Kevin Harvatine

Kevin Harvatine

  • Professor of Nutritional Physiology
321 Agricultural and Industries Building
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

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


  • Post-doctorate, Cornell University, 2008
  • Ph.D., Cornell University, 2008
  • M.S., Michigan State University, 2003
  • 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

  1. Shepardson, R.P., E. Bazileskaya, and K.J. Harvatine. 2020. Physical characterization of fatty acid supplements with varying enrichments of palmitic and stearic acid by differential scanning calorimetry. J. Dairy Sci. 103:8967–8975.
  2. Matamoros, C., R. Klopp, L.E. Moraes, and K.J. Harvatine. 2020. Meta-analysis of the relationship between milk trans-10 C18:1, milk fatty acids < 16 C, and milk fat production. J. Dairy Sci. 03:10195–10206.
  3. Andreen, D.M., M.M. Haan, C.D. Dechow, and K.J. Harvatine. 2020. Relationships between milk fat and rumination time recorded by commercial rumination sensing systems. J. Dairy Sci. 103:8094-8104.
  4. Salfer, I.J. and K.J. Harvatine. 2020. Night-restricted feeding of dairy cows modifies daily rhythms. Bri. J. Nutr. 123:849-858.
  5. Pitta, D.W., N. Indugu, B. Vecchiarelli, M. Hennessy, M. Baldin, and K.J. Harvatine. 2020. Effect of 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio) butanoate (HMTBa) supplementation on rumen bacterial populations in dairy cows when exposed to diets with risk for milk fat depression. J. Dairy Sci. 103:2718-2730.
  6. Salfer, I.J., P.A. Bartell, C.D. Dechow, and K.J. Harvatine. 2020. Annual rhythms of milk synthesis in dairy herds in four regions of the United States and their relationships to environmental predictors. J. Dairy Sci. 103:3696-3707.
  7. Robblee, M., Y.R. Boisclair, D.E. Bauman, and K.J. Harvatine. 2019. Dietary fat does not overcome trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) inhibition of milk fat synthesis in lactating mice. Lipids. 55:201-212.
  8. Andreen, D.M., I.J. Salfer, Y. Ying, D.J. Reinemann, and K.J. Harvatine. 2019. Technical Note: Method for improving precision of in-parlor milk meters and adjusting milk weights for stall effects. J. Dairy Science. 103:5162-5169.
  9. Urrutia, N., R. Bomberger, C. Matamoros, and K.J. Harvatine.  2019. Effect of dietary supplementation of sodium acetate and calcium butyrate on milk fat synthesis in lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 102:5172-5181.
  10. Baldin, M., H.A. Tucker, and K.J. Harvatine. 2019. Milk fat response and milk fat and urine marker prediction of biomarkers of microbial nitrogen flow during supplementation with 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio)butanoate (HMTBa). J. Dairy Sci. 102:6157-6166.
  11. Salfer, I.J., C.D. Dechow, and K.J. Harvatine. 2019. Annual rhythms of milk and milk fat and protein production in dairy cattle in the United States. J. Dairy Sci. 102:742-753.
  12. Salfer, I.J., M.C. Morelli, Y. Ying, M.S. Allen, and K.J. Harvatine. 2018. The effects of source and concentration of dietary fiber, starch, and fatty acids on the daily patterns of feed intake, rumination, and rumen pH in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 101:10911-10921.
  13. Urrutia, N.L., M. Toledo, M. Baldin, J.L. Ford, M.H. Green, and K.J. Harvatine. 2018. Kinetics of trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid transfer to plasma and milk following an abomasal bolus in lactating dairy cows. Bri. J. Nutr. 120:259-268.
  14. Harvatine, K.J., Y.R. Boisclair, and D.E. Bauman. 2018. Time course of the down regulation of lipogenic enzymes and regulators in mammary tissue during abomasal infusion of trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in the dairy cow. 2019. J. Dairy Sci. 101:7585-7592.
  15. Baldin, M., D.E. Rico, M.H. Green, and K.J. Harvatine. 2018. Technical note: An in vivo method to determine kinetics of unsaturated fatty acid biohydrogenation in the rumen. J. Dairy Sci. 101:4259-4267.
  16. Elkin, R.G., A.N. Kukorowski, Y. Ying, and K.J. Harvatine. 2018. Dietary high-oleic acid soybean oil dose dependently attenuates the deposition of α-linolenic acid (ALA), as well as n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from ALA, into eggs of laying hens fed flaxseed oil. Lipids. 53:235-249.
  17. Baldin, M., Y. Ying, Y. Fan, G. Roth, D.P. Casper, and K.J. Harvatine. 2018. Characterization of linoleic acid (C18:2) concentration in commercial corn silage and grain hybrids. J. Dairy Sci. 101:222-232.
  18. Baldin, M., G.I. Zanton, and K.J. Harvatine. 2018. Effect of 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio)butanoate (HMTBa) on risk of biohydrogenation-induced milk fat depression. J. Dairy Sci. 101:376-385.
  19. Niu, M. and K.J. Harvatine. 2018. The effects of feeding a partial mixed ration plus a top-dress before feeding on milk production and the daily rhythm of feed intake and plasma hormones and metabolites in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 101:164-171
  20. Niu. M. Y. Ying, P.A. Bartell, and K.J. Harvatine. 2017. The effects of feeding rations that differ in fiber and fermentable starch within a day on milk production and the daily rhythm of feed intake and plasma hormones and metabolites in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 100:187-198.
  21. Urrutia, N.L. and K.J. Harvatine. 2017. Acetate Dose-Dependently stimulates Milk Fat Synthesis in Lactating Dairy Cows. J. Nutr. 147:763-769.
  22. Elkin, R.G., Y. Ying, Y. Fan, and K.J. Harvatine. 2016. Influence of feeding stearidonic acid (18:4n-3)-enriched soybean oil, as compared to conventional soybean oil, on tissue deposition of very long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in meat-type chickens. Animal Feed Sci. Tech. 217:1-12
  23. Rico, D.E., A.W. Holloway, and K.J. Harvatine. 2015. Effect of diet fermentability and unsaturated fatty acid concentration on recovery from diet-induced milk fat depression. J. Dairy Sci. 98:7930-43
  24. Rico, D.E., S.H Preston, J.M. Risser, and K.J. Harvatine. 2015. Rapid changes in key ruminal microbial populations during the induction of and recovery from diet-induced milk fat depression in dairy cows. Bri. J. Nutr. 114:358-67.