Emma Bermingham, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Beyond DCM: New models to close pet food’s nutrition research gaps — The ongoing situation with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and grain-free pet food is just one recent example of how the lack of pet nutrition research has not served the industry, consumers, retailers, veterinarians or regulators well. Other cases and questions, such as vitamin D levels and the Fanconi syndrome with chicken jerky treats from China, have also contributed to confusion, anxiety, lost confidence and sales. Could these types of situations be avoided or at least mitigated with better models for pet nutrition research — and what changes and improvements would help? Do we need new funding sources, including financial participation from consumers? Moderated by Greg Aldrich, Ph.D., research associate professor at Kansas State University and president of Pet Food Ingredients & Technologies, this lively roundtable discussion will feature industry experts addressing these questions and proposing next steps.
Long-term effects of diet format on body weight, composition and insulin sensitivity in cats — Bermingham presents data from new research on the effects of diet format on cat health. Like humans, cats are living longer and have similar health issues such as obesity and diabetes. The impact of diet, specifically its carbohydrate content, and its potential contribution to the development of Type 2 diabetes in the cat, has long been of interest. Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that dietary format has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes in the domestic cat. This presentation will help to understand the scientific data around carbohydrate intake and the impacts of aging on markers of diabetes in the domestic cat.
Bermingham is a senior research scientist at AgResearch, a crown-research institute based in Palmerston North, New Zealand. She is responsible for conducting commercial and applied nutritional research for companion animals. Research interests include the effects of diet on intestinal health, with a focus on intestinal microbiota. Bermingham has a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a Ph.D. from Massey University.