Wilbert Pellikaan

Animal Nutrition Group of Wageningen University & Research

Wilbert Pellikaan is assistant professor at the Animal Nutrition Group of Wageningen University & Research. In 2007 he obtained his current position within the Animal Nutrition Group with half of his time dedicated to lecturing subjects in general animal nutrition and animal nutrition physiology, and supervising undergraduate and graduate students. His main area of research is ruminant nutrition with a special interest in using novel tanniniferous fodder legumes in dairy cow nutrition to reduce enteric methane emissions. Since 2011 he conducts equine nutritional related studies within the Centre for Animal Nutrition, in collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Utrecht University. 


In 2007 he participated as a workpackage leader in an EU funded research training network ‘HealthyHay’, focussing on the effect of sainfoin tannins on methane production. This project was successfully continued in a subsequent EU funded initial training network ‘LegumePlus’ (www.legumeplus.eu) in which he also participated as a workpackage leader of the animal nutrition section. Currently, he is involved in an FACCE ERA-GAS network ‘Methlab’, where lactic acid bacteria are being used as silage inoculants or direct fed microbials to reduce enteric methane emissions from dairy cows, and is a partner within the EU-funded project ‘Equianfun’. The latter program studies the functioning of anaerobic fungi in the equine hindgut, which are of key-importance to dietary fibre degradation.


Current research interests and projects include the use of alkanes combined with stable isotope technique to assess botanical composition in diets of free ranging ruminants and equids, the use of tanniniferous feeds in dairy cow and equid nutrition, and further developments of in vitro techniques to study fermentation processes and microbial responses in the gastro intestinal tract of ruminants and equids.

Pat Harris

Waltham centre for pet nutrition

After qualifying from Cambridge, Pat completed her PhD at the AHT into the Equine Rhabdomyolysis Syndrome. She joined the WALTHAM Petcare Science institute in 1995 and is responsible for their equine research conducted in collaboration with experts at institutes and universities globally. This provides the science behind the SPILLERSTM, BUCKEYETM Nutrition and WINERGYTM brands.  Pat is a European Specialist in Veterinary Clinical and Comparative Nutrition, a RCVS recognised specialist in veterinary clinical nutrition (equine) and a BEVA Past-President.  She is the author or co-author of over 500 scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters with recent emphasis on obesity, laminitis and senior horse nutrition.

Emanuela Valle

University of Torino

Dr. Emanuela Valle, DVM, PhD  is  Professor at the  Department of Veterinary Science of the University of Torino and EBVS® European Specialist in Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition.  She is in charge of the nutrition consultancy service at the teaching veterinary hospital, with particular reference to the nutrition of equine patients. Teaching activities are related to equine welfare course, equine clinical nutrition and animal nutrition. She is the author of peer-reviewed scientific publications and conference papers. She is also a writer for horse magazines. She is currently involved in different projects related to equine management especially related to the contribution of management and nutrition on the welfare of the horses and equine clinical nutrition. She is a horse enthusiast and owns donkeys and horses to ride as amateur.

Lieven Vlaminck

Ghent University

Lieven Vlaminck graduated as a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine from Ghent University, Belgium in 1993 and started his professional career in the surgery team of the Large Animal Surgery Department, Faculty of veterinary medicine, Ghent University. In 1999, he started a parallel PhD project which resulted in 2007 in completion of this PhD research project entitled ‘postextraction molariform tooth drift and alveolar grafting in ponies’. He was given the title of diplomate ECVS in 2008 after passing the certifying exam. In the same year he was promoted assistant professor in large animal surgery at Ghent University, later associate professor in 2013. He also became an ECVD Eq diplomate in 2013 and has been active within the college’s board and committees since then. Current research topics are dental problems in New World Camelids, equine cheek teeth occlusal fissure vs dental disease, bits and trauma to the bars and soft tissues of the horse’s mouth, epidemiology of EOTRH in horses, and endodontic techniques in equine cheek teeth.

Robin van den Boom

Utrecht University

Robin van den Boom graduated with honours From Utrecht University in 1996 and started his training in Equine Surgery. In 2002 he was registered as specialist in Equine Surgery bij the KNMvD (Royal Netherlands Veterinary Association, RNVA) and in 2004 he successfully completed his PhD on synovial fluid of the horse.

After completing his PhD Dr. van den Boom trained as a resident in Equine Internal Medicine and in 2009 passed the specialist exams of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine.

From September 2014 until February 2017 Robin was Head of the Department of Equine Health at the University of Adelaide (Australia) but since March 2017 he is, once more, a member of the Equine Medicine team at Utrecht. Recently his research has focussed on equine dermatology (in particular Insect Bite Hypersensitivity) and gastrointestinal problems (colic). 

Lieuwke Kranenburg

Utrecht University

Lieuwke Kranenburg graduated in 2003 from Utrecht University. She worked in a mixed small animal/equine practice in Weesp for three years. After which she returned for an equine internship at the Department of Equine Sciences from Utrecht University followed by an equine medicine residency. After completing the residency and passing the boards exam of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine in 2011 she worked as a equine medicine specialist for three years at Dierenkliniek Emmeloord.  

In 2014 she returned to Utrecht University at which she has worked since.  

She is responsible for the equine digestive programs in the bachelor and master.  And she also is the equine represent for the subject of clinical reasoning. 

She is involved in research projects which mainly include equine digestive issues such as sand colic, inflammatory bowel disease and gastric ulcers. 

Lieuwke is a past member of the NEVA board and past FEEVA representative for the Netherlands. 

Tresemiek Picavet

DBP Veterinary Services

1984 Graduated in Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium. 

1984-1985: Surgery Department Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Ghent: equine orthopedic examinations, research and medical imaging horse under supervision of Professor Verschooten. 

1986-1992: Department of Large Animal Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, supervised by Professor Oyaert, Professor Muylle, and Dr. Nuytten. 

Special interest in equine respiratory horses, exercise physiology and gastro-intestinal . 

1992 - 2014 specialist in equine internal medicine and responsible for equine anaesthesia in De Bosdreef.

2004 Diplomate Equine Internal Medicin ECEIM.

From 2014 till now private equine referral practice DBP Veterinary Services, Spelonckvaart 44, 9180 Moerbeke-Waas, Belgium.

Chair of the Flemish Scientific Horse Health Association, member of the Education and Credentials Committee of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine 

Married to Paul De Baerdemaeker, 2 children. Hobby’s: friends, reading, horse riding.

Gunther van Loon

Ghent University

Gunther van Loon graduated from Ghent University, Belgium, in 1992 and has worked at Ghent University, Department of Large Animal Internal Medicine, ever since. In 2001 he finished his PhD on “Atrial pacing and experimental atrial fibrillation in equines”. In 2004 he became ECEIM Diplomate and in 2011 Associate Member of ECVDI. In 2015 he received the ‘WEVA Research Award’ for outstanding research regarding ‘Advances in Equine Cardiology’. He is now Professor in Large Animal Internal Medicine at Ghent University and his major interests are Equine Internal Medicine, cardiology (arrhythmias, electrophysiology, cardiac pacing, echocardiography, TDI, 2D ST, biomarkers), and thoracic and abdominal ultrasound.

Caroline Loos

Kentucky University

After receiving her PhD in 2018, Dr. Caroline Loos remained at the University of Kentucky where she currently works as a Postdoctoral Scientist. Her research program focuses on equine nutrition, physiology, and endocrinology. More specifically, the research objectives of her PhD, and much of her postdoctoral work, were to investigate the effect of diet and disease on muscle protein metabolism. Caroline has conducted several studies looking at the impact of dietary protein quantity and quality on the activation of skeletal muscle anabolic signaling pathways. She also has a strong interest in the field of endocrinology, in particular with regards to equine insulin dysregulation and metabolic syndrome. Caroline has completed several research trials investigating the effect of dietary protein levels on hyperinsulinemia and conversely, how insulin resistance may affect whole body and muscle protein metabolism. She also looked at the therapeutic potential of specific plant-derived extracts and other dietary additives in the treatment and management of horses with insulin dysregulation. Currently, Caroline is involved in several projects looking at the effect of diet and insulin resistance on gut health and gut permeability.

Caroline Loos was born and raised in Belgium but has been living in the Lexington, KY, USA, for the last 12 years. She has been working in different sectors of the equine industry for over 15 years and works as a nutritional consultant for the equine feed industry.

Caroline is also an avid endurance rider and through her life’s passion and career hopes to make a difference in horse welfare and performance. 

Ingrid Vervuert

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Leipzig University

Prof. Ingrid Vervuert is a veterinarian, and she did her doctoral degree in Animal Nutrition. She is a diplomate in Animal Nutrition and Dietetics. In June 2019, Prof. Vervuert has been appointed as a professor. Currently, Prof. Ingrid Vervuert is in charge of the entire spectrum of teaching and research in the Institute of Animal Nutrition, Nutrition Diseases and Dietetics at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Leipzig. In addition, she is the head of the nutritional consultation service for veterinarians and animal holders. Her research areas are focused on obesity, minerals and the prevention of gastric ulcers in equines. In addition, current project focus on poisoning plants and the voluntary intake behaviour in horses as well as on forage strategies to compensate forage shortage by climate changes in equines.

Emmanuelle Van Erck

Equine Sports Medicine Practice (ESMP)

Dr Emmanuelle Van Erck - Westergren graduated from the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Maison Alfort (France) in 1996. She did a PhD on respiratory functional tests in horses at the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Liege (Belgium). Her work led her to participate in research projects in Equine Sports Medicine at Cornell University (USA) and at Uppsala University (Sweden). These experiences triggered her passion for equine sports medicine. In 2000, she became a Senior Consultant at the Centre for Equine Sports Medicine at the University of Liège where she dealt with referred cases in sports medicine, participated in numerous research projects and collaborated in the training of veterinary students. In 2007, she was invited to develop the equine internal and sports medicine unit in the CIRALE in Normandy (France). Emmanuelle became a de facto diplomate of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM) in 2008 and was subsequently acknowledged as a European specialist in Equine internal medicine by the Order of Veterinarians.; In 2010, she was invited to be a board member of the International Committee at the International Conference on equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP), an internationally recognised organisation in Equine sports medicine. Emmanuelle is the author of more than 40 scientific articles and regularly lectures at international scientific meetings. She is a member of the board of the Belgian Equine Practitioner Society (BEPS) and on the scientific committee of the French Association of Equine Veterinarians (AVEF). She continues to collaborate on applied research projects in Equine Sports Medicine, to teach clinical training for veterinary students and practitioners and to contribute regularly to writing in both scientific and lay reviews. She was appointed Team Vet for Belgium in 2015 and was elected president of the Belgian Equine Practitioner Society (BEPS) in 2019.

Andrea Ellis


Dr Andrea D. Ellis is a renowned equine scientist, whose early research (PhD) focused on food intake behaviour and nutrient digestion in horses and sheep, and set her on a path of becoming a specialist in equine nutrition and behaviour. After working as a Scientific Researcher in the The Netherlands, for four years with a focus on nutrition and developmental bone disease and on nutrient evaluation systems for horses, she joined Nottingham Trent University as Senior Lecturer, where she led the design of an MSc in Equine Health and Welfare.

Andrea now runs her own consultation company UNEQUI, Science and Creativity. She is passionate about animal nutrition and welfare, good science and biology education. Her equine research focus has been food intake behaviour and ethological requirements, as well as behavioural markers of welfare (e.g. ridden horse pain ethogram) and changing human behaviour towards better animal welfare.  Andrea lectures and carries out research in Nutrition, Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics at various institutions, such as the University of Edinburgh and Nottingham Trent University and collaborated on the first Global Equine Nutrition Course on ANIVADO.com. She supports the ESVCN as executive administrator and recently enjoyed co-ordinating on-line congress delivery. Through the UNEQUI creativity arm, Andrea also provides illustrations, event photography, clay-art and scientific drawings.

Mathijs J.P. Theelen

Utrecht University

Mathijs J.P. Theelen

DVM, PhD, Dipl.ECEIM, EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine

Assistant Professor Equine Internal Medicine


Curriculum Vitae

Mathijs is a Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine (Dipl.ECEIM) working at Utrecht University Equine Hospital. In his clinical work he focusses mainly on gastroenterology, hepatology and neonatology. He is head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for foals. After his graduation from Utrecht University in 2008, Mathijs started working as a researcher at the University of California in Davis, USA. After that he worked in a large equine referral hospital (Lingehoeve Diergeneeskunde) in the Netherlands before returning to Utrecht University to start his residency in equine internal medicine. He passed his board exams in 2014. In 2022 Mathijs defended his PhD thesis entitled ‘Fighting antimicrobial resistance in foal sepsis: does the gut conspire against us?’. His PhD was a collaboration between the Department of Clinical Sciences and the Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University and focused on antimicrobial resistance and the role of the microbiome as a potential reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes (resistome). Mathijs is actively involved in many research projects and has (co-)authored several scientific publications on topics related to equine neonatology, (molecular) microbiology, gastroenterology and hepatology. He aims to perform high quality research that is relevant for clinical practice. Mathijs regularly speaks at national and international conferences. He is currently also Member of the Equine Health Advisory Committee of the Morris Animal Foundation, Chair of the Advanced Training Advisory Committee of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM), Member of the sounding board for equine veterinarians of the Royal Dutch Veterinary Association (KNMvD) and Member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.



Louis C. Penning

Utrecht University

Louis C. Penning (The Hague, international city of peace and justice, 1963), PhD, is an associate professor in veterinary regenerative medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University (UU) the Netherlands. He is an expert member of the Dutch Society for Cell Biology, a member of the Dutch Society for Hepatology and a member and financial controller of the European Society for Comparative Hepatology. For his work as a PhD and post-doc in molecular oncology, molecular endocrinology and molecular cardiology, click here

His broad experience and creative mind benefit the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine where he is responsible for molecular and cell biology research in internal medicine and (neuro)surgery with a focus on stem cell biology in horses and companion animals. He is an expert on organoid technology, which he exploits for nutritional and pharmacological studies and disease modelling. Involved in a multi-centred Centaur-project aiming at the development of equine liver organoids. Hobbies include outdoors (sailing) and classical martial arts. Critical, creative, and collaborative.

Bart van der Hee

Wageningen University

Bart is a postdoctoral researcher at Wageningen University, employed by the Host-Microbe Interactomics group at the Department of Animal Sciences. He graduated from applied university HAS with a project comparing several digestibility markers in horses, and Wageningen University studying immunomodulatory properties of probiotics. In his current work, he mainly focuses on development and functional application of intestinal models and complex cell systems. One of the main areas of interest is the effects of microbe-produced metabolites on the intestinal epithelium, and uncovering their molecular mechanisms of interaction.

More information on the research group can be found following one of these links:


Jürgen van Baal

Wageningen University

Jürgen van Baal is senior researcher with the Animal Nutrition Group of Wageningen University & Research (the Netherlands) since 2007. His field of expertise is Cell Physiology with a special focus on the transport and sensing of nutrients. He currently studies the effects of minerals (e.g. calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper) and postbiotics on growth performance, their uptake and intestinal health in pigs and poultry. Other projects include the unraveling of the molecular mechanisms underlying milk production in the mammary gland of dairy cow.

Since 2021, he is involved in the development of in vitro cell systems as a model to study the molecular mechanisms of equine acute and chronic metabolic disorders within the Centre for Animal Nutrition (CAN), in collaboration with the faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University (UU, the Netherlands).