Undergraduate Researchers

Many undergraduate students get involved with the program as researchers, work-study students, or volunteers. Here are some recent examples:

Betsy Robertson (Sept- Dec 2014): Betsy joined us as a volunteer in September 2013 and assisted with Leigh Gaffney’s MSc project. Betsy is currently working as a student researcher funded by an NSERC-USRA and completing her undergraduate thesis. She is assessing Coho Salmon stress and aversion associated with five different chemical euthanasia agents, and investigating behavioural lateralization in Zebrafish with the goal of enhancing our knowledge of fish welfare.

Katelyn Mills (Sept- Dec 2014): Katelyn joined the program to complete a pilot study determining measures to test the efficacy of a contraceptive implant; specifically a chemical sterilization implant used by a Vancouver Island wildlife rehabilitation centre in non-native gray squirrels.

Alan Makarewicz (May-Aug 2013): Alan ran an experiment to study the effects of respiratory and enteric illnesses on cognitive performance in dairy calves. The study also examined the impact of social versus individual housing on the prevalence of these illnesses.

Heather Neave (2011 – 2012;  co-op work term): Heather first joined the program as a co-op student from UVic and worked on a project involving the assessment of emotional states in dairy calves when they are subjected to acute and chronic stress such as dehorning and social separation.

Leigh Gaffney (2011 – 2012; undergraduate thesis): Leigh completed an undergraduate thesis on humane methods of euthanasia for zebrafish; specifically, she used an approach-avoidance test to compare the effects of the chemical anaesthetics MS-222 and Clove Oil on zebrafish behaviour.

Geoff Nemeth (2011 – 2012; undergraduate thesis): Geoff is completing an undergraduate thesis on humane methods of euthanasia for laboratory rats; specifically, he compared rat aversion to the inhalant anaesthetics isoflurane and sevoflurane using an aversion-avoidance method.

Devina Wong (2010 – 2011; co-op work term & undergraduate thesis): Devina first joined the program as a co-op student. She worked on a project assessing humane euthanasia methods for laboratory rats; specifically, she came up with a novel method of assessing the degree of aversion to isoflurane and carbon dioxide.

Carly Moody (2009 – 2011; work-study & undergraduate thesis): Carly first got involved with the program as a work-study student working in the area of laboratory mouse euthanasia. She also completed her second undergraduate thesis on refining isoflurane and carbon dioxide euthanasia in laboratory rats.

Christina Tse (2009 – 2011; volunteer & undergraduate thesis): Christina joined us in 2009 to work with PhD student Kristen Walker and help assess wound-healing in hot-iron branded sea lions. Her work resulted in the creation of a wound-healing scale to use after burn procedures and was presented at two local research conferences.

Julie Wittrock (2008 – 2010; undergraduate thesis): Julie used data collected from 2 trials to determine the effect of metritis, an infectious disease in the uterus, on the long-term milk production of dairy cows. Her work has resulted in a short communication in the Journal of Dairy Science.

Erin Ryan (2008 – 2009; undergraduate thesis): Erin ran an experiment to assess the effect of milk allowance on calf play behaviour. Her study culminated in an undergraduate thesis.

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