Join the ABW

Life in the ABW Group

The ABW group is a lively group with lots going on. Those of us on the main campus have weekly ABW lunchtime meetings, for all faculty, students and post docs. Here we practice talks for conferences, discuss recent journal papers, get help on experiments still at the planning stages, and spend time with visitors. These might be speakers in the monthly Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (CCSAW) Research Seminar series; or visitors coming to give our two CCSAW endowed lectures, the Presant and the Basil Capes. Those of us at Kemptville and Alfred join in with these via video links. Once a year we all play a major role in CCSAW Research day, and some of us are also involved in the annual Welfare Judging Competition. On top of this, each advisor typically has regular group meetings with their own students and post docs.

Facilities & Resources

Our animal facilities are second to none. Thanks to the University’s close links with OMAFRA, we have dedicated research farms specialising in poultry (layers, broilers and turkeys), pigs, cattle (dairy and beef), horses and sheep, as well as an organic dairy herd at Alfred. Many of us have good relationships with local farmers, giving us access to yet more farmed populations, and additional species too (e.g. mink). Some of us also work closely with our two local zoos, Toronto Zoo and the African Lion Safari. The University’s Central Animal Facility is where we conduct most of our laboratory animal research: this is a modern, well–run unit with an enthusiastic attitude to animal welfare. Faculty in Animal Science can also use small experimental rooms there, while faculty in OVC have access to a new state-of-the art companion animal hospital, the Hill's Pet Nutrition Primary Healthcare Centre.

Our research is further supported by good statistical advisors; a superb university library; and cross-disciplinary interactions with epidemiologists, neuroscientists (e.g. the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Group), philosophers, and the many diverse members of CCSAW. Those of us based in Guelph also benefit from the very strong universities close by, e.g. McMaster with its excellent weekly psychology seminars; and cross-university events like the Southern Ontario Neuroscience Association, the Ontario Ecology, Evolution and Ethology Conferences, and the Greater Toronto Area Animal Cognition Reading Group organized by York University’s Kristin Andrews.