Wenzhu Yang, Ph. D.

Image Wenzhu Yang
Research Scientist

As a senior research scientist in ruminant nutrition and feeding management, leads projects and collaboration on scientific studies that:

•  Develop feeding strategies for improving feed efficiency and production of ruminants.

•  Evaluate the impact of physically effective fibre and rumen fermentability of feeds on rumen acidosis and animal health.

•  Develop novel feed additives such as plant-derived compounds, feed enzymes, probiotics as rumen modifiers to reduce the use of antibiotics and growth promoters in ruminant.

•  Enhance the use of feed grain in beef cattle by identifying the best variety and improving processing technology.

Current research and/or projects

Collaborator. G. Penner, W.Z. Yang, T. McAllister, K.A. Beauchemin, K. Schwartzkopf-Genswein, Y. Wang and others. Determining the minimum fibre requirement for feedlot cattle and improving the empirical prediction of ruminal pH. Beef Cluster and BCRC, 2018-2023.

Collaborator. T. McAllister, W.Z. Yang, H. Randhawa, K. Beauchemin, K. Schwartzkopf-Genswein, R. Gruninger and others. Further strategies to enhance the use of wheat grain in feedlot diets. Beef Cluster and BCRC, 2018-2023.

Collaborator. G. Ribeiro, G. Penner, B. Lardner, T. McAllister, K.A. Beauchemin, W.Z. Yang, R. Gruninger and E.C. Stephens. Effect of forage inclusion strategy on finishing beef cattle performance and liver abscess. BCRC/ABP, 2020-2022.

Principal Investigator. W. Z. Yang, L.Y. Chen, K. Ominski and E. McGeough. Evaluation of red osier dogwood extract as alternative to antibiotics to improve growth and health of newly weaned calves. Ag Action Manitoba Program-Research and Innovation, 2019-2021.

Co-PI. T. McAllister, W.Z. Yang, J. Nyachiro and others. Development of a rapid screening method to assess grain processing responses of barley as a trait for the selection of feed varieties for cattle. Alberta Agriculture and forestry, 2017-2021.

Principal Investigator. W. Z. Yang, T. McAllister. Use of phytogenic feed additive as alternatives to in-feed antibiotics for improving production efficiency, carcass traits and health of finishing beef cattle. Biomin (Austria), 2019-2021.

Collaborator. T. Alexander, W. Z. Yang, T. McAllister, K. Schwartzkopf-Genswein, R. Menassa, E. Topp and others. Technology development of alternatives to subtherapeutic and metaphylactic antimicrobials used in the beef industry. AAFC (GF2), 2016-2020.

Collaborator. T. Alexander, W. Z. Yang. Using a microbiome-based strategy to develop next generation bacterial therapeutics for mitigating bovine respiratory disease. AAFC (GF2), 2018-2021.

Co-PI. T. McAllister, W.Z. Yang, Effect of essential oils blends and polysorbate supplementation on rumen fermentation, feed digestion, anti-oxidative status and performance of lambs. 2018-2020.

Principal Investigator. W.Z. Yang, T. Alexander, K.A. Beauchemin and L.Y. Chen. Develop value-added applications of by-products derived from food processing. AAFC (GF2), 2016-2019.

Principal Investigator. W. Z. Yang, T. Alexander, K.A. Beauchemin, B.A. Ametaj and L.Y. Chen. Use of probiotics to improve production efficiency and health of cattle. Alberta Agriculture and forestry, 2015-19.

Research and/or project statements

  • Beef cattle nutrition and feeding management
  • Digestive physiology and digestion kinetics
  • Feed grain processing
  • Feed additives
  • Feed efficiency and animal health

Professional activities / interests

Associate Editor, Journal of Animal Feed Science and Technology (2020 – present).

Dr. Yang publishes in the areas of agronomy and crop science and has been the author or co-author of over 178 peer-reviewed research articles, 7 book chapters and 6 review articles.

Management and mentoring of several technical and support staff, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists.

Adjunct Professor - University of Alberta, 2013 – 2023.

Adjunct Professor, Shanxi Agriculture University, China, 2006-2011.

Director of expert committee, China-Canada Beef Industry Alliance (2017 – present).

Education and awards

Ph.D., Ruminant Nutrition, University of Blaise Pascal, France, 1991

M.Sc., Animal Nutrition, Université Clermont-Ferrand II, France, 1987

B.Sc., Animal Science, Shanxi Agriculture University, China  1982

International experience and/or work

1. Co-supervising Chinese Ph.D. exchange students in collaboration with (3) Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, (1) Yangzhou University, (1) Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University.

2. Collaborative research with an international research team for 1) FAO project entitled: “Regionally appropriate and effective livestock non-CO2 mitigation packages” (16 members from 4 countries; 2012-2013); 2) the Global Network Nitrogen Database Project to create a  database of individual animal data that will be used to develop robust models to predict manure nitrogen excretion from ruminant animals. Dr. A.N. Hristov (lead), Pennsylvania State University. 2019-2021.

3. As Director of expert committee of China-Canada Beef Industry Alliance, closely work with Canadian and Chinese beef industry to develop the collaboration between the two industries and to promote Canadian beef products in Chinese market.

Key publications

  1. Ran, T., Saleem, A.M., Beauchemin, K.A., Penner, G.B., Yang, W. (2021). Processing index of barley grain and dietary undigested neutral detergent fiber concentration affected chewing behavior, ruminal pH, and total tract nutrient digestibility of heifers fed a high-grain diet, 99(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skab011

    2021 - View publication details

  2. Shen, Y., Davedow, T., Ran, T., Saleem, A.M., Yoon, I., Narvaez, C., McAllister, T.A., Yang, W. (2019). Ruminally protected and unprotected Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation products as alternatives to antibiotics in finishing beef steers, 97(10), 4323-4333. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz270

    2019 - View publication details

  3. Holman, D.B., Yang, W., Alexander, T.W. (2019). Antibiotic treatment in feedlot cattle: A longitudinal study of the effect of oxytetracycline and tulathromycin on the fecal and nasopharyngeal microbiota, 7(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40168-019-0696-4

    2019 - View publication details

  4. Jiao, P.X., Liu, F.Z., Beauchemin, K.A., Yang, W.Z. (2017). Impact of strain and dose of lactic acid bacteria on in vitro ruminal fermentation with varying media pH levels and feed substrates, 224 1-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2016.11.005

    2017 - View publication details

  5. Liu, Q., Wang, C., Zhang, Y.L., Pei, C.X., Zhang, S.L., Li, H.Q., Guo, G., Huo, Y.J., Yang, W.Z., Wang, H. (2016). Effects of 2-methylbutyrate supplementation on growth performance and ruminal development in pre- and post-weaned dairy calves, 216 129-137. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2016.03.028

    2016 - View publication details

  6. Zhao, Y.L., Yan, S.M., Anele, U.Y., Swift, M.-L., McAllister, T.A., and Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "Effects of starch content and processing method on in situ rumen digestibility of barley grain in beef heifers.", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98(Suppl. 2), pp. 444. (Abstract)

    2015 - View publication details

  7. Anele, U.Y., Refat, B., Swift, M.-L., Zhao, Y.L., McAllister, T.A., and Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "Effects of starch content on in vitro ruminal fermentation of ground and dry-rolled barley grain.", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98(Suppl. 2), pp. 434. (Abstract)

    2015 - View publication details

  8. Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "Use of Yeast Products in Beef Cattle Diets.", , Chinese Journal of Animal Science, Special Issue, 2015 (6):46-48.

    2015 - View publication details

  9. Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "ACIDF Research Facts: Making wheat DDGS work in cattle rations. 2 pages. August, 2015. http://www.acidf.ca/feeding/library." (Factsheet)

    2015 - View publication details

  10. Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "Wheat vs barley, implications for feed efficiency and animal health.", Alberta Beef Industry Conference- Feed Focus, Sheraton Red Deer Hotel, Red Deer, AB, Canada, Feb 18, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  11. Refat, B., Anele, U.Y., He, Z.X., Bassiony, S.M., Abdel-Rahman, G.A., and Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "Effect of sainfoin hay and pomegranate peel extracts on in vitro fermentation and protein degradation using the Rusitec technique.", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98(Suppl. 2), pp. 444. (Abstract)

    2015 - View publication details

  12. Anele, U.Y., Swift, M.-L., McAllister, T.A., and Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "Evaluation of models for predicting acidosis risk of barley grain in finishing beef cattle.", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98( Suppl. 2), pp. 443. (Abstract)

    2015 - View publication details

  13. Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "ACIDF Research Facts: New technique predicts rate of digestion for feedlot cattle. 2 pages. August, 2015. http://www.acidf.ca/feeding/library." (Factsheet)

    2015 - View publication details

  14. Nanon, A., Yang, W.-Z., Suksombat, W., and Wen, Z.Y. (2015). "Use of essential oils for manipulation of rumen microbial fermentation using batch culture.", Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 45(2), pp. 167-180.

    2015 - View publication details

  15. Yang, W.-Z. (2015). "Feed additives used in beef cattle feeding.", , Chinese Journal of Animal Science, Special Issue, 2015 (6):42-43.

    2015 - View publication details

  16. Meng, Q.X., Makkar, H.P.S., McKinnon, J.J., Beck, P., Gibb, D.J., Yang, W.-Z., Bartle, S.J., Madsen, J., Lehmkuhler, J.W., Rethorst, D., Burris, R., Pethick, D., and Hocquette, J.-F. (2015). The First Symposium on the Applied Techniques and Industry Economics in Chinese Beef Cattle Production.. (Book)

    2015 - View publication details

  17. Zhang, Y.L., Liu, Q., Wang, C., Pei, C.X., Li, H.Y., Wang, Y., Yang, W.-Z., Bai, Y.S., Shi, Z.G., and Liu, X.N. (2015). "Effects of supplementation of Simmental steers with 2-methylbutyrate on rumen microflora, enzyme activities and methane production.", Animal Feed Science and Technology, 199, pp. 84-92. doi : 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2014.11.003

    2015 - View publication details

  18. He, Z.X., Walker, N.D., McAllister, T.A., Yang, W.Z. (2015). Effect of wheat dried distillers grains with solubles and fibrolytic enzymes on ruminal fermentation, digestibility, growth performance, and feeding behavior of beef cattle, 93(3), 1218-1228. http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/jas.2014-8412

    2015 - View publication details

  19. He, Z.X., Sun, Z.H., Beauchemin, K.A., Yang, W.Z., Tang, S.X., Zhou, C.S., Han, X.F., Wang, M., Kang, J.H., Tan, Z.L. (2015). Effect of protein or energy restriction during late gestation on hormonal and metabolic status in pregnant goats and postnatal male offspring, 9(11), 1843-1851. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1751731115001147

    2015 - View publication details

  20. He, Z.X., Yang, L.Y., Yang, W.Z., Beauchemin, K.A., Tang, S.X., Huang, J.Y., Zhou, C.S., Han, X.F., Wang, M., Kang, J.H., Odongo, N.E., Tan, Z.L. (2015). Efficacy of exogenous xylanases for improving in vitro fermentation of forages, 153(3), 538-553. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0021859614000860

    2015 - View publication details

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1



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