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University of Rhode Island — Animal & Veterinary Science
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AVS 412 - Animal Nutrition
Course Information

Professor: Dr. Katherine Petersson
Semester: Spring
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Junior standing or above.

Catalog Description: Principles of animal nutrition, metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; mineral and vitamin requirements; nutritive requirements for maintenance, growth, reproduction, lactation, and work.

Course Goals & Outcomes

Throughout the semester students will learn:

  • How nutrients function
  • How various classes of animals digest the food we feed them
  • Detailed information about all of the nutrient classes
  • How nutrient needs are determined
Course Syllabus

Class Topics

  • What is nutrition?
  • Chemical composition of food - nutrient analysis
  • Digestion
  • Energy metabolism
  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins and amino acids
  • Lipids
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Feed Additives & Contaminants
  • Regulation of Feed Consumption
  • Nutrient Partitioning

Grades are based on the following criteria:

  • Exams ( 2 )
  • Final exam
  • Term project
  • Participation
About The Professor

Katherine Petersson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Animal Science
University of Rhode Island
Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science
20B Woodward Hall
Kingston, RI 02881
Office: (401)874-2951
Fax: (401)874-7575

Dr. Petersson's research interests are focused around animal nutrition and biochemistry. Much of her research has explored the use of vitamin E by the body. Previous projects have looked at the effect of exercise on the vitamin E requirement of the horse. She also has looked at effect of vitamin E supplementation on the immune function and response to vaccination in horses. Currently, Dr. Petersson is doing similar research on sheep. In addition to conduction research, Dr. Petersson is the advisor to several graduate students and teaches courses in Animal Anatomy Physiology and Nutrition.


  • B. S. Texas M University, College Station, TX
  • M. S. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Ph.D. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Selected Publications

  • Petersson KH, Pinar H, Stopa EG, Sadowska GB, Hanumara RC, Stonestreet BS. 2004. Effects of exogenous glucose on brain ischemia in ovine fetuses. Pediatr Res. In Press.
  • Stonestreet BS, Watkins S, Petersson KH, Sadowska GB. 2004. Effects of multiple courses of antenatal corticosteroids on regional brain and somatic tissue water content in ovine fetuses. J Soc Gynecol Investig. 11(3):166-74.
  • Stonestreet BS, Petersson KH, Sadowska GB, Patlak CS. 2004. Regulation of brain water during acute glucose-induced hyperosmolality in ovine fetuses, lambs, and adults. J Appl Physiol. 96(2):553-60.
Reasons To Take This Course

"This course provides students with a wealth of knowledge about both ruminant and non-ruminant nutrition. I found that the information taught in this class really helped me better understand difficult concepts I had learned in other courses, particularly organic chemistry. We also had the opportunity to work on a scientific paper on a current topic in animal nutrition. This not only helped me improve my research and writing skills, it also gave me an opportunity to read up on current research in the field." - Lily

"This course THOROUGHLY covered the nutrition of most farm and domestic animals. Everything was covered from the organic chemistry of the major nutrient classes to nutritional requirements of individual species. This class actually helped me understand my organic chemistry problems more than chemistry class itself! I also really liked the professors teaching style. The class was casual and comfortable. The professor mixed up the lectures with a lot of class discussion which helped when talking about some of the harder topics." - Beth

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