Senior Scholar, Sustainable cattle production systems
Department of Animal Science
Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
University of Manitoba
237 Animal Science and Entomology Building
12 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2
Office Phone: (204) 474-9174
Karin M. Wittenberg obtained her BSc (1975), MSc (1977) and PhD (1985) from the University of Manitoba. Following a period of service with the Province of Manitoba as the Dairy Cattle Specialist, Dr. Wittenberg joined the University of Manitoba as Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science to work in the area of forage harvest and utilization.
Wittenberg’s work as a university academic and professional agrologist reflects the continuing need to address key issues facing animal agriculture in Canada. She chaired Canada’s first national Traceabilty Conference in 2010. She has been a member of the Task force for CDC North (2003/04), a Manitoba initiative that resulted in the expanded role of the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health (level 4 lab). As well, she was appointed to the Expert Panel on Future of Food Biotechnology in Canada, Royal Society of Canada (2000 01) to provide recommendation to the Government of Canada regarding the potential and risk of genetically modified plants and animals in our food production systems. She was appointed to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Table on Climate Change (1998-2000), the Agriculture and Agri Food Canada Advisory Committee related to greenhouse gas mitigation (2002 2006), and now Environment Canada’s Technical Committee on GHG emissions from Livestock (2008-2016). Currently, Wittenberg sits on one national industry-led research-funding agency. Her work was recognized with an Animal Science Award for Excellence in Nutrition and Meat Science in 2004, YMCA Woman of the Year in Science and Innovation in 2008, Manitoba Pork Council Education award in 2009, and a Canadian Society of Animal Science fellowship award in 2013.
Dr. Wittenberg served for five years as Head, Department of Animal Science; for nine years as Associate Dean (Research); and for five years as Acting Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. Dr. Wittenberg is a strong believer in connecting the university to the community and throughout her career; she has made an effort to build excellent relationships with key industry and government partners. An initiative led by Dr. Wittenberg as Department Head resulted in the establishment of the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment at the University of Manitoba to study the long-term impact of conventional and alternative livestock and land management practices on environmental, economic and human health. The $10.5 million initiative has brought animal and plant scientists together with microbiologists, engineers and food scientists to identify food production strategies that are ecologically and economically sound in the longer term. Her tenure as Associate Dean and Dean saw the revitalization of Glenlea Research Station and the development of the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre, which officially opened in 2011 and which features interactive displays and programming to explain the role of science in growing and processing food. To date, over 40,000 visitors have participated in activities facilitating their understanding of food production systems in Canada.
During Dr. Wittenberg’s tenure as Dean, she facilitated the integration of two departments, Human Nutritional Sciences and Textile Sciences, into the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. She also oversaw the transfer of governance for the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals to the Faculty, and revitalization of Glenlea Research Station, the Faculty's livestock research farm. A key goal as Dean was to renewal the undergraduate programs to reflect needs of current and future students. This resulted in development and implementation of a new Diploma curriculum; review and revitalization of the undergraduate co-op program; numerous articulation agreements to support student mobility, fundraising to support indigenous student achievement and initiation of a review and renewal of the degree programs.