Faculty & Staff

David Fraser

David Fraser

Professor, NSERC Industrial Research Chair In Animal Welfare, Director of the Applied Biology Program; C.M., B.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Glasgow)

From his childhood on a farm in southern Ontario, David Fraser has maintained a fascination with animals throughout his 44-year research career. With a degree in psychology (Toronto) and a PhD in zoology (Glasgow), Prof. Fraser did research on the welfare of farm animals (Edinburgh School of Agriculture, 1971-1975) and on the behaviour and management of moose (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 1975-1981) before developing a research team on farm animal welfare and behaviour at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa (1981-1997). He joined UBC in 1997 as NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare.

Prof. Fraser is an enthusiastic teacher who mentors many graduate students and co-teaches the courses “Animal Welfare and the Ethics of Animal Use” and “Animals and Society”. He is in high demand as a lecturer off-campus. Recent speaking engagements include:

  • International symposium on Animal Welfare, Jan 12-13, 2017, Okinawa, Japan
  • Global Conference on Animal Welfare, World Organisation for Animal Health, Dec 6-8, 2016 Guadalajara, Mexico
  • European Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians/European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine annual scientific meeting, Nov 15-17, 2016, Lyon, France
  • Pig Veterinary Society and British Veterinary Poultry Association, Nov 10-11, 2016, Edinburgh
  • Wildlife Welfare Committee, Inaugural Conference,  Nov 8, 2016, Edinburgh (opening lecture)
  • International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations, July 10-13, 2016, Paris. (opening lecture)
  • International Conference of One Medicine One Science, April 24-27, 2016, Minneapolis
  • Inaugural Summit “Animals, Public Health and Ethics”, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Dec 9-10, 2015.
  • National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council Forum, Ottawa, Nov 23-24, 2015 (opening lecture).
  • 3rd International Meeting of Animal Welfare Researchers, Mexico City, Oct 27-28, 2015.

Prof. Fraser also works with many organizations to find practical ways to improve the lives of animals. He has served as an advisor on animal welfare to organizations including the Burger King Corporation (Miami), the Food Marketing Institute and National Council of Chain Restaurants (Washington), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome), and within Canada on the Board of Trustees of the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada. Currently he serves on the Animal Welfare Working group of the World Organisation for Animal Health (Paris), the National Farm Animal Health and Welfare Council, the Steering Committee for Verified Beef Production (Calgary), the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Zoo Animal Welfare (Detroit), an advisory committee for Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (Paris), and as advisor on animal welfare to Loblaw Companies.

For a video of Dr. David Fraser on animal welfare and the ethics of animal use, click here.

For more information see Dr. Fraser’s faculty page

Marina von Keyserlingk

Marina (Nina) von Keyserlingk

Professor; NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Welfare; B.Sc. (Agr.) Honours (UBC), M.Sc. (Alberta), Ph.D. (UBC)

Nina’s love of animals began at a very young age while growing up on a beef cattle ranch in British Columbia. During her child hood she was an avid rider and was an active participant in her local 4-H club. She went onto complete her undergraduate in Agricultural Sciences in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC, and her M.Sc. in Animal Science at the University of Alberta. She then returned to Vancouver to complete her Ph.D. in Animal Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Nina joined the Animal Welfare Program in 2002 as the group’s third faculty member. Today, with her colleagues, she leads a strong group of students, post-doctoral fellows, visiting researchers and adjunct professors that now make up one of the world’s foremost research groups working in the area of animal welfare research.

Nina’s interests include understanding the links between behaviour and nutrition, particularly in welfare related issues. Some of her current work in this area includes the use of feeding behaviour to predict animal health and productivity, specifically at the time of transition (when dairy cows are particularly susceptible to illness). She is also interested in understanding how knowledge of natural behaviour can help provide practical solutions to current problems in the housing and management of food production animals.

Together with colleague David Fraser, Nina offers a second year undergraduate course “Animals and Society”. Nina is an enthusiastic mentor and is actively involved in graduate student mentoring. She also encourages undergraduates to engage in research and provides many opportunities for training in animal welfare science at the undergraduate level. Together with her students she publishes the majority of her work in Applied Animal Behaviour Science and the Journal of Dairy Science. Additionally, she regularly provides extension articles to producer magazines such as Progressive Dairyman and Western Dairy Digest. Beyond lecturing at UBC she gives over 25 invited presentations and seminars a year to audiences around the globe. Recent talks have taken her to many parts of Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.

Nina also serves on advisory and expert committees for the cattle industry and more broadly for the agriculture and food industries. These include the Production Executive Scientific Advisory Committee for the Dairy farmers of Canada and the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

For more information see Dr. von Keyserlingk’s faculty page

Daniel Weary

Dan Weary

Professor; NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Welfare; B.Sc., M.Sc. (McGill), Ph.D. (Oxford)

Dan spent his childhood in Quebec, the West Indies, Africa and the Middle East, and studied at McGill (B.Sc. & M.Sc.) and Oxford (D.Phil). After working for Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada for five years, Dan moved to UBC in 1997 to co-found the University’s Animal Welfare Program.

Dan’s research interests have always focused on animal behaviour and how animals perceive their environment. Much of his work involves applying this knowledge to create practical improvements in how we care for animals. One special research focus of is on the use of vocalizations and other behaviours as objective indicators of different aspects of animal well-being. He is a pioneer in working to unlock the wealth of information animals can communicate to us about their physical and emotional states and their environments.

Prof. Weary works closely with graduate students and other researchers in the Animal Welfare Program, especially those with an interest in farm and laboratory animals.

For more information see Dr. Weary’s faculty page

Chris McGill

Research Coordinator; B.A. (Trent), M.A. (SFU)

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