Chloe Chambers’ Story
Hello, I’m Chloe and I’m a fourth-year student in Honours Applied Animal Biology with a Minor in French.
My degree has looked very different from what I imagined it might. I went into my first year with an interest in conservation and wildlife biology. I did the Land One program, where we take both LFS and Forestry courses, and then continued to take conservation-related courses.
Then, after my second year, I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant with Bailey Eagan, a PhD candidate in the Animal Welfare Program, on her work investigating shelter cat welfare at the BC SPCA. I had always been interested in research, which was why I chose to do the Honours program, but this was the first time I experienced how fun the collaborative and problem-solving aspects of research could be. I was also lucky enough to meet many of the members of the Companion Animal Lab, including Dr. Protopopova and Lexis Ly, who are my current supervisors for my Honours thesis. It was definitely the people that drew me into the AWP.
I took more APBI courses in my third and fourth years, including the research methods course, APBI 398. In this course, I got the opportunity to work on the bias assessment of a systematic literature review on laboratory mouse environmental enrichment with post-doc researcher Dr. Améndola. This course was instrumental in providing me with skills like writing a research proposal and assessing the best methodology for a particular research question, that I’ve applied to my current thesis project. I came to realize that I am interested in the human side of issues just as much as the animal side and found that I was drawn to research on One Welfare issues like access to veterinary care. I am looking to identify the stigmas and barriers faced by people who use drugs when accessing veterinary care in accidental pet drug poisonings. After I complete my undergrad, I’m hoping to pursue graduate studies in public health.
I’m excited to continue to work with Dr. Protopopova this summer on other companion animal lab projects with the NSERC USRA award where I expect to learn new valuable skills and develop a better understanding of the world of research.