Poultry nutritionist Kavous Keshavarz dies at age 82

Cornell University professor emeritus well known for work on how nutrition affects egg size, eggshell quality

Kavous Keshavarz, 82, poultry nutrition expert and professor emeritus in Cornell University’s Department of Animal Science, died January 7, 2021.

Keshavarz, who lived in Athens, Georgia, was well known for his work on how nutrition affects egg size and eggshell quality in poultry. His program also provided a model for integrating applied research and extension to address important stakeholder issues.

Born in Iran in 1938, Keshavarz received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Pahlavi University in Shiraz, Iran, in 1961. Keshavarz received a master’s degree from Reading University in the U.K. in 1965, and a doctorate in poultry nutrition from the University of Georgia in 1971. Throughout his graduate school years and until 1978, Keshavarz returned to Iran to teach animal science at Shiraz University (formerly Pahlavi University), where he had risen to the rank of associate professor.

From 1978 to 1981, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Georgia, where he conducted research on poultry nutrition, and studied the effects of temperature fluctuations on heat production and energy efficiency in broiler chickens.

Keshavarz was hired as an assistant professor of poultry extension in Cornell’s former Department of Poultry and Avian Science in 1981. He joined the Department of Animal Science in 1991 and was promoted to full professor in 1998; he retired in 2002.

Among his many extension activities, Keshavarz interacted with feed companies, consultants and New York state industry nutritionists, and helped formulate poultry feed and solve feed-related problems faced by New York poultry producers.

Keshavarz is survived by his children, Sally Kesh and Sandra Kesh.

Funeral services will take place in Iran, at a date to be determined.