I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and completed an undergraduate liberal arts degree at Princeton University. Given my love of animals from childhood, I then entered a pivotal Master’s Degree program in Animal Behavior and Conservation at Hunter College, City University of New York. This program introduced me to a broad range of research perspectives and afforded me a firm grounding in statistics. During my Master’s program, I had the opportunity to conduct research at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre in Agassiz. This experience gave rise to my Master’s thesis concerning cow-calf separation and helped solidify my career goals. Upon graduating in 2013, I entered Cornell University under a US Department of Agriculture grant to pursue a PhD in Animal Science, with minors in microbiology and epidemiology. My goal was to expand my hard-science training to facilitate an impactful animal welfare research career. I spent the final year of my PhD at Wageningen University in the Netherlands on a US Fulbright Scholarship, investigating MAP bacteria, the causal agent of Johne’s disease in ruminants. My dissertation features a mathematical model to facilitate the understanding of MAP infection dynamics on dairy farms. During my Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at UBC, I hope to integrate my interests in animal behavior, cognition, and epidemiology into research aimed at improving the quality of life for animals.
I grew up in a rural part of Germany close to the Dutch border before I went to veterinary school in Hannover. During a year of work and travel I fell in love with Canada and decided to go back after I graduated from vet school. A PhD in veterinary epidemiology at the University of Calgary (Department Production Animal Health) was the perfect fit and provided the opportunity to combine my passion for animals with my interest in research. The focus of my PhD was to improve prevention and control of animal disease through a better understanding of the (social) influences behind farmers’ management decisions. I also became involved in the teaching of clinical communication skills to veterinary students and made veterinary communication another focus of my PhD research. The Banting postdoctoral fellowship allowed me to join the Animal Welfare Program in September 2018.