Yanhong Liu

Yanhong Liu

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Animal Science


Liu is an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science who focuses on improving disease resistance in pigs and increasing the sustainability of swine production. She received her Ph.D. in animal nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Liu was a postdoctoral research associate at Monogastric Nutritional Laboratory at the University of Illinois before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2015. 

Research interests:

Nonruminant nutrition, feed ingredients, gut health, gut physiology, immunology, gut microbiome, alternatives to antibiotics in animal feed

Brief overview:

There is an urgent need to seek alternatives to antibiotics in the agricultural animal industry due to rising concerns about antimicrobial resistance of foodborne bacteria. Many feed ingredients and additives now available could potentially become alternatives to antibiotics, either by altering microbial populations in the gastrointestinal tract, or by influencing an animal’s immune system. There is still much to learn, however, about how these possible alternatives function.

Our research evaluates how diet affects pig health, investigating the impacts of alternatives to antibiotic products now available and developing new approaches. Our goal is to help the animal industry deploy feed-based health technologies to improve animal health.

We also evaluate low-cost byproducts or coproducts from feed or the food industry, such as rice bran and wheat bran, as possible feed ingredients for pigs. The efficient use of these low-cost ingredients in pig diets will increase the sustainability of swine production and reduce the reliance on more costly, traditional ingredients, such as corn and soybean meal.