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Monthly Newsletter: can make 2 columns: one with newsletter and 1 with everything else?

also, can import outlook calendar to google calendar, then link google to here

  • Dr. Tina Widowski recognized for significant contributions to agriculture with induction to Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame

    Dr. Tina Widowski, Professor in the Ontario Agricultural College’s (OAC) Department of Animal Biosciences, will be inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame this spring in recognition of her significant contributions to Ontario agriculture and the poultry and swine industries.

    For the last 40 years, Widowski’s research has focused on how modern farming practices impact the behaviour, physiology and welfare of animals, with an interest in chickens and pigs who often live in confined housing systems. Her work balances the need for healthy farm animals with best practices that support economically sustainable farms.

    Widowski aims to bridge the gap and help farmers use new technologies in ways that maintain farm efficiency while improving animal  well-being.

    Dr. Tina Widowski

    Some of her most notable research addresses crucial industry issues including investigating essential housing design, effects of early life experiences on behavioural development and lifelong welfare and identifying best methods that farmers can use to euthanize sick and injured animals on their farms. The result of this work is over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters and 7000 citations.

    Getting her start in her home state of Illinois

    Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Widowski had limited exposure to animals outside of family pets and regular trips to the zoo. She aspired to use her passion for animal biology and behaviour to become a veterinarian or zoologist.

    After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ecology, Ethology and Evolution in 1983, she pursued a Masters Degree and Doctorate in Animal Science at the same university. In 1990, she arrived at the University of Guelph from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Assistant Researcher. By 2007, she had become a Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences.

    In the 33 years since she arrived in Guelph, Tina has mentored 71 graduate students, seven post-doctoral students and served on 73 advisory committees that supported additional graduate students. Today, these students represent faculty, government leaders and employees at farm organizations and welfare groups around the world.

    In partnership with another colleague, Widowski also helps lead students in an experiential learning course on assessing animal welfare, ending in the annual AVMA Animal Welfare Judging Competition, where students regularly achieve top five finishes, earning their team nickname: The University of Gwelfare.

    “Dr. Widowski embodies qualities of integrity, respect and responsibility in her research, teaching and service to agriculture. Her legacy lies in her unwavering commitment to the discipline and her dedication to nurturing the next generation of highly-qualified personnel who will continue her mission of making the world a better place through their contributions.”

    Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare

    In 2007, Widowski was appointed the second ever Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (CCSAW). Under her direction, the research centre successfully expanded the Department of Animal Biosciences graduate program to include Animal Behaviour and Welfare as a specialization, creating four new courses that are still taught today.

    Widowski also established CCSAW seminar series and annual research symposium, secured funding to establish the Saputo Dairy Care program and the Burnbrae Farms Professorship in Poultry Welfare and developed a training program for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (OSPCA) to train inspectors on how to assess animal welfare.

    With her help, CCSAW has become the largest Animal Welfare research centre in North America and one of the world’s largest.

    Turning research into standard best management practices

    In Canada, the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) spearheads Codes of Practice that are developed in partnership with scientific committees that make science-informed decisions on the best ways to care and handle farm animals.

    Widowski has served as a member or chair for three codes of practice developed for pigs, poultry meat birds and laying hens.

    “What sets Dr. Widowski apart is her ability to translate her research into actionable change,” says Dr. John Cranfield, Dean of OAC. “Tina has dedicated countless hours cultivating strong relationships with industry partners that has significantly strengthened poultry research in Canada, in addition to helping turn her research into policy in Canada and abroad.”

    Research Chair in Poultry Welfare

    In 2011, Widowski was appointed the Research Chair in Poultry Welfare by the Egg Farmers of Canada. The appointment has provided her with incredible opportunities to work directly with egg farmers, conduct field research  that allows her students access to commercial farms and transfer research knowledge. 

    About the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame

    It is the mission of the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association to acknowledge, record and preserve the contributions made by leaders to the growth and development of Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry. You can visit the Hall of Fame, located at 1 Stone Road West in Guelph.

    For more information

    Scott Carter, Manager, Marketing and Communications
    Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), University of Guelph
    519-807-7092
    scarter09@uoguelph.ca

    Dr. Georgia Mason, Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology,
    Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (CCSAW)
    College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph
    519-824-4120 extension 56166
    gmason@uoguelph.ca

  • Sentience Mini-Series

    We hope you had the opportunity to join in with our Sentience Mini-Series. CCSAW hosted four seminars discussing sentience of different groups of animals, from mammals and birds to insects. If you missed the live seminars but are interested in joining the discussion, check out the recorded seminars on our YouTube page or view them below!

    Don’t forget to like and subscribe to keep up to date with our latest videos.

    Seminar 1. Sentience: a short introduction, and the case for mammals and birds

    The first seminar in our series was given by Dr. Jonathan Birch from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK) and Dr. Georgia Mason from the University of Guelph, Canada.

    Dr. Birch started of the discussion by introducing the topic of sentience. Dr. Birch is and Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and specialises in the philosophy of the biological sciences. His research focuses on animal sentience, cognition and welfare and the evolution of social behaviour.

    The second part of this seminar by Dr. Mason discussed the case for sentience in mammals and birds. Dr. Mason is the Director of CCSAW and her research in the Department of Integrative Biology focuses on the assessing the behaviour and welfare of captive housed animals.

    https://youtu.be/q3bzQmnogsU?si=BFTDgUhGQgZLIOxI
    Sentience Mini-Series 1: A short introduction and the case for mammals and birds

    Seminar 2: The case for sentience in fish

    The second seminar in the mini-series was presented by Dr. Culum Brown from Macquarie University, Australia. Dr. Brown is a Professor in the School of Natural Sciences and his research is centred around the behavioural ecology, cognition and intelligence of fishes. Check out his seminar below summarising research that points towards sentience in fish.

    https://youtu.be/5k5dVXgVFmw?si=vPAJT6e2rokC0aXj
    Sentience Mini-Series 2: The case for sentience in fish

    Seminar 3: The case against sentience in fish

    Our third seminar continued our debate about fish sentience, with Dr. Brian Key giving a counter argument about the lack of evidence for sentience in fish. Dr. Key is a Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia. His research explores how the brain experiences subject feelings and has previously focused on the molecular and cellular basis of brain development and regeneration.

    https://youtu.be/YuNaKPvWtDw?si=huR_p8d-hiknoNkn
    Sentience Mini-Series 3: The case against sentience in fish

    Seminar 4: Evidence for sentience in insects

    The final installment of our mini-series explores sentience in insects and was presented in conjunction with the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. Dr. Andrew Crump is a Lecturer in Animal Cognition and Welfare at the Royal Veterinary College, UK, and he works towards improving the understanding of subjectively experience mental states and welfare of invertebrates.

    https://youtu.be/HxfoL3_iqIQ?si=sAhGafKvfT7Mp9y_
    Sentience Mini-Series 4: Evidence for sentience in insects
  • Congratulations to the Canadian coaches and student participants who attended the 2023 International Animal Welfare Assessment Contest

    The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) extends its congratulations to the Canadian coaches and student participants who attended the 2023 International Animal Welfare Assessment Contest (AWJAC) at the University of Wisconsin, Rivers Falls from November 17 to 19.  Read the full release on the CVMA website.

  • University of “Gwelfare” students successful at annual animal welfare competition

    The University of Guelph, known as the University of Gwelfare, has returned home victorious once again from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Animal Welfare Assessment Competition with multiple top-five finishes.

    Undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students flew to Wisconsin on Friday, November 17 alongside 24 other universities to visit the University of Wisconsin at River Falls to test their animal welfare assessment skills.

    The graduate team poses with their award alongside faculty advisor, Dr. Tina Widowski.

    This year, the competition saw students assess the welfare of laboratory rats, farmed bison, cage-free laying hens and tortoises in a zoo environment. Students work as individuals or in a team to present their findings to an expert panel of scientists and veterinarians who specialize in animal welfare.

    U of G teams are recruited each fall by coaches who lead the team: Professor Derek Haley from OVC’s Department of Population Medicine, and MSc student Lydia Conrad and Professor Tina Widowski of OAC’s Department of Animal Biosciences.

    Shortly after the fall semester starts, Haley and Widowski begin hosting information sessions to recruit students from across campus to join the team. Not long after the team has formed, the AVMA announce the four species that will be assessed in competition. Haley and Widowski work together to connect students with experts, farms and zoos in the area to study the welfare needs of each species and participate in mock assessments to enhance their skills ahead of competition.

    Students also benefit from having access to expertise and faculty from the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (CCSAW) which provides some funding to the teams for travel costs helped by support from Saputo. Those who participate can put their learnings and practice towards course credit.

    “Participating students get a hands-on opportunity to take what they’re learning from peers, coaches and classes and use critical thinking in practice,” says Haley. “Students also take away some amazing skills they can use wherever they’re headed; learning to give feedback to their peers, presenting findings in a vulnerable setting, fortifying a team with the strengths of each individual and building relationships that stay with them long after competition.” 

    Read about the 2022 team’s success in the 2023 issue of The Crest.

    University of Guelph AVMA welfare assessment wins

    Team winners, Graduate Division

    • Third place: Sam Hartwig, Rachel Strassburger, Kandra Gillett and Mariah Crevier

    Individual winners, Veterinary Division

    • First place: Miranda Bie, OVC, Team Gold
    • Fifth place: Lucy Morrison, OVC, Team Red

    Team winners, Veterinary Division

    • Second place: OVC, Team Gold
    • Third place: OVC Team Red

    Read the full announcements from AVMA

    About the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare

    The Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, based at University of Guelph, is one of the largest research centres in the world focused on animal well-being. CCSAW has been promoting animal welfare through rigorous scholarship, inspirational education and evidence-based research for over 30 years.

    About the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

    Serving more than 100,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation’s leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members’ unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.

  • Dr. Courtney Graham Joins OVC’s Department of Clinical Studies

    On October 25, Dr. Courtney Graham will join the Ontario Veterinary College’s (OVC) Department of Clinical Studies as assistant professor in One Welfare.

    Dr. Courtney Graham

    Originally from British Columbia and a member of Snuneymuxw First Nation, Graham earned a BSc in Geography from the University of Victoria and an MSc in Applied Animal Biology from the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia. She went on to complete a PhD in Epidemiology and Companion Animal Behaviour in the Department of Population Medicine at OVC, studying the impacts of socialization and early experiences on fear behaviour in foster kittens. 

    Graham’s research interests include applied animal welfare and behaviour, with a focus on the behavioural development of companion kittens and cats and the human-animal bond. Her research merges quantitative and qualitative methods, incorporating the perspectives of foster parents and kitten caretakers to improve long-term animal welfare and maintain strong human-animal relationships. She has collaborated with the BC SPCA, RSPCA New South Wales, and UC Davis, and has sat on the board of the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada. 

    As assistant professor in One Welfare at OVC, Graham will contribute to emergent One Welfare initiatives at the University of Guelph with researchers from other Colleges, disciplines, and research groups, including the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, the Community Healthcare Partnerships Program, the Translation Institute, and the One Health Institute. The position engages researchers working with knowledge and ways of knowing that exceed or challenge Eurocentric knowledge paradigms.  

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