Chantal LeBlanc


Chantal is from Hamilton, Ontario and completed her Animal Biology honours degree here at the University of Guelph, in Ontario. Her interest in animal behaviour and welfare began in her fourth year of her undergraduate degree when she was privileged to complete the research in animal biology full credit course under the supervision of Dr. Esther Finegan.  Chantal's research focus for this course was to determine the daily behaviour time budget of the Western Lowland Gorillas at the Toronto Zoo and its' welfare implications. She is now in the process of completing her Master's by thesis (2 year program) in animal behaviour and welfare under the supervision of Dr. Alexandra Harlander. Her project is a segment of a laying hen locomotion project: The development of locomotion in the air and on the ground in laying hens, the birds' preferences for flying and walking, and the significance of this knowledge for the proper housing of laying hens in non-cage systems to avoid keel bone fractures in free-run birds. Chantal's segment of the project includes determining the effects of ontogeny and strain upon the strategies laying hens use to ascend inclines. Determining the maximum incline and ramp design that laying hens can master is information that is critical to producers and for the welfare of these animals in order prevent injuries within these systems. She is now approximately half way through her Master's program, and has enjoyed every minute of it. Stay tuned for results in the new year!