Course on Indirect Calorimetry

Organisator WJJ Gerrits PhD and Prof E Kebreab

vr 13 september 2013 tot zo 15 september 2013 17:42

Locatie University of California, Davis, CA, USA (UC Davis)

Directly following the 4th International Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition in Sacramento, CA (USA) from September 9-12, 2013, Wageningen University, the Netherlands (WU), and the University of California, Davis, CA, USA (UC Davis) will jointly organize a course on indirect calorimetry and selected applications. The course will be held on September 13-15, 2013 in Davis, CA.


For whom?

The course is aimed at educating those (PhD students, technical staff, researchers) who are, or aim to use measurements of gaseous exchange (CO2, O2, CH4, etc) in their research program, and/or are setting up facilities in which those measures can be performed, either with or without climate control.



Department of Animal Science, Meyer Hall, One Shields Ave., UC Davis, Davis, CA, USA.


Registration and fee

Registration for the course can be selected as an option when registering for the ISEP conference at The Registration Fee will be $300 for PhD students and $600 for other participants. It includes breaks on Friday-Sunday and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Lodging arrangements in Davis are your responsibility, but we will email you in early June of reduced rates for local hotel(s). The maximum number of participants is 30, and will be dealt with on a first-come first serve basis. If the number of registrations does not exceed 10, the course will be cancelled. In that case, registrants will be notified before June 1st


WIAS students

For WIAS PhD candidates with an approved TSP, registration costs are compensated for by WIAS. Possibilities for travel grants are currently investigated. 

Preliminary Program


Friday September 13

13:00 – 13:30

Welcome, intro to course, intro to indirect calorimetry

Brief history, course overview

Walter Gerrits, WUR, NL

13:30 – 14:15

Design of calorimeters

General principles, brief overview – emphasis on lab scale systems

John Lighton, Sable Systems Intnl, USA

14:15 – 15:00

Design of calorimeters for large animals

Dealing with large, climatized systems with flexible walls (MH), and with mobile systems to use in field measurents (EK)

Marcel Heetkamp, WUR, NL

Ermias Kebreab, UC Davis

15:00 – 17:00

Tour to facilities; demo calorimetry setup

Visit calorimetry facilities @ UC Davis, demo-setup of a calorimetry system

John Lighton, Sable Systems intnl, USA

Ermias Kebreab, UC Davis, USA

20:00 – 21:00

Informal session

Participants will present their ideas on (future) use of calorimetry system

Walter Gerrits, WUR, NL

Saturday September 14

08:30 – 09:30

Calculating heat production from gas exchange

Usually done by the Brouwer equation. Explanation of the basics and assumptions. Comparison with serial slaughter trials. Also modelling of O2 consumption and CO2 production. Potential hick-ups in particular species;

Walter Gerrits, WUR, NL

Etienne Labussière, INRA, FR

9:30 – 11:00

Calculating heat production and energy balance

Computer practical with the objective of dealing with the steps from measuring gas concentrations, air flow, etc into a complete energy balance; dealing with two datasets: one generated on friday afternoon and an example dataset

Sven Alferink, WUR, NL

Marcel Heetkamp, WUR, NL

11:30 – 13:00

Modeling of heat production

Computer practical separating heat production into components like diet induced thermogenesis (short term vs long term), activity related heat production, fasting heat production

Etienne Labussière, INRA, FR

14:00 – 15:00

Application 1: methane

Measurement of methane emissions in different systems, greenfeed systems vs hood chambers vs open circuit systems.

Ermias Kebreab, UC Davis, USA

15:00 – 16:00

Application 2: use of tracer gases

Measurement of methane emissions using tracer gases like SF6 or others. Methodological issues

Cesar Pinares, AGResearch, NZ

16:00 – 17:00

Application 3: heat and cold stress

Measurement of heat production and energy balance under different climatic conditions (temperature, relative humidity).

John Gaughan, UQ, AU

Marcel Heetkamp, WUR, NL

Sunday September 15

8:30 – 9:30

Application 4: quantifying activity

Different methods of quantifying physical activity (beam interruption, radar, and more sophisticated) and ways to calculated activity heat

9:30 – 10:30

Application 5: stable isotope tracer methodology

Moving from a complete energy balance towards substrate oxidation: use of stable isotopes

Joost van den Borne, WUR, NL

11:00 – 12:00

Application 6: metabolism during incubation of eggs and post-hatching (tentative)

Measurement of CO2 production and O2 consumption of eggs during incubation, its relationship with incubation conditions and the impact on early life energy expenditure

Henry van den Brand, WUR, NL

Course leaders

WJJ Gerrits PhD, Wageningen University, Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Prof E Kebreab, Professor of Animal Science, Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, CA, USA 


SJ Alferink, Wageningen University, Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen, the Netherlands

E Labussière, INRA, France

J Gaughan PhD, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Qld, AU

MHJ Heetkamp, Wageningen University, Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Prof J Lighton, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA

C Pinares PhD, AgResearch, New Zealand

JJGC van den Borne, PhD, Wageningen University, Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen, the Netherlands