Bianca Vandresen

Bianca Vandresen

PhD Student
Dairy Cattle; Animals in Society


I started my veterinary medicine studies aiming to work with companion animals. However, when I learned about animal welfare science I knew it was the area that I would pursue in my career. I completed internships with research groups recognized for their high-quality work in the animal welfare field, and it made me even more certain that it was the path I would like to follow.

After I graduated in veterinary medicine, I started my master’s degree in the Laboratory of Applied Ethology and Animal Welfare (LETA) at UFSC in Brazil. My studies were focused on the public concerns and expectations related to animal welfare in pig production systems. I fell in love with the social sciences and with investigating the perceptions and opinions of animal production stakeholders related to animal welfare issues.

I did an internship with the AWP during my studies in veterinary medicine and I was fascinated by all the research projects developed by the graduate students. When I was in my master’s program, I received a scholarship from UFAW to develop a project with the AWP. It allowed me to travel to Canada and work with the AWP team as a visiting international research student. I am happy to be now part of this team as I start my Ph.D. with Prof. Marina von Keyserlingk in September 2022. I am now starting my Ph.D. with the AWP at UBC and I will continue to work in the social sciences to investigate socially sustainable solutions to animal welfare issues in the dairy industry. I aim to work in close contact with dairy farmers, industry, and the public to address the surplus calf and cow-calf contact issues.

More specifically, I aim to bring multiple stakeholders together to build sustainable plans to guide the Canadian dairy industry in the next years. I will focus on building socially sustainable alternatives to surplus calf management and cow-calf separation, common practices on dairy farms in Canada and around the world.

During my veterinary medicine training, I volunteered for around two years at the University Veterinary Hospital, where I interacted closely with my community, providing essential veterinary care for people in need and their animals. I was also a member of a non-profit organization established and run entirely by university students that aimed to provide veterinary services to small farmers at a low cost. It was a rich experience that enabled me to connect with local farmers, learn about their lives and help them provide care for their animals.

Education and Awards

BSc in Veterinary Medicine, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM) Brazil
MSc in Agroecosystems, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) Brazil
Doctoral Program, Tubaṛo РSC / Brazil

Animal Welfare Student Scholarship received in 2021 from the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)

Developing Countries Congress Attendance Fellowship received in the years 2021 and 2022 from Open Philanthropy & International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE)

Masters’ program scholarship received from 2020 to 2022 from the Foundation of Innovation of the State of Santa Catarina (FAPESC)