Alumni

Alumni

Tessa Baker, BSc, DVM, MSc

Tessa completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 2010. After graduation, she practiced for 3 years as a rural mixed animal veterinarian in Rocky Mountain House (RMH), AB. Between working in mixed animal practice in RMH and small animal practice in Calgary, she spent a month volunteering with Vets Without Borders in Laos on a number of village based projects, including a poultry vaccination program and a dog and cat rabies campaign. After 2 and a half years in small animal practice in Calgary, Tessa pursued her interest in global health through a masters project in the Department of Ecosystems and Public Health of the University of Calgary, supervised by Drs Susan Kutz and Melanie Rock. Her research focused on the interactions between dogs and people in a number of indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories and the impact of subsidized short term veterinary clinics on both animal and community health.

Contact Tessa: tessa.baker1@ucalgary.ca

Abigail Barth, MSW, RSW (Winter 2015 practicum placement)

Abigail is a Registered Social Worker who specializes in children's mental health in an Indigenous context. Abigail is the founder and coordinator of AeHAB - Academic Explorations of the Human Animal Bond, a speaker series and discussion group in the Faculty of Social Work (see the AeHAB Facebook Page to learn more). She received her MSW from the University of Calgary in 2016, and is interested in the human-animal bond in relation to domestic violence, children's mental health, and indigenous concerns. Abigail utilizes Expressive Arts Therapy, Animal-Assisted Therapy, and aspects of Narrative Therapy in her practice.

Also see Abigail's profile at:
LinkedIn

Contact Abigail: abigal.barth@ucalgary.ca

Nicola Cherneski - BHSc (Honours)

Nicola completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences honours degree in the Cummings School of Medicine at the University of Calgary in May 2015. Nicola was part of the Health and Society stream of the Health Sciences program, with a concentration in Anthropology. In her third year she completed a research practicum investigating relationships between counselling clients’ satisfaction and their self-reported outcomes at the Calgary Counselling Centre. For her Honours Thesis, she completed a scoping review investigating the existence, nature and impact of subsidized spay/neuter programs on animal welfare, social well-being and human well-being.

Juliette Di Francesco, DVM - PhD Candidate (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)

Juliette graduated as a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine at the Veterinary School of Alfort (France). During her veterinary curriculum, she carried out several internships in South-East Asia and studied the emergence of zoonotic diseases transmitted by pigs in Asia. She then completed an MSc in Epidemiology and Public Health at the Pasteur-Cnam School (Paris, France) and conducted her master research project on the comparison of the dynamics of Japanese Encephalitis between rural and peri-urban settings in Cambodia, at the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia. She is currently a PhD student at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, supervised by Dr Susan Kutz. Juliette's project focuses on determining if stress hormone levels measured in the hair and feces of muskoxen can be used as reliable tools to monitor their health.

Contact Juliette: juliette.difrancesco@ucalgary.ca

Valli Fraser-Celin, MLIS, PhD – Remote Community Liaison, Winnipeg Humane Society

Valli has a Masters in Library and Information Studies (2010) from McGill University and a PhD in Geography from the University of Guelph (2018). Her PhD research focused on human-African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) conflict and conservation in Botswana, Africa. She is broadly interested in human-animal studies, animal geographies, and One Health. She joined Dr Melanie Rock’s Human-Animal Studies and Health Promotion team from 2018-2020; her research explored domestic dogs in Indigenous communities in the context of One Health and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action. She is now the Remote Community Liaison for the Winnipeg Humane Society. In her role, she builds relationships with First Nations in Manitoba to deliver spay/neuter and wellness clinics to isolated communities that have limited access to veterinary services. 

Contact: ValliF@winnipeghumanesociety.ca

Taryn M. Graham, PhD

Taryn recently defended her PhD which focused on enhancing access to quality rental housing for people with pets as healthy public policy. Taryn holds a BA in Human Relations (Concordia University), and an MA in Recreation and Leisure Studies (University of Waterloo). Taryn currently holds a CIHR Doctoral Banting & Best Canada Graduate Scholarship. For the past decade, Taryn has been actively involved with numerous animal rescue organizations. She also has experience training service dogs and matching them to families caring for a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Taryn is the founder of PAWSitive Leadership, a humane education program which brings certified dogs into classrooms and community centres to teach character development to children of all ages and abilities.

To learn more, please see Taryn's profiles at:
Academia.edu
Research Gate

Contact Taryn: grahamtm@ucalgary.ca

Chelsea G. Himsworth, DVM, MVetSc, PhD, Dipl ACVP

Chelsea is an Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia. She is also a diagnostic pathologist and the Leader for Veterinary Science and Diagnostics at the Animal Health Centre, BC Ministry of Agriculture, and the Director of the BC Node of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative. Dr. Himsworth’s research is focused on the ecology of infectious diseases, particularly zoonotic diseases (i.e., diseases transmissible from animals to people) and diseases involving free-ranging wildlife.

To learn more, please see Chelsea's profiles at:
Research Gate
UBC

Parabhdeep (Prabh) Lail, BSc, MD - Leaders in Medicine MSc Student

Prabh is currently a resident physician in general internal medicine at the University of British Columbia. As an MD/MSc student at the University of Calgary, she studied the health benefits of dog-walking under the supervision of Drs Melanie Rock and Gavin McCormack.

Also see Prabh's profile at:
Research Gate

Jovan Lottis, BA (Sociology) – MSW Student and Winter 2016 practicum placement

Jovan has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Winnipeg in Sociology and a minor in Conflict Resolution. Prior to enrolling in the University of Calgary’s Master of Social Work program, she spent four years at a neighbourhood renewal corporation in Winnipeg where she developed and piloted a successful outreach program for low-income tenants residing in inner city rooming houses. Jovan recently co-authored a chapter in the book Poor Housing: A Silent Crisis, which documents her experience in Winnipeg rooming houses as well as the government policy surrounding these structures. Jovan is currently employed as a Research Assistant by the City of Calgary in the Family and Community Support Services Prevention Investments unit. She is assisting with their Call for Proposals to fund innovative, non-profit community services in Calgary. In fall 2017, Jovan will begin her clinical specialization practicum with Alberta Health Services: Southern Alberta Renal Program, Hemodialysis & Home Unit. In this practicum, she will work as part of an interdisciplinary team providing health care services for patients with complex medical, psychosocial, environmental, and instrumental needs who are also living with end-stage kidney disease. Jovan’s overarching research interests are homelessness, housing policy, and community engagement with marginalized populations.

To learn more, please see Jovan's profile at:
LinkedIn

Contact Jovan: jovan.lottis2@ucalgary.ca

Fabien Mavrot, DVM, PhD (Veterinary Epidemiology) – Post-doctoral fellow (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)

Fabien is a Swiss veterinarian with a strong interest in wildlife and epidemiology. He wrote his veterinary thesis on infectious keratoconjunctivitis in Alpine Ibex and Chamois at the Center for Fish and Wildlife Health at the University of Bern and subsequently completed a PhD on gastro-intestinal parasites of domestic ruminants at the Section for Veterinary Epidemiology of the University of Zürich. Fabien is currently employed as a postdoc at the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health of the University of Calgary. His project aims at linking traditional and scientific knowledge in order to better understand the diseases observed in muskoxen of the Canadian Arctic.

Contact Fabien: fabien.mavrot@ucalgary.ca

Morgan Mouton, PhD – Research associate (Lab'URBA), member of the O'Brien Institute of Public Health

Morgan's background is in urban studies and urban planning. With Dr Melanie Rock, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate on a  SSHRC grant where he analysed how digital infrastructures are being mobilised by municipalities in order to prevent dog-bite injuries. Currently, Morgan is a research associate at Lab'URBA (Université Gustave Eiffel - Université Paris-Est Créteil), where he is taking part in a project titled "Financing Clean Air" and studying land value capture mechanisms in real estate projects that are developed around railway stations.

Contact Morgan: morgan.mouton@univ-eiffel.fr

Dawn Rault, PhD

Dawn is an Instructor in the Law and Society program at the University of Calgary having successfully defended her PhD in 2018, which focused on the enforcement of municipal pet bylaws and the work of peace officers in Alberta. Before that, she graduated from Mount Royal University with a diploma in criminology and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. She completed her MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding at Royal Roads University, focusing on health education in post-conflict countries. In recent years Dawn has worked with the City of Calgary Community Standards, Canadian Red Cross, University of Calgary, and numerous community based-organizations in Alberta and British Columbia. She has been an instructor with the Department of Justice Studies at Mount Royal University since 2006 and teaches seven courses, including research methods, young persons in conflict with the law, diversity and the justice system, interviewing, and practicum seminars. Her research focuses  Dawn was awarded a Metis Education Foundation Scholar Award, which was made available through an endowment fund established in 2012 by the  Métis Education Foundation. She is also an inaugural recipient of a 2016 Province of Alberta Scholarship for Indigenous Graduate Students, in support of her ground-breaking research exploring occupational mental health and physical safety for peace officers, with a focus on animal cases and municipal bylaws. She is also a recipient of the Captain Nichola K.S. Goddard Memorial Graduate Scholarship, Fall 2016.

To learn more, please see Dawn's profile at:
LinkedIn

Contact Dawn: dawn.rault@ucalgary.ca

Anya Smith, BSc (Biological Sciences), PhD

Anya Smith recently obtained her PhD from the University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Ecosystem & Public Health (February, 2015). Anya was supervised by Drs. Alessandro Massolo and Norman Neumann, and mentored by several PhD committee members, including Drs. Melanie Rock and Susan Kutz. Anya’s PhD research focused on the epidemiology of zoonotic enteric parasites in dogs, and investigated the potential for transmission among animals and humans based on social perceptions, behaviours, demographics, parasite genotypes, and municipal policy. Anya is now the Statistical Coordinator, Surveys at the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in West Vancouver, BC. Anya is thrilled to be back in Vancouver, her home city, but maintains a love of Calgary and the Rocky Mountains.

To learn more, please see Anya's profiles at:
LinkedIn
Research Gate

Leah Sparrow, MSc (Veterinary Medicine), Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student

Leah is entering into her second year in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Calgary. She has previously completed a Master's degree in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary, investigating the effects of skeletal variation on gait and metabolic cost in mice. Her summer 2016 research placement draws together her interests in veterinary medicine and public health as she explores the changing patterns of veterinary care in the Sahtu communities in the NWT. This area is of particular interest to Leah due to the high potential for wildlife, domestic animal and human interaction.

Contact Leah: lmsparro@ucalgary.ca

Marcella St Louis, Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student

Marcella St. Louis is enrolled in the University of Calgary’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program. Previously, she completed a Bachelor's degree in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies at the University of Calgary, and a diploma as a Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant through Grant MacEwan University.

Marcella’s interests include the human-animal bond, as well as the role these bonds may play in rehabilitation and recovery. In summer 2016, Marcella worked on a research project designed to help assess the impact of breed-specific legislation (BSL) on dog-bites in children. This project is a partnership between the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.

Contact Marcella: marcella.stlouis@ucalgary.ca

Ann M. Toohey, BA (Chem), MSc (Population & Public Health), PhD

Ann Toohey is the Manager, Research & Scientific Programs for the University of Calgary Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, where she completed her PhD in 2018. Her inter-disciplinary research program has integrated growing understandings of the health-promoting potential of human-animal relationships for older adults into frameworks for developing age-friendly cities. Her approach delves into policy implications of promoting aging-in-place in ways that also promote social justice. Ann has also worked in both municipal government and non-profit sectors in a variety of capacities, including facility-based research and policy development, funds development, and communications.

To learn more, please see Ann's profiles at:
Google Scholar
LinkedIn

You can find her on Twitter @AnnMToohey

Contact Ann: amtoohey@ucalgary.ca

Kimberly Van Patten, BA (Psychology & Linguistics), MSW (Clinical Social Work)

Kimberly is an Indigenous woman of Cree, Métis, and European descent, and a member of the Tallcree First Nation. Originally, from a small, northern community in the Treaty 8 region of Alberta, Kimberly moved to Calgary in 2008 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Linguistics (double major). In June 2018, she completed her Masters of Social Work (SW) at the University of Calgary.

Kimberly places great value on her relationships with plants, animals, people, and place, and returns home to the family farm whenever she can for grounding. Under the supervision of Drs. Cindy Adams and Melanie Rock, she was the first MSW student to complete their second-year specialization practicum with the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). Kimberly continues to work with the UCVM as a research assistant for the Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Science and the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health. 

Contact Kimberly: kmvanpat@ucalgary.ca