Emily Yau’s Story
Emily has been engaged in various areas within the animal welfare program during her undergraduate years at UBC. She has assisted in dairy, companion, and laboratory animal welfare research. While she never imagined that she would have so many experiences, she found the Animal Welfare Program (AWP) filled with knowledgeable, passionate, and supportive people who inspired her to get involved! She found these opportunities through speaking to professors and graduate students, LFS email postings, and the APBI 496 practicum page.
After receiving an email about a practicum opportunity that sparked her interest, Emily discovered the APBI 496 page. Following her gut, she applied for the practicum and was accepted as a student researcher at the BCSPCA working to expand their AnimalKind accreditation program. She was given the chance to present her research to the Science and Policy Division and simultaneously met Dr. Protopopova, who she would go on to work with. Working as a research assistant in the AWP exposed Emily to other branches of research and she ultimately completed another summer practicum at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre before starting a Work Learn term working with laboratory mice as a research assistant for the Weary Lab.
Having a diverse array of experiences in AWP research has allowed Emily to gain a well-rounded understanding of animal well-being, research principles, and the human-animal bond that she will take with her as she pursues a career in veterinary medicine after her undergrad. Research experiences also offer tons of practical learning opportunities that can apply to a wide range of career goals besides research! Emily has gotten the chance to help farmers milk dairy cattle, present research, handle, and care for a large variety of domestic species, and practice auditing dog daycares for animal welfare standards.
To all undergraduates who would like to get involved in AWP research, Emily would say: shoot your shot! It’s never too late to start. Find an area that interests you for whatever reason and talk to someone who works in it. Keep your eyes out for interesting emails. Apply for things and never be too proud to ask for resume advice. You never know what opportunities you can get unless you try!
The Applied Animal Biology Practicum (APBI 496) is through application to a number of different potential partners. Check out the wiki site to learn more about these opportunities. You can also follow the APBI Student Blog to hear about other opportunities for students.