ANU-30306 Nutrient Dynamics


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. J Dijkstra
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. J Dijkstra
H van Laar
prof. dr. ir. WJJ Gerrits
dr. ir. WF Pellikaan
dr. ir. S de Vries
dr. ir. RP Kwakkel
Examiner(s)dr. ir. J Dijkstra

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Principles of Animal Nutrition (BSc), Animal Nutrition & Physiology (MSc)


In Nutrient Dynamics, knowledge of digestion and metabolism of nutrients in farm and companion animals will be extended and quantified. Students will read and discuss scientific papers on five various topics, such as microbial metabolism, calcium and phosphor dynamics in layers, and nutrient based feed evaluation systems. Quantitative understanding of these topics will be obtained by application of extant mathematical models and developing new models. These models are mechanistic, i.e., based on understanding of the underlying processes involved. The behaviour of the whole system under study is analysed in terms of its components and their interactions with one another. The simulation results will be presented in scientific abstracts written by all students and will be discussed. To apply or develop models, students are expected to have experience with modeling software for rate:state formalism models as taught in the MSc course Animal Nutrition & Physiology.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- provide a critical assessment of problems and possibilities into the partitioning of nutrients in farm and companion animals, in particular with respect to its quantitative aspects;
- recognize and evaluate developments in feed evaluation studies;
- raise scientific questions, evaluate adequacy of methodology and interpret results from scientific papers on animal nutrition;
- develop and apply mechanistic models of digestion and metabolism in farm and companion animals;
- prepare and present research findings from scientific literature and own simulation results orally and in written abstracts.


- to read scientific papers and to discuss the development and data interpretation of experiments on selected topics in tutorials;
- to utilise extant mechanistic models of digestion and metabolism in farm and companion animals and interpret simulation results;
- to develop mechanistic models based on hypotheses and data from literature;
- to scientifically report and discuss simulation results.


- written exam (50%);
- participation to discussion and reflection on statements (20%);
- reporting simulation results and subsequent discussion (30%).
For every part of the examination, a minimal grade of 5.0 is required.


- study guide;
- lecture materials, including scientific papers on selected topics;
- modelling exercises.

Restricted Optional for: MASAnimal SciencesMScD: Spec. D - Adaptation, Health and Behaviour5AF
MASAnimal SciencesMScB: Spec. B - Nutrition and Metabolism5AF