Thomas Burkey

Photo of Tom Burkey
Areas of Expertise
Non-Ruminant Nutrition
Non-Ruminant Nutrition


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


  • Associate Professor (2012-2019) University of Nebraska
  • Assistant Professor (2006-2012) University of Nebraska
  • Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant (2001-2006) Kansas State University


  • Digestive Physiology of Pigs (International Steering Committee, (2015 – present)
  • Digestive Physiology of Pigs – North
    • Board of Directors, President, (2018 – present)
    • Board of Directors, Secretary, (2014 – 2018)
  • American Society of Animal Science


I am a nonruminant nutritionist with training in animal nutrition, digestive physiology and mucosal immunity. I am interested in applying applied and basic techniques to investigate the complex interactions between nutrients, gut microbes, and immunity and how these interactions affect complex physiological traits important in human health and in agricultural species. Broadly speaking, my research has been focused in the area of ‘gut health’; deciphering the interactions between nutrients, gut microbes, and immunity in swine. Currently (and since my last promotion), the major goals of my research program have been to:

  1. Increase the knowledge base with respect to gut health in pigs using applied and basic techniques
  2. Continue to develop and refine a novel gnotobiotic human and porcine microbiota-associated pig model;
  3. Determine how the effects of host-microbial interactions converge to shape gut health and nutrient metabolism in weanling pigs fed prebiotics; and
  4. Characterize the metabolic impact immune system activation and disease has on a growing pig’s metabolism and growth.


  • 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