Thomas Burkey

Interim Department Head
Non-Ruminant Nutrition

Ph.D., Animal Science, Kansas State University, 2006
M.S., Animal Science, Kansas State University, 2003
B.A., Biology, Rockford College, 1996

Dr. Thomas Burkey joined the Department of Animal Science in 2006 and currently serves as a full professor of non-ruminant nutrition. He earned a B.S., degree in Biology from Rockford College (Ill.), before earning both an M.S., and Ph.D., in Animal Science from Kansas State University. He was named the interim head of the department in December of 2022. Outside of his work in the department, Dr. Burkey also serves as the Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the College of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources (CASNR).

With training in animal nutrition, digestive physiology and mucosal immunity, his research interests include relating applied and basic techniques to investigate the complex interactions between nutrients, gut microbes, and immunity and how those interactions affect complex physiological traits important in human health and in agricultural species. Burkey's focus is on gut health and deciphering the interactions between nutrients, gut microbes, and immunity in swine.


  • ASCI (NUTR) 927: Protein and Amino Acid Nutrition
    Semester: Spring (even numbered years)
    Summary: Nutrition and metabolism of proteins and amino acids by animals and humans. Fundamental principles and current concepts.
  • VMED 550: Veterinary Nutrition
    Semester: Fall
    Summary: Introduce basic biochemical aspects of metabolism and function of energy, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins in the diet. Determine nutrient requirements of food and companion animals under various physiological states. Understand fate of various nutrients in simple stomached animals, ruminant, and cecal fermenters. Discuss clinical nutrition problems specific to each species.


  • Aluthge, N.D., D.M. van Sambeek, E.E. Carney-Hinkle, Y.S. Li, S.C. Fernando, and T.E. Burkey 2019. BOARD INVITED REVIEW: The pig microbiota and the potential for harnessing the power of the microbiome to improve growth and health. J. Anim. Sci. 97:3741-3757. doi: 10.1093/jas/skz208
  • Gebhardt, J.T., K.A. Thomson, J.C. Woodworth, S.S. Dritz, M.D. Tokach, J.M. DeRouchey, R.D. Goodband, C.K. Jones, R.A. Cochrane, M.C. Niederwerder, S.C. Fernando, W. Abbas, and T.E. Burkey. 2019. Effect of dietary medium chain fatty acids on nursery pig growth performance, fecal microbial composition, and mitigation properties against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus following storage. J. Anim. Sci. Nov 23. pii: skz358. doi: 10.1093/jas/skz358. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Walker, L.R. T.B. Engle, H. Vu, E.R. Tosky, D.J. Nonneman, T.P.L. Smith, T. Borza, T.E. Burkey, G.S. Plastow, S.D. Kachman, D.C. Ciobanu. 2018. Synaptogyrin-2 influences replication of Porcine circovirus 2. PLoS Genet. 14(10): e1007750.
  • San Andres, J.V., G.A. Mastromano, Y.S. Li, H. Tran, J.W. Bundy, P.S. Miller, and T.E. Burkey. 2018. The effects of prebiotics on growth performance and in vitro immune biomarkers in weaned pigs. Transl. Anim. Sci. 3:1315-1325.
  • Winkel, S.M., M.D. Trenhaile-Grannemann, D.M. Van Sambeek, P.S. Miller, J. Salcedo, D. Barile, and T.E. Burkey. 2018. Effects of energy restriction during gilt development on milk nutrient profile, progeny biomarkers, and milk oligosaccharides. J. Anim. Sci. 96:3077-3088. doi: 10.1093/jas/sky212.
  • Tran, H.T., C.L. Anderson, S.C. Fernando, J.W. Bundy, P.S. Miller, and T.E. Burkey. 2018. Effects of spray-dried porcine plasma on fecal microbiota in nursery pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 3;96(3):1017-1031. doi: 10.1093/jas/skx034.
  • Niederwerder, M.C., L.A. Constance, R.R.R. Rowland, Abbas. W., S.C. Fernando, M.L. Potter, M.A. Sheahan, T.E. Burkey, R.A. Hesse, and A.G. Cino-Ozuna. 2018. Fecal microbiota transplantation is associated with reduced morbidity and mortality in porcine circovirus associated disease. Front. Microbiol. 9:1631. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01631
  • Williams, H.E., R.A. Cochrane, J.C. Woodworth, J.M. DeRouchey, S.S. Dritz, M.D. Tokach, C.K. Jones, S.C. Fernando, T.E. Burkey, Y.S. Li, R.D. Goodband, and R.G. Amachawadi. 2018. Effects of dietary supplementation of formaldehyde and crystalline amino acids on gut microbial composition of nursery pigs. Sci. Rep. 8:8164. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26540-z
  • Duar, R.M., S.A. Frese, S.C. Fernando, T.E. Burkey, G. Tasseva, D.A. Peterson, J. Blom, C.Q. Wenzel, C.M. Szymanski, and J. Walter. 2017. Experimental evaluation of host adaptation of Lactobacillus reuteri to different vertebrate species. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 31;83(12). pii: e00132-17. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00132-17.
  • Schweer, W., K. Schwartz, J. F. Patience, L. Karriker, C. Sparks, M. Weaver, M. Fitzsimmons, T.E. Burkey and N.K. Gabler. 2017. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus reduces feed efficiency, digestibility, and lean tissue accretion in grow-finish pigs. Transl. Anim. Sci. 1:  doi:10.2527/tas2017.0054
  • van Sambeek, D.M., H. Tran, S.C. Fernando, D.C. Ciobanu, P.S. Miller, and T.E. Burkey. 2016. Alteration of the pig intestinal microbiome when vaccinated against or inoculated with porcine circovirus 2 using a multivariate analysis model. J. Anim. Sci. 94(Suppl. 3):387-90. doi:10.2527/jas.2015-9861
  • Kreikemeier, C., T. Engle, K. Lucot, S. Kachman, T.E. Burkey, and D.C. Ciobanu. 2015. Genome-wide Analysis of TNF-alpha Response in Pigs Challenged with Porcine Circovirus 2b. Animal Genetics. Anim. Genet. 46:205-8. doi: 10.1111/age.12262
Photo of Tom Burkey
Areas of Expertise
Non-Ruminant Nutrition

Professional Highlights

2019-Present - Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
2012-2019 - Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
2006-2012 - Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
2001-2006 - Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant, Kansas State University
2015–Present - Digestive Physiology of Pigs (International Steering Committee
2018–Present - President, Board of Directors, Digestive Physiology of Pigs – North
2014-2018 - Secretary, Board of Directors, Digestive Physiology of Pigs – North
American Society of Animal Science