPTOVSZKY, F. PATEL and G.A. WHITE, 2020. Mineral and starch content in semi-aquatic plants: a potential dietary addition for captive Western Lowland Gorillas In: Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science 2020.
  • K. VANGELIS, H. BOWE, G.A. WHITE, N. SAUNDERS, J. HANKIN and C.J. O'SHEA, 2020. Nutritional evaluation and composition of eight commercial adult and senior dog diets in the UK In: Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science 2020.
  • C.L. ELVIS-CHINWEM, E. BURTON, G.A. WHITE, K. DERECKA and C.J. O'SHEA, 2020. Evaluating the causes of variation in performance of broiler chicks at first week of life. In: Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science 2020.
  • L.J. CONEYWORTH, R. JESSOP, P. MADEN and G. WHITE, 2019. The overlooked cohort? Improving the taught postgraduate student experience in Higher Education Innovations in Education and Teaching International.
  • D.C. FIACCO, J.A. LOWE, J. WISEMAN and G.A. WHITE, 2017. Evaluation of vegetable protein in canine diets: assessment of performance and apparent ileal amino acid digestibility using a broiler model. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition.
  • L. J. TENNANT, G.A. WHITE, R. ANNAND-IVELL and P. C. GARNSWORTHY, 2017. Relationship between feed efficiency, milk yield, rumination rate and faecal glucocorticoids in dairy cows. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science 2017.
  • M.M. KASPRZAK, J.G.M. HOUDIJK, S. KIGHTLEY, O.A. OLUKOSI, G.A. WHITE, P. CARRE and J. WISEMAN, 2016. Effects of rapeseed variety and oil extraction method on the content and ileal digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in rapeseed cake and softly processed rapeseed meal fed to broiler chickens. Animal Feed Science and Technology. 213, 90-98
  • M.M. KASPRZAK, J.G.M. HOUDIJK, S. LIDDELL, K. DAVIS, O.A. OLUKOSI, S. KIGHTLEY, G.A. WHITE and J. WISEMAN, 2016. Rapeseed napin and cruciferin are readily digested by poultry. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition.
  • L. J. TENNANT, G.A. WHITE, R. ANNAND-IVELL and P. C. GARNSWORTHY, 2016. Non-invasive indicators of rumen function and stress in dairy cows. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science. 115
  • G.A. WHITE, L. WARD, C. PINK, J. CRAIGON and K.M. MILLAR, 2016. "Who's been a good dog?" - Owner perceptions and motivations for treat giving. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 132, 14-19
  • G.A. WHITE, J. CRAIGON and K.M. MILLAR, 2016. Dog owner perceptions and motivations for treat feeding In: Companion Animal Nutrition Conference (Moulton College / Pet Food Manufacturers' Association, 3 June 2016).
  • WHITE, G. A., SMITH, L., HOUDIJK, J.G.M, HOMER, D., KYRIAZAKIS, I. and WISEMAN, J., 2015. Replacement of soya bean meal with peas and faba beans in growing / finishing pig diets: effect on performance, carcass composition and nutrient excretion. Animal Feed Science and Technology. 209, 202-210
  • WHITE, G. A., RICHARDS, P.J., WU, S., MELLITS, K.H. and WISEMAN, J., 2015. Assessment of caecal parameters in layer hens fed diets containing wheat distillers dried grains with solubles. British Poultry Science. 56(4), 494-502
  • KASPRZAK, M., WHITE, G.A., KIGHTLEY, S., HOUDIJK, J., OLUKOSI, O. and WISEMAN, J., 2015. Amino acid digestibility in rapeseed co-products varies between processing conditions and varieties In: British Poultry Abstracts. 11. 1-2
  • MASEY O'NEILL, H.V., WHITE G.A., LI, D., BEDFORD, M.R., HTOO, J.K. and WISEMAN, J., 2014. Influence of the in vitro method and basal dietary ingredients employed in the determination of the amino acid digestibility of wheat distillers dried grains with solubles in broilers Poultry Science. 93(5), 1178-1185
  • WHITE, G. A. and WISEMAN, J., 2013. Assessment of egg quality and gut environment of layer hens fed diets formulated with varying levels of Wheat Distillers Dark Grains with Solubles (W-DDGS) British Poultry Abstracts. 9(1), 35-36
  • HOUDIJK, J., SMITH, L., TARSITANO, D., TOLKAMP, B, TOPP, C., MASEY-O'NEILL, H., WHITE G., WISEMAN, J., KIGHTLEY, S. and KYRIAZAKIS, I., 2013. Peas and faba beans as home grown alternatives to soya bean meal in growing and finishing pig diets. In: P C GARNSWORTHY and J WISEMAN, eds., Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition 45. 145-175
  • KUCHIPUDI, S.V., DUNHAM, S.P., NELLI, R., WHITE, G.A., COWARD, V.J., SLOMKA, M.J., BROWN, I.H. and CHANG, K.C., 2012. Rapid death of duck cells infected with influenza: a potential mechanism for host resistance to H5N1 Immunology & Cell Biology. 90(1), 116-123
  • G. WHITE, J. WISEMAN, L.A. SMITH, J.G.M. HOUDIJK and I. KYRIAZAKIS, 2012. Nutritional value of diets for growing/finishing pigs containing high levels of home grown legumes compared with one based on soyabean meal. 1: Growth performance In: Advances in Animal Bioscience. 3. 52
  • G. WHITE, L. SMITH, D. HOMER, J. WISEMAN, J.G.M. HOUDIJK and I. KYRIAZAKIS, 2012. Nutritional value of diets for growing/finishing pigs containing high levels of home grown legumes compared with one based on soyabean meal. 2: Carcass quality In: Advances in Animal Bioscience. 3. 24
  • G. WHITE and J. WISEMAN, 2012. Using home grown peas and beans to replace soyabean meal diets does not impair nitrogen balance in pigs In: Advances in Animal Bioscience. 3. 62
  • NELLI, R.K., DUNHAM, S.P., KUCHIPUDI, S.V., WHITE, G.A., BAQUERO-PEREZ, B., CHANG, P., GHAEMMAGHAMI, A., BROOKES, S.M., BROWN, I.H. and CHANG, K.-C., 2012. Mammalian innate resistance to highly pathogenic avian influenza h5n1 virus infection is mediated through reduced pro-inflammation and infectious virus release Journal of Virology. 86(17), 9201-9210
  • KUCHIPUDI, S.V., TELLABATI, M., NELLI, R.K., WHITE, G.A., BAQUERO-PEREZ, B., SEBASTIAN, S., SLOMKA, M.A., BROOKES, S.M., BROWN, I.H., DUNHAM, S.P. and CHANG, K.C., 2012. 18s rRNA is a reliable normalisation gene for real time PCR derived from influenza virus infected cells Virol.J.. 9,
  • R.K. NELLI, S.V. KUCHIPUDI, G.A. WHITE, S.P. DUNHAM, I.H. BROWN AND K.C. CHANG, 2011. Defective viral replication and lack of pro-inflammatory cytokine response contribute to innate host resistance in H5N1 influenza virus infected primary pig cells In: Advances in Animal Bioscience. 2. 225
  • G.A. WHITE, S.P. DUNHAM, R.K. NELLI, I.H. BROWN, S.V. KUCHIPUDI AND K.C. CHANG, 2011. Comparative chemokine response to influenza infection between key primary human and pig cells In: Advances in Animal Bioscience. 2. 223
  • G.A. WHITE, S.P. DUNHAM, S.M. BROOKES, A. GERMUNDSSON, F. GARCON, A. NUNEZ, K.C. CHANG AND I.H. BROWN., 2011. Pigs and the H1N1 pandemic: Innate immune responses in experimentally infected pigs In: Advances in Animal Bioscience. 2. 45
  • NELLI, R.K, KUCHIPUDI, S.V, DUNHAM, S.P, GHAEMMAGHAMI, A, WHITE, G.A, BROWN, I.H. and CHANG, K.C., 2011. Impaired viral replication (antiviral) and reduced pro-inflammatory response contribute to innate host resistance in H5N1 influenza virus infected primary pig cells. In: Pathogenesis of Influenza: Virus-Host Interactions, Kowloon, Hong Kong. 58
  • WHITE, G.A., HOBSON-WEST, P., COBB, K., CRAIGON, J., HAMMOND, R. and MILLAR, K.M., 2011. Canine obesity: is there a difference between veterinarian and owner perception? Journal of Small Animal Practice. 52(12), 622-626
  • R.K.NELLI, S.V.KUCHIPUDI, G.A.WHITE, S.P.DUNHAM, I.H.BROWN and K.C.CHANG, 2011. Defective viral replication and lack of pro-inflammatory cytokine response contribute to innate host resistance in H5N1 influenza virus infected primary pig cells In: Food Security - Challenges and Opportunities for Animal Science. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and the Association of Veterinary Teaching and Research Work. 225
  • S.V. KUCHIPUDI, S.P. DUNHAM, R.K. NELLI, G.A. WHITE, V. COWARD, M. SLOMKA, I.H. BROWN and K.C. CHANG, 2011. Host pro-inflammatory cytokine response as a fundamental key to host survival or death in ducks and chickens infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus British Poultry Abstracts. 7(1), 43-44
  • NELLI, R.K., KUCHIPUDI, S.V., WHITE, G.A., PEREZ, B.B., DUNHAM, S.P. and CHANG, K.-C., 2010. Comparative distribution of human and avian type sialic acid influenza receptors in the pig. BMC Veterinary Research. 6(1), 4
  • DOUCET, F.J., WHITE, G., WULFERTT, F., HILL, S.E. and WISEMAN, J., 2010. Predicting in vivo starch digestibility coefficients in newly weaned piglets from in vitro assessment of diets using multivariate analysis. British Journal of Nutrition. 103(9), 1309-1318
  • KUCHIPUDI, S.V., NELLI, R., WHITE G., BAIN, M., CHANG, K.C. and DUNHAM, S., 2009. Differences in influenza virus receptor in chickens and ducks: implications for interspecies transmission. J. Mol.Genetic Med.. 3, 143-151
  • WHITE, G.A., DOUCET, F.J., HILL, S.E. and WISEMAN, J., 2008. Physicochemical properties and nutritional quality of raw cereals for newly weaned piglets Animal. 2(6), 867-878
  • DOUCET, F.J, WHITE, G.A, WISEMAN, J. and HILL, S.E., 2007. Changes to starch structure during processing - Implications for digestibility in newly-weaned piglets. FEED COMPOUNDER. 27(3), 28-29
  • COTTRILL, B, SMITH, C, BERRY, P, WEIGHTMAN, R, WISEMAN, J, WHITE, G. and TEMPLE, M, 2007. Opportunities and implications of using the co-products from biofuel production as feeds for livestock: Report prepared for: HGCA, EBLEX and BPEX. Research Review No. 66
  • WHITE, G, WISEMAN, J, DOUCET, F.J. and HILL, S.E., 2007. Effect of raw cereal type on digestibility of starch in the weaned piglet In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science. 76
  • WHITE, G, DOUCET, F, HILL, S. and WISEMAN, J, 2006. The effect of wheat endosperm texture on nutritional value for weaned piglets In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science. 29
  • WHITE, G, DOUCET, F, HILL, S. and WISEMAN, J., 2006. Influence of wheat endosperm texture and degree of cook on digestibility of starch in the small intestine of the weaned piglet. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science. 117
  • DOUCET, F. J., WHITE, G., WISEMAN, J. and HILL, S. E., 2006. Physicochemical changes to starch structure during processing of raw materials and their implications for starch digestibility in newly weaned piglets Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition. 40, 313-330

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