The overarching theme for Dr. Adam Lock’s research program in the Michigan State University (MSU) Dairy Lipid Nutrition Program is fatty acid digestion and metabolism in the dairy cow.

Dr. Lock’s published work has investigated ruminant lipid digestion and milk fat synthesis. These have generated several seminal publications examining the role of bioactive fatty acids in the regulation of milk fat synthesis, as well as the identification of novel fatty acids originating as intermediates in ruminal biohydrogenation of dietary unsaturated fatty acids. These studies have greatly aided the understanding of milk fat depression on dairy farms. Dr. Lock has received considerable industry support to continue working in this area.

Examples of Dr. Lock’s current research projects focused on dairy animal lipid nutrition include:

  • identifying bioactive fatty acids produced in the rumen that inhibit mammary synthesis of milk fat;
  • using saturated fat supplements for lactating dairy cows;
  • examining the potential for developing markers of essential fatty acid status in the dairy cow;
  • investigating changes in forage fatty acid content and profile during ensiling;
  • determining the effect of dietary free fatty acids on milk fat synthesis; and
  • chronicling the impact of yeasts on rumen biohydrogenation and the subsequent risk of milk fat depression.

Over the past few years, Dr. Lock has established and led collaborative programs with colleagues in industry and government. He has done the same with peers at other research institutions including the University of California – Davis, Clemson University, Cornell University and the University of Delaware in the United States, and the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. In 2011, Dr. Lock set up collaborations with the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He also has experience in industry-funded research and related collaborative activities, and over the past two years, he has worked with key stakeholders within the dairy industry at both the farm level (e.g. Elanco, Novus and MSC) and the dairy product level (e.g. Dairy Australia and Dairy Management Inc., or DMI).

In 2011, Dr. Lock was awarded the American Dairy Science Association Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award. This award was presented in recognition of outstanding research conducted by a young dairy production scientist during the first 10 years of his professional career.

Sparty helps feed the cows
Visit the Publications section for peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings available on research projects conducted by the MSU Dairy Lipids Nutrition Program.