Dr. Karl Dawson

Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Karl Dawson is the vice president and chief scientific officer at Alltech and directs activities at the company’s bioscience centers around the world, including Alltech’s Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition, where he is the co-director. He handles the administration and scientific programs within Alltech’s research department, which employs more than 140 team members. He also oversees the company’s external contract research, which includes programs for 50 graduate students around the world and the activities of Alltech’s nearly 30 global research alliances.

Dawson is an adjunct professor of nutritional microbiology and served as director of the nutritional microbiology laboratory in the department of animal sciences at the University of Kentucky for 20 years. He has also served as the research coordinator for the department of animal sciences and the chair of the Agricultural Biotechnology Coordinating Committee at CORPORATE BIOGRAPHY Alltech.com AlltechNaturally @Alltech the University of Kentucky. He received a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from Utah State University, a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in bacteriology from Iowa State University. He worked for two years as a microbiologist at the National Animal Disease Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, and was employed by the University of Kentucky for 21 years before joining the research team at Alltech in 1999.

His research has focused on strategies for improving animal performance and health by altering microbial activities and digestive processes in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies in his laboratory have examined microbial population changes and digestive activities in ruminants, horses, pigs and poultry. Of particular interest are strategies that use antimicrobials and substrate availability to beneficially alter microbial growth in the digestive tract.

In recent years, Dawson has provided leadership for nutrigenomics research initiatives, which have led to strategic programs that use epigenetic switches to more effectively control nutrient utilization and improve animal health. These nutritional programming strategies are being tested as alternatives to the use of growth promotants and are changing the face of nutritional science in agriculture.



Professionals from around the world and across every industry attended last year’s conference and returned home inspired, re-energized and ready to change the world. Here’s what they had to say: 

“Thank you for organizing a great and thought-provoking conference. The standard for next year is set very high!” @balrathboyne

“Thanks Alltech for a great REBELation meeting this week! Speakers shared inspirational thoughts on innovation and purpose in food and agriculture!” @AgProudRyan

“Great event. Thanks to Alltech for its continued support for young agricultural journalists.” @BenPikeComms

“On behalf of the Dahmes and Genarex teams, please accept our sincere thanks for the invitation to Alltech’s 2015 conference. We found the event to be informative, well-organized, and very entertaining. We believe that it is very healthy for an organization to have its leaders attend events of this nature. The networking opportunities are invaluable. ” Dan DeGeest, General Manager, Dahmes Stainless, Inc., USA

“It’s easy to see why Alltech is succeeding and will feed the world someday. I used to think I knew the definition of networking, motivation, passion for work and passion for life. Now when I think of networking, I think of Alltech! When I think about motivation, it equals Alltech! When I think about passion for work, it’s Alltech! Passion for life and all life has to offer, I think of Dr. Pearse Lyons and Alltech!” Jeff Clines, Stand Energy Corporation, USA

“Alltech's 2015 conference in Kentucky was amazing and a real eye-opener. We loved it.” Rebecca Jamieson, Murdoch Southern Farms Limited, Invercargill, New Zealand

“Alltech's conference, and more importantly the attendees, empowered us to cement in stone our vision. Being two small islands down in the South Pacific does not mean we don't punch well above our weight and the inspirational environment of Kentucky confirmed this.” Ben Smith, Circular Solutions, Northland, New Zealand

"If we didn't push the boundaries as an industry, we would be producing about half as much food as we do today." Ron Arnason, Verus Animal Health Alliance, Canada

“My experience at Alltech's conference was very interesting. It is a very innovative event.” Zacharakis Kostas, VET FARM CARE, Thessaloniki ,Greece 

"I've had the opportunity to attend five times and can say it is a very interesting experience. Every time I’ve attended there is a chance to network, gain knowledge and share experiences on countless subjects with scientists of today and the future. It is worth attending and I would not miss it for the world.” Simon Rodriguez, Nutritionist, Agrosantana, Venezuela

"Alltech's conference provides a great opportunity to meet many people who visit from all over the world, with knowledge on the same nutritional subjects, to share ideas and experiences. Once we return to work, we are renewed with a fresh global vision about the business, open to new ideas and opportunities." Enrique Soto, President, Agrosantana, Venezuela

"Alltech's annual event is a compilation of the best ideas for agribusiness and the world. It is an eye-opening networking experience. We do not want to miss the next!" Paola Cruz, General Manager, Nutrieco, Columbia

"The event is very high-level in all aspects—educational, motivating, and, above all, inspiring."

Indira Cedeño, Administrative Manager, Ecuador