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Emily Burton

Emily Burton


School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division


Emily Burton is a Professor in Sustainable Food Production. She undertakes a mixture of teaching, commercially driven research investigations and applied research into poultry nutrition and related fields. Prof Burton leads the University’s poultry nutrition research team, based at the Brackenhurst Campus.

Career overview

Prof Burton gained a BSc in Animal Physiology and Nutrition from the University of Leeds and a PhD in the nutritional value of soya beans for broiler chicks from the University of Nottingham. She spent seven years as a post-doctoral researcher mainly focusing on feed quality and exogenous enzyme effects on broiler performance, but also briefly investigating the capacity of fibrolytic enzymes to improve forage digestion in dairy cows.

After a spending two years as the companion bird nutritionist for Mars at their Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Dr Burton established a new poultry research unit at Nottingham Trent University in 2009.

Research areas

Prof  Burton's research primarily focuses on interactions between feed materials and gastrointestinal physiology in poultry. She has particular interest in optimising the nutritional value of industrial co-products for use in poultry diets, methods of inactivating anti-nutritional factors in plant materials, bone development in poultry and the role of nutrition in reducing the environmental impact of poultry production.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards PhD exist in all the areas identified above and further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

  • Represents the UK in the World’s Poultry Science Association European Working Group on Nutrition. This group organises the European Poultry Nutrition Symposium – a meeting considered by many to be the leading source on the future direction of this sector for both academics and practitioners around the world.
  • Council member of the World’s Poultry Science Association (WPSA) UK Branch and chairs the Programme Committee of their annual meeting which is jointly held with the British Society for Animal Science (BSAS) annual meeting.
  • Council member of British Society for Animal Science (BSAS) and an ambassador of their Academia Association.
  • Led organisation of the 2014 Poultry Science Symposium on Sustainable Poultry Production in Europe and subsequently edited a book on the same topic which is now available from CABI.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is being conducted with the collaboration, funding and / or support of:


Effect of feeding broilers diets differing in susceptible phytate content. Morgan NK, Walk CL, Bedford MR, Scholey DV and Burton EJ, Animal Nutrition, 2016, 2 (1), 33–39

Contribution of intestinal- and cereal-derived phytase activity on phyate degradation in young broilers. Morgan NK, Walk CL, Bedford MR, Burton EJ, Poultry Science, 2015, 97 (7),1577-83

The bio refinery; producing feed and fuel from grain. Scholey DV, Burton EJ, Williams PEV, Journal of Food Chemistry, 2015, 197, 137-142

A comparison of two methods for determining titanium dioxide marker content in broiler digestibility studies. Morgan NK, Scholey DV and Burton EJ, Animal, 2014, 8 (4), 529-533

The effect of dietary calcium inclusion on broiler gastrointestinal pH: Quantification and method optimisation. Morgan NK, Walk CL, M.R. Bedford and Burton EJ, Poultry Science, 2014, 93 (2), 354-363

In vitro versus in situ evaluation of the effect of phytase supplementation on calcium and phosphorus solubility in soybean and rapeseed meal broiler diets. Morgan NK, Walk CL, Bedford MR and Burton EJ, British Poultry Science, 2014, 55 (2), 238-45

A natural carbohydrate fraction Actigen™ from Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall: effects on goblet cells, gut morphology and performance of broiler chickens. Lea H, Spring P, Taylor-Pickard J and Burton E, Journal of Applied Animal Nutrition, 2014, 93, 9

Use of cereal crops for food and fuel: characterisation of a novel bio-ethanol co-product for use in meat poultry diets. Burton EJ, Scholey DV and Williams PEV, Food and Energy Security, 2013, 2 (3), 197-206

See all of Emily Burton's publications...

Press expertise

  • Animal nutrition
  • Sustainable Food Production
  • Poultry production

Much of my work focuses on using animal nutrition as a tool to promote sustainable food production. I have projects focusing on the nutritional factors contributing to healthy bone development in fast-growing production animals, and also in humans too, via our research into bioavailable silica as a food supplement.

My interest in bone development also spans across to environmental sustainability too: by seeking ways to maximise the release of plant-bound phosphorus, we are able to reduce global use of mined mineral phosphates in animal feeds.

Our group also supports a number of projects that seek to reduce reliance on imported protein sources such as soya, and replace them with locally produced materials that do not form part of the 'feed-fuel-food debate', where crops are diverted from direct entry to the human food chain into other, less efficient forms of global resource consumption by humans.

All  our research is conducted both with industry and for industry: with industry support, we  have a sound understanding of the challenges faced in the animal feed sector, and we are then able to  develop effective solutions through our research.

12 - Responsible Consumption and Production Badge 2 - Zero Hunger Badge 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure Badge 3 - Good Health and Well-Being Badge