Five attractive grey rats on a white background

Meet the Director and CCSAW Team

In 2020, the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare began its next chapter under the leadership of its new director, Professor Georgia Mason, who will serve a five-year term.

Georgia is a professor in the College of Biological Science’s Department of Integrative Biology. A prize-winning behavioural biologist, she studies how animals (from mice to elephants) adjust to life in captivity. Why do some thrive, while others show signs of boredom, stress, frustration and depression? She is also interested in the validation of indicators of animal emotion and animal welfare (such as stereotypic behaviour, judgment bias and facial expressions).

Education and experience

Georgia has a first class degree in Zoology from Cambridge University (1984-1987), where she also did her PhD (1988-1992) and held a Clare College Research Fellowship (1991-1994). She then moved to Oxford’s Zoology department, teaching vertebrate biology before taking up a David Phillips Research Fellowship from the BBSRC.

Georgia moved to Guelph in 2004 for a Canada Research Chair. She has over 200 publications, including a co-authored, edited book on stereotypic behaviour, and papers in Nature, Science, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and TREE. She has been a Visiting Professor in Welfare Physiology at the Royal Veterinary College (UK), an Honorary Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), and served on numerous committees and working groups turning welfare science into policy (for instance for the European Union, the UK government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the US’s National Academy of Science, and Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council and Canadian Council on Animal Care).

Steering Committee

The CCSAW Steering Committee meets once per month and is comprised of faculty from across campus. In addition to the Director, the current members: are

Dr. Anna Bolinder, Assistant Director of Animal Care Services

Lydia Conrad, PhD student in Animal Biosciences and President of the CCSAW student chapter

Dr. Charlotte Winder, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Medicine at OVC

Dr. Derek Haley, Professor, Department of Population Medicine at OVC

Dr. Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph

Dr. Jeffery Rau, Clinical Veterinarian, Department of Clinical Studies at OVC

Dr. Jeff Wichtel, Dean, OVC

Dr. Lauren Van Patter, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Studies/Community Healthcare Partnership Program, OVC


Karen Daynard, CCSAW Outreach Coordinator,

Laura Harper, CCSAW Events Coordinator,

Katie Duncan, CCSAW Communications Officer,

Previous CCSAW Directors

Dr. Tina Widowski

Dr. Ian Duncan