Kevin Harvatine

  • Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology
Kevin Harvatine
301 Henning Building
University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-865-6334

Areas of Expertise

  • Milk fat synthesis
  • Rumen fatty acid metabolism
  • Omega-3 fatty acids


  1. Post-doctorate, Cornell University, 2008
  2. Ph.D., Cornell University, 2008
  3. M.S., Michigan State University, 2003
  4. B.S., Penn State, 2001

Research and Teaching Interests

Traditionally nutrients were simply considered substrate for metabolism and nutritionists calculated the energy and protein delivered by different feedstuffs. However, some absorbed nutrients are bioactive and have the ability to modify physiological and metabolic processes. Nutritional modification of physiological processes has the potential to increase dairy production efficiency and profitability, but dietary associative effects in the rumen are difficult to predict and the nutrient-physiology interactions are complex. Recent advances in molecular biology provide powerful tools to investigate bioactive nutrients and provide insight into regulation of metabolism. This type of research has recently been called nutrigenomics and the study of nutrient-gene interactions is a significant part of the field.

Dr. Harvatine’s research integrates traditional ruminant nutrition and modern molecular biology approaches to investigate the regulation of metabolism and develop dietary intervention strategies to improve dairy production. Research approaches utilize bovine and mouse in vivo experiments and cell culture systems. Specific research objectives include investigation of dietary factors that modify ruminal fatty acid biohydrogenation, regulation of synthesis of milk components, and basic regulation of lipid synthesis with the continual goal of developing feeding strategies to improve the efficiency and performance of dairy cows.



Selected Publications

·      Harvatine, K.J., M.M. Robblee, S.R. Thorn, Y.R. Boisclair, and D.E. Bauman. 2014. Trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid dose-dependently inhibits milk fat synthesis without disruption of lactation in C57BL/6J mice. J Nutr.

·      Jenkins, T. C. and K.J. Harvatine. 2014. Lipid feeding and milk fat depression. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice.

·      Rico, D.E., Y. Ying, and K.J. Harvatine. 2014. Comparison of enriched palmitic acid and calcium salts of palm fatty acid fat supplements on milk production and metabolic profiles of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 97:5637-5644.

·      Rottman, L.W., Y. Ying, K. Zhou, P.A. Bartell, and K.J. Harvatine. Effect of the timing of feed intake on the daily rhythm of milk synthesis in the cow. Physiol. Reports. 2:e12049.

·      Rico, D.E., Y. Ying, A. R. Clarke, and K.J. Harvatine. 2014. The effect of rumen digesta inoculation on the time course of recovery from diet-induced milk fat depression in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 97:3752-3760.

·      Harvatine, K.J., Y.R. Boisclair, D.E. Bauman. 2014. LXR stimulates lipogenesis in bovine mammary epithelial cell culture but does not appear to be involved in diet-induced milk fat depression in cows. Physiological Reports.  27:e00266.

·      Rico, D.E., Y. Ying, and K.J. Harvatine. 2014. Effect of a high palmitic acid fat supplement on milk production and total tract digestibility in high and low producing dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 97:3739-3751.

·      Rico, D.E., A.W. Holloway, and K.J. Harvatine. 2014. Effect of monensin on recovery from diet-induced milk fat depression.  J. Dairy Sci. 97:2376-2386.

·      Rico, D.E., E. R. Marshall, J. Choi, K.E. Kaylegian, C.D. Dechow, and K. J. Harvatine. 2014. Within milking variation in milk composition and fatty acid profile of Holstein dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 97:1-10.

·      Hussein, M., K. H. Harvatine, Y.R. Boisclair, and D. E. Bauman. 2013. Supplementation with fish oil as a source of n-3 fatty acids does not downregulate mammary lipogenesis in lactating mice. J. Nutr. 1913-9.

·      Rico, D.E. and K.J. Harvatine. 2013. Induction of and recovery from milk fat depression occurs progressively in dairy cows switched between diets that differ in fiber and oil concentration.  J. Dairy Sci 96:6621-30.

·      Hussein, M., K. H. Harvatine, W. M. P. B. Weerasinghe, L. A. Sinclair, and D. E. Bauman. 2013. Conjugated linoleic acid-induced milk fat depression in lactating ewes is accompanied by reduced expression of mammary genes involved in lipid synthesis. J. Dairy Sci. 96:3825-34.

·      Harvatine, K.J. and D.E. Bauman. 2011. Characterization of the acute lactational response to trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). J. Dairy Sci. 94:6047-56.

·      Bauman, D.E., K.J. Harvatine, and A.L. Lock. 2011. Nutrigenomics, rumen-derived bioactive fatty acids, and the regulation of milk fat synthesis. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 31:299-319.

·      Harvatine, K.J., J.W Perfield II, and D.E. Bauman. 2009 Lipogenic enzymes and genes regulating lipogenesis are increased in adipose tissue of lactating dairy cows during milk fat depression. J. Nut. 139:849-54.

·      Harvatine, K.J., Y.R. Boisclair, and D.E. Bauman. 2009. Recent advances in the regulation of milk fat synthesis. Animal. 3:40-54.