Growing up on a hobby farm in Ontario, I was very fortunate to have had many opportunities to interact with, and learn from, animals. From donkeys to dolphins to dogs, I have always had an interest in finding ways to help improve the lives of animals.
I completed my B.Sc. in honours Biology at Queen’s University in 2013. I have had opportunities to work in veterinary clinics, farms, animal shelters, a wildlife rehabilitation centre, and a marine mammal research facility. Recently, I piloted a successful project to increase land-based whale watching and cetacean data collection in British Columbia.
Through my experiences, I have strengthened my resolve to contribute toward animal welfare research. In September 2017, I became an M.Sc. student in UBC’s Animal Welfare Program where I will be working with the BC SPCA conducting a project to help understand and improve companion animal welfare in shelter environments.
In 2016, I graduated from a French agronomy school (Bordeaux Sciences Agro) with a specialisation in animal production. During my education, I worked as an intern and research assistant on an organic market garden (France, 2013), an experimental sheep farm (Lincoln University, New Zealand, 2014) and UBC’s Dairy Education & Research Centre in which I took part in Becky Meagher’s study on cow’s motivation to participate in learning opportunities (2015). I joined the Animal Welfare Program in 2016 as a Masters student to study potential refinements of sedation procedures in calves. My current research investigates the negative experience caused by injections and the use of xylazine.
While earning my BA in Spanish and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, I became interested in sustainable agriculture and began working on farms that grew produce and also raised chickens, turkeys, and rabbits. I became specifically interested in farm animal welfare, and since then, have sought opportunities to learn more about animal welfare issues from other farms, and as a volunteer at the Humane Society and a feral cat rescue program.
I joined the Peace Corps in 2009 as an extension agent and worked for three years in the West African country of Togo. I appreciated learning about local animal husbandry methods, and sharing what I had learned about animal welfare. I helped start a rabbit-raising project, and held frequent training events with youth and adults. This project encouraged collaboration throughout the community, and created a place to teach and discuss practical, inexpensive methods for improving the welfare of animals.
I became an MSc student in UBC’s Animal Welfare Program in September 2015. Focusing on the practical application of scientific research on dairy farms, I plan to collaborate with dairy producers to develop outcome-based welfare measurement tools for on-farm use. Hopefully these tools will be both effective and useful for producers, and lead to improved welfare for dairy cattle.
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I graduated from UBC in 2015 with a BSc (Honours) in Applied Animal Biology. During my undergraduate degree I began to explore the field of animal welfare science and had my first introduction to research through the Animal Welfare Program in 2013. From there I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects including my undergraduate thesis on public perceptions of medically unnecessary surgeries in companion animals. After graduating, I became a research assistant before starting my MSc in September 2016. I am interested in how the understanding of stakeholder attitudes can help to improve animal welfare; specifically, my research will focus on farmer attitudes towards management practices for cows during the transition period.
I was born and raised in Vancouver B.C., and spent most of my time outdoors on the North Shore as a child. This instilled in me a deep respect for nature, and as a teenager I developed a curiosity about how we attempt to describe and explain the natural world scientifically, from the molecular level to the ecological. Therefore it was no surprise that I decided to study biology in college, and although my previous interests were focused on ecology and molecular biology, I’ve always had a strong passion for animals and understanding the science behind animal behavior. This love for animals brought me to the UBC Animal Welfare Program as an undergraduate in 2010, where I found a tightknit and collaborative community of animal researchers and advocates that welcomed me into the program. In 2012, I graduated with my B.Sc in Applied Animal Biology, and completed my undergraduate thesis project under the supervision of Joanna Makowska and Dr. Dan Weary, which investigated the potential of anaesthetic gases such as isoflurane and sevoflurane as humane alternative to carbon dioxide for laboratory rat euthanasia.
After taking a few years off to work, I returned to the Animal Welfare Program in 2015 to pursue my M.Sc where I will be investigating abnormal lying behaviors in dairy cattle, and the factors that contribute to why some cows fail to adapt to freestall systems properly, which is a common and significant welfare concern regarding the housing of dairy cattle.
I received my B.A. in neuroscience from Pomona College and from 2010-2012 worked as a research assistant in human cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). While at UCSB, Buddhist teachings and my two pet rats turned me towards laboratory animal welfare. In 2012-2013 I enjoyed a visiting scholarship with the UBC Animal Welfare Program where I explored elements of social cognition in rats that were kept in complex environments, well-socialized to humans, and were trained to voluntarily participate in behavioural trials. After three years focusing on Tibetan Buddhist study and practice in Canada, the US, and India, I returned to the Animal Welfare Program to begin my M.Sc. in 2016. My research interests lie in improving the welfare of research and companion rats (and the humans who interact with them) with a focus on socialization and improving rat-human interactions. I am a member of the Rat Superstar Project at UBC.
I was born and raised in small town Ontario, later moving to British Columbia to attend UBC. In the spring of 2015 I completed my B.Sc. in Biology with an honours in Animal Biology. My studies were focused on comparative animal physiology; however, after my experiences working with animal rehabilitation at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and animal welfare at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre I realized I wanted to shift my studies to more applied systems. In May 2015 I began my M.Sc. with the Animal Welfare Program. I am interested in determining how different management practices at dry off affect behaviour in dairy cows as well as developing objective and automated methods for identifying important behaviours of dairy cows.
I grew up in rural Saskatchewan where I developed a love of agriculture and animals. This lead me to the University of Saskatchewan where I began an animal science degree at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. I then entered the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2015. While in university, I spent my summers working on research topics including rumen physiology, spinal cord injury, and bovine reproduction, and thoroughly enjoyed each experience. This prompted me to start my veterinary career in feedlot medicine where I could participate in research trials on antimicrobial resistance and sheep pathology. During my time in vet school and particularly as a feedlot veterinarian, I became interested in farm animal welfare and its role in the sustainability of animal agriculture. I joined the animal welfare program in September, 2017 as a Masters student to study dairy bull calf welfare.
I have a B Sc. degree in general Biology, with a specialization in behavioural ecology. For my B Sc. degree, I did research on “the development of dominance relationships in the domestic kittens at weaning” under the supervision of Drs. Hugh Drummond and Robyn Hudson. My M Sc. in animal production and health was on “behavioural indicators of cattle welfare in Silvopastoral Systems” with Dr. Francisco Galindo. I started my PhD at the UBC Animal Welfare Program in September 2014. My main interest is the variability in behaviour and its relationship to animal welfare. My research is focused on individual variation of rats’ responses to CO 2.
I come from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC/Brazil) where I graduated in Agronomy in 2012. My background is in dairy cattle production and farming systems. Throughout my Master’s (2012-2014) I worked on cognition and emotional states of dairy calves under the supervision of MJ Hotzel and DM Weary in a partnership involving UFSC and UBC. In June of 2015 I started my PhD at AWP focusing on welfare of transition cows that have access to pasture. As we move forward public interest on animals’ natural living has increased and thus my interest on understanding how grazing systems may improve dairy cattle welfare.
Previously unacquainted with the species, I fell in love with cows during my veterinary studies. So after obtaining a Master of Science in Veterinary Medicine in 2002, I returned to my home province in the north of Sweden to work with them as a field practitioner. To continue my education in ruminants I moved south in 2006 to work as a Junior Lecturer in Ruminant Medicine at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala. There, I worked with a lot of common diseases in dairy calves. Because disease risk is greatly connected with the way we take care of calves, I became interested in looking into the potential causal connections between common management practices and animal health.
I joined the Animal Welfare Program as a PhD student in January 2015. My research will focus on how different management practices influence how cows use their time to perform different behaviours and how these behavioural changes can affect their health.
I come from France where I studied animal biology and specialized in the study of animal behavior (Master’s degree at University Paris 13). I became fascinated by the study of the emotional life of animals. My first research experiences aimed at describing non-invasive methods to measure emotional states of laboratory mice. I first came to the Animal Welfare Program in January 23016 for a six month research internship. I soon realised a wanted to continue my graduate studies with the Program, and began my PhD in September 2016. My primary research focus is on the psychological welfare of dairy cattle. I’m currently leading studies on individual traits of dairy calves and cattle. I’m interested in understanding how these traits can affect the way individual animals cope with the farm environment.
I graduated in veterinary medicine in Germany in 2008, focusing on the well-being of dairy cows. I held two different field practices in Germany before coming to Canada in April 2013, to deepen my knowledge in animal welfare, primarily dairy cattle welfare. I joined the animal welfare program as a PhD student in January 2014. My research focuses on the behaviour of cows during the transition period and how this links to common dairy cow diseases (ketosis, metritis, etc.). Of particular interest to me is the inclusion of lameness in this transition cow disease complex. Due to physiological changes during the time of calving, the claw of the cow is more sensitive to risk factors inflicted by common dairy management and housing. Thus, with changing housing and management towards the cows’ behavioural needs in the transition period, we might be able to decrease lameness incidence later on in lactation.
I earned a BA in English literature at the University of Victoria and completed a BSc (Honours) in the Global Resource Systems Program at the University of British Columbia. My love of animals led me to join UBC’s Animal Welfare Program, where I completed my MSc in 2009. I did my thesis research at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, where I examined ways to improve the feeding and survival rates of orphaned harbour seal pups. I have worked as an enrichment coordinator at the Calgary Zoo, a marine mammal trainer at the Vancouver Aquarium, and I continue to work as a senior staff member at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. I returned to the Animal Welfare Program in January 2012 to undertake a PhD.
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I’m a DVM with a MSc degree in sustainable livestock systems from the University of Antioquia, Colombia. Despite being born and raised in the city, I couldn’t stop thinking that there was something wrong in the way humans relate with animals and nature. My thoughts were confirmed when I started Vet School. Trying to be part of the “solution”, I decided to focus my further education and professional activities on topics related to environmental restoration and animal welfare; trying to find ways to reconcile current human activities, particularly those related to farm animal production, with nature. I became a researcher at one of most prestigious Colombian research centers in sustainable agriculture (CIPAV), known for their work in agroforestry, ecological restoration and nature conservancy. I was part of their sustainable livestock research team for 3 years. This gave me the financial support for my Masters research, which focused on the integrated management of ticks in tropical livestock systems. From 2013 to 2016, I taught courses in environmental sustainability and animal health, welfare and ethology, at the Vet School and the Animal Science Program at the University of Antioquia. My main focus was to encourage students to see beyond the indivudal animals and concern themselves with the influence of the environment on animal health and production performance. I started my PhD with UBC’s Animal Welfare Program in 2016, focusing on understanding the welfare implications of a limitated expression of grooming behavior in dairy cows. Overall, my main interest as an animal science researcher is to understand those relations that link and separate animals and humans, and work to find a balance between animal welfare and human welfare in animal farms. Ideally, this will help find ways to further dignify the lives of farmers’ and their animals.
I first was introduced to the dairy industry during a co-op work placement with Agriculture Canada. When my term came to an end, I knew I wanted to continue research with dairy calves and returned to the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre with the Animal Welfare Program in Sept 2011 with an NSERC research grant. During my MSc, I developed a cognitive bias method of assessing emotional states in dairy calves, studying how the pain from dehorning affects their cognitive processes. I began my PhD in 2014 with a focus on personality in dairy calves and the relationship with feeding behavior, coping styles and long-term consistency into first lactation. I also aim to relate sickness behavior and susceptibility to disease during the transition period with personality traits. Additional research interests include promoting positive experiences by providing enrichment opportunities for dairy calves and goats.
I am a PhD student in the Animal Welfare Program from the Netherlands. My interest in animal welfare started at an early age. As a child, I was always questioning myself what the perfect life of my little rabbit Bennie would look like. From there, I started to wonder what was important for other animals to live a good life. Eager to learn more, I joined Wageningen University in the Netherlands, where I completed both a Bachelors (2013) and a Masters (2015). During my studies at Wageningen I was also able to complete a minor in Animal Welfare through a joint program offered with the University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden. During my Masters I completed two research projects: the first on the effects of housing changes on the affective states of pigs and the second on the effects of regrouping on dairy cattle behaviour. This second project provided me the opportunity to visit the UBC Animal Welfare Program as a visiting scholar and to undertake research at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre. These experiences set the stage for my Ph.D. which will focus on dairy cattle welfare!
I have worked on the management of a range of exotic and domestic animals, including great apes and farm animals. As an animal care giver, I realized that good animal welfare required more than just knowing about the animals themselves – it also requires an understanding of the role that people play in how animal welfare is prioritized. I earned my Master’s in Public Service at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service exploring the human side of animal welfare, including the challenges that institutions face in incorporating this issue into their policies and operations. Prior to attending UBC, I was a research fellow with Heifer International, conducting fieldwork that informed the organizational policies and procedures for monitoring animal welfare in their global projects. My PhD work at UBC will focus on engaging farmers as stakeholders in developing and implementing interventions that affect on-farm animal welfare. I hope this work will improve understanding of the challenges in translating knowledge into practice and will help identify more sustainable solutions to animal welfare problems.
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Jane (Yanne) Stojkov
I obtained my veterinary degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. During the next 8 years, I worked as a veterinary practitioner and animal disease control expert, primarily focused on disease prevention, surgery, reproduction, and herd health management of dairy cattle. Before moving to Canada I learned about the research conducted at UBC’s Animal Welfare program and recognized it as an excellent opportunity to expand my knowledge and contribute to cattle welfare. My M.Sc. research at UBC focused on assessing visceral pain in dairy cattle diagnosed with an infection of the uterus (metritis), which occurs in 10-30% of the cows after parturition. After my M.Sc. I worked closely with dairy veterinarians and producers in the Fraser Valley regarding alternative (flotation) treatment for downer cows. Through this collaboration, I was able to visualize major problems in the dairy industry such as the lack of management protocols for vulnerable cows and management practices for cows intended for culling. The lack of research in this area motivated me to start a PhD directed towards improving the welfare of cull dairy cows, and contribute to improving this immense problem that often brings public criticism of the dairy industry.
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While earning my BSc (2015) at The Ohio State University, I focused on animal sciences, but also diversified by minoring in a variety of disciplines. I was most intrigued by the growing field of animal welfare; contributing to several projects examining swine welfare (behaviour, piglet care, and lameness). I joined the Animal Welfare Program (AWP) in 2015, completing my MSc in 2017, looking at social housing for dairy calves. I began my PhD with AWP in September 2017, continuing my research in the field of dairy calf welfare.