Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Mark Schlesinger


Approximately 27% of U.S. methane emissions are emitted by the agriculture sector annually, primarily by ruminant livestock as a GHG enteric fermentation bi-product (EPA, 2022). This proposed intervention explores the feasibility of scaling up use of anti-methanogenic ruminant feed additives, to directly reduce U.S. agricultural methane emissions at the source. A careful review of in vitro, in vivo and small-scale pilot studies revealed that the potent, anti-methanogenic bioactive compounds in red macroalgae (Asparagopsis Taxiformis) can both safely and effectively inhibit methanogenesis during enteric fermentation, resulting in up to 90% reduction in methane emissions without adverse risk or consequence to animal health, productivity or enteric fermentation efficiency (Kinley et al, 2016; Machado et al, 2016; Mernit, 2018; Chagas et al, 2019; Vijn et al, 2020; Min et al, 2021; Symbrosia, 2022). Next, nuanced feasibility challenges and prospects to scaling up this intervention are explored, including how to optimize consistency in production feed additive quality and quantity, how to optimize market and industry acceptance at scale, and establishing the role of the U.S. government in large-scale implementation. Finally, short-term, mid-term and long-term policy options and recommendations are explored, to determine the best next steps forward to enhance success of this intervention upon implementation. Study conclusions illustrate that assuming adequate resources and intervention compliance upon implementation, the widespread A. taxiformis feed additives in the U.S. livestock sector at scale has considerable potential to achieve substantial reductions in enteric methane emissions.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access