Maria Spinato was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. After graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph with her DVM degree, she completed a Doctor of Veterinary Science program in anatomic pathology at OVC. She moved west to take a position as a diagnostic veterinary pathologist at the Saskatchewan Provincial Veterinary Laboratory in Regina, and successfully wrote her American College of Veterinary Pathologists board certification examination. When the lab became part of Saskatchewan’s Prairie Diagnostic Services in 1999, she served as the Laboratory Manager in Regina. She was subsequently a pathologist, Laboratory Manager, and Assistant Chief Veterinary Officer at the Animal Health Centre, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands for two years prior to joining the Animal Health Laboratory in Guelph in 2007, where she worked as a mammalian pathologist and Supervisor of the Postmortem Laboratory until 2019 when she became the Director of the AHL.
Maria has strong interests in quality assurance (Standards Council of Canada ISO/IEC 17025 Accredited Technical Assessor, Pathology) and emergency laboratory management. She is currently a member of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) Accreditation Committee, AAVLD Pathology Committee Co-Chair, and the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Pathologists. She enjoys yoga, reading and gardening.