In February 2018, I completed my undergraduate degree in Animal Biology (Honours) here at the University of Guelph. During my undergraduate studies I was introduced to the world of animal research and became immediately interested in the study of animal behaviour and welfare. In the early Spring of 2017 I began volunteering in Dr. Widowski's lab, helping her graduate students with their respective research projects. This quickly turned into a Work-Study Student position, and furthermore an Undergraduate Research Assistant position. This opportunity has provided me with an abundance of hands-on experience with poultry, poultry husbandry and production, and what it takes to conduct appropriate and ethical animal research. It also confirmed my passion for animal welfare and improving the treatment of animals used in production.
I also had the opportunity to represent the University of Guelph both individually and as a team at The Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest (AWJAC) at Iowa State University in 2017. Under the guidance of Dr. Ian Duncan, I was able to use on-the-spot science- and ethics-based thinking to assess the welfare of different species, bringing home two titles for Guelph. I currently fill one of four roles of Event Coordinator in the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, Student Chapter, where I am able to help spread awareness of the importance of animal welfare.
My research will focus on the behaviour and welfare of laying hens, and their predisposition to keel bone fractures after being reared in different housing systems. Having helped with the research of many of my colleagues and classmates, I am eager to provide valuable findings of my own that will improve the use of animals in the Canadian egg industry.