Achieving Change in the Animal Protection Movement

Meet the Presenters

Geoff Urton MSc 2009

Principal, Your Purpose Coaching and Consulting

Geoff Urton is an educator and certified leadership coach committed to bringing about extraordinary contributions from the inspiring people who dedicate their lives to purpose-driven work. He brings 20 years of experience as a strategist and executive in the animal welfare sector to support leaders in caring professions to reach their greatest potential in making a measurable difference in what matters to them. Geoff’s application of his training in animal welfare science (University of British Columbia), dialogue (Simon Fraser University), and nonprofit leadership (Stanford) has been recognized with Humane Canada’s award in leadership and innovation. Geoff was named a Top 20 Under 40 in his home of Victoria, British Columbia, where he is grateful to live with his wife, their two sons, and the two animals who rescued them.

MSc Thesis

Dr. Sara Dubois PhD 2014

Chief Scientific Officer, BC SPCA

Sara Dubois is Chief Scientific Officer for the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA), where she supports province-wide operations, education and advocacy projects. She leads four teams of staff experts in animal welfare science and policy (Companion, Farm & Wildlife, AnimalKind Accreditation). Sara holds a B.Sc. from the University of Victoria and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the UBC Animal Welfare Program. She is a Registered Professional Biologist, whose main area of expertise is wildlife welfare and human dimensions. As an Adjunct Professor in Applied Biology at UBC, she created a practicum course (APBI 496) for students to get hands-on experience with animals.

MSc Thesis PhD Thesis

Dr. Christine Sumner PhD 2018

Science Officer, SPCA New Zealand (RNZ SPCA)

Since graduating from UBC, Christine Sumner has worked as a Science Officer with SPCA New Zealand where she advocates for improvements in welfare for animals in the wild, in science, and related contentious topics such as cat management. Christine works with local governments, industry, and other charities to advance animal welfare through research and policy. She finds that her background, including her experience at UBC, has provided a solid foundation for working in evidence-based animal welfare advocacy.

PhD Thesis

Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy PhD 2012

Director of Research, Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE)

Unintentional punner. Maker of change. Elisabeth Ormandy is currently Director of Research at Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE), a US-based charity evaluator and effective altruism-focused nonprofit. She is a scientist, educator, and animal advocate who develops and uses evidence-based strategies to improve the lives of animals.

PhD Thesis

Listen to the episode below!