MANHATTAN, KAN. — Kansas State University (KSU) has named Julia Pezzali, Ph.D., assistant professor to lead the pet food science program in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Grain Science and Industry.

Pezzali is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, where she focuses on companion animal nutrition and pet food processing. She will begin her new role at KSU in November.

“Dr. Pezzali has a strong background and experience in animal handling, animal science and nutrition, pet food processing and formulation of pet products,” said Hulya Dogan, interim head of the Department of Grain Science and Industry and interim director of the IGP Institute. “Her training, experience and skills, along with her passion for research and teaching, enthusiasm and determination to succeed, make Dr. Pezzali a great addition to the grain science family. There is no doubt she will have an immediate impact on the program.”

Pezzali’s bachelor’s degree is in veterinary medicine. While earning her master’s degree in grain science at KSU, she focused on processing and use of alternative carbohydrate sources in pet foods and treats.

Pezzali completed her doctoral work in animal biosciences at the University of Guelph, Canada, where she developed an indicator amino acid oxidation technique for determining the minimum methionine requirement in domestic cats.

“The pet food industry looks to our program for talented students to add to the workforce and to help develop and diversify products for the industry’s economic impact and output,” said Ernie Minton, Eldon Gideon Dean, College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. “We believe Dr. Pezzali will be key in developing both of those areas and coincides nicely with our Agriculture Innovation Initiative, which is focused on building new infrastructure that will lead to next-generation research and closer industry partnerships.”

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.