Meet CCSAW Faculty and University Staff


At CCSAW’s core is a collegial group of welfare scientists and veterinary researchers based in the Ontario Agricultural College, Ontario Veterinary College and College of Biological Science. With our students and post-docs, we organize and contribute to weekly animal welfare discussion meetings, and play leading roles in CCSAW’s annual research symposium. Our teaching, research and service is dedicated to animal well-being; and while we each have our individual specialisms, we’re typically interested in any and all animal welfare research, no matter what topic, species or methodology!

Name and email

Research interests, plus webpages and other links
Renee Bergeron
Former Steering Committee member
Welfare impacts of transportation and farm animal housing (including alternative/organic systems), especially for pigs and dairy cattle. Visit her faculty webpage in the Animal Biosciences dept., Google Scholar page and ResearchGate entry.
Trevor Devries
Former Steering Committee member
Dairy welfare and behaviour, especially impacts of feeding, housing and disease, and using automated technologies for welfare assessment. Visit his faculty webpage in the Animal Biosciences dept., Google Scholar page and LinkedIn profile.
Ian Duncan
Professor Emeritus and former CCSAW Director
All aspects of farm animal welfare, and the assessment of animal well-being. Visit his faculty webpage in the Animal Biosciences dept.
Courtney Graham

Using quantitative and qualitative methods to understand the human-animal bond, with particular interest in the behavioural development of companion kittens and cats. Read about her new appointment in the Clinical Studies department, follow her on Twitter/X and LinkedIn .
Derek Haley
Steering Committee Member
Welfare impacts of transportation, and the physical and social aspects of housing, especially for cattle. See his faculty webpage in the Population Medicine dept., Google Scholar page, LinkedIn entry and follow him on Twitter/X.
Alexandra Harlander
Former Steering Committee member
Laying hen behaviour, health and welfare, especially housing design and the causes of abnormal behaviour. See her faculty webpage in the Animal Biosciences dept, Google Scholar page and Researchgate entry.
Georgia Mason
CCSAW Director
How well-being affects behaviour, physiology and brain function, and the chronic effects of housing especially in zoos and laboratories. See her faculty webpage in the Integrative Biology dept., Google Scholar page and lab blog; also the ‘Meet the Director’ page to see her team.
Katrina Merkies
Former Steering Committee member
Equine behaviour and well-being, including human-horse communication and the welfare implications of human-horse interaction. See her faculty webpage in the Animal Biosciences dept., Google Scholar page and LinkedIn profile.
Lee Niel
Former Steering Committee member
Companion animal well-being, especially understanding fear and aggression in cats, dogs and rabbits. See her faculty webpage in the Population Medicine dept., Google Scholar page, lab website and follow her on Twitter/X.

Patricia Turner
Professor Emerita
Laboratory animal welfare, effective pain control, and humane killing methods. Visit her faculty webpage in the Pathobiology dept., and read about her role at Charles River.
Tina Widowski
Former CCSAW Director
Effects of early rearing conditions and adult housing methods on poultry health, welfare and stress physiology, especially for laying hens. See her faculty webpage in the Animal Biosciences dept., Google Scholar page and LinkedIn profile.
Charlotte Winder
Steering Committee Member
Ruminant health and welfare (e.g. pain control, dairy health), and synthesizing evidence via meta-analysis/systematic review. Visit her faculty webpage in the Population Medicine dept., LinkedIn profile and follow her on Twitter/X.


With expertise in veterinary medicine, animal sciences, physiology, social sciences, humanities and more, CCSAW Associated Faculty bring unique perspectives to the study of animal welfare. For example, a strong group of veterinary experts work dairy health and welfare, while a growing group of faculty interested in Animal Studies use social science and humanities lenses to address cultural, historical, societal, and ethical dimensions of human-animal relationships. Together these Associate Faculty enrich the work of CCSAW through advice, research collaborations, links with industry, organizing journal clubs, and serving on graduate students’ advisory and examination committees. Some also serve on the CCSAW Steering Committee.

Veterinary medicine

Department:Research interests:
Shane BatemanClinical
Initiatives that deliver preventive care at low cost to First Nations communities, and preventive veterinary care for pets whose owners are homeless or at risk of homelessness (e.g. with the Community Health Partnership Program).
Jason CoePopulation MedicineThe human-animal bond and how it impacts veterinary medicine.
Peter ConlonBiomedical SciencesCompanion animal health and client-veterinarian interactions.
Sherri CoxIntegrative BiologyThe care and rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife; directs the National Wildlife Centre, and IB’s Masters in Wildlife Biology.
Cate DeweyPopulation MedicineAssociate Academic Vice President of UoG; passionate about One Health, with interests in diverse aspects of animal and human health and well-being.
Todd DuffieldPopulation MedicineDisease and pain management and dairy cattle; the Saputo Dairy Care Progam.
Robert FriendshipPopulation MedicineDisease and pain management in pigs.
Michele GuerinPopulation MedicinePoultry health management, food safety and poultry welfare.
David Kelton
Professor Emeritus
Population MedicineDairy cow health and welfare; dairy disease surveillance.
Stephen LeBlancPopulation MedicineDairy cow metabolic and reproductive health; Director of Dairy at Guelph.
Ken Leslie
Professor Emeritus
Population Medicine Assessment of pain and general well-being of various dairy cattle production groups.
Kerry Lissemore
Professor Emeritus
Population MedicineDairy health management, production, and pain management following dehorning.
Karol Mathews
Professor Emerita
Clinical StudiesEmergency veterinary medicine, critical care and pain control.
Paula Menzies
Professor Emerita
Population MedicineSheep health and immunology.
Peter Physick-Sheard
Professor Emeritus
Clinical StudiesEquine medicine, health management and exercise physiology, with an interest in equine stress.
Jeff Rau
Steering Committee Member
Ruminant Field ServicesRuminant health management and welfare.
Chris RileyClinical StudiesThe chair of Clinical Studies, interested in large animal welfare, including during animal rescue and disaster situations.
Melissa SinclairClinical StudiesClinical anesthesia.
Jeffrey Wichtel
Steering Committee Member
Population MedicineCurrent Dean of OVC with a wide range of veterinary, research and policy expertise.
Alex ValverdeClinical StudiesAnesthesia, and pain control in animals.

Physiology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience and Computer Science

Gregoy BedecarratsAnimal BiosciencesHow to balance poultry production, health, environmental impacts and poultry welfare.
Elena CholerisPsychology and NeuroscienceThe neurobiological basis of social behaviour in animals.
Giannina DescalziBiomedical ScienceThe neurobiology of chronic pain; using mice and rats as models for humans.
Niel KarrowAnimal BiosciencesImmunologist researching fish and livestock species.
Rich Moccia
Professor Emeritus
Animal BiosciencesAquaculture, including ecosystem impacts and fish welfare.
Wendy Pearson Animal BiosciencesUsing nutrition to manage health conditions in horses.
Stacey ScottSchool of Computer ScienceThe user-centred design of emerging technologies, including in agriculture (e.g. precision livestock farming).
Anna Kate ShovellerAnimal BiosciencesStudies optimization of nutrients across the life cycle and how diet affects the phenotype, including behaviour and metrics of well-being.
James SquiresAnimal BiosciencesMetabolism and functional genomics, including how to reduce boar taint without castration.
Mike SteeleAnimal BiosciencesHow pre-weaning nutritional and management factors impact gastrointestinal development and metabolism in dairy cows.
Glen Van Der Kraak Integrative Biology Fish reproduction, and ecotoxicogical effects on fish and amphibians.

Humanities and Social Sciences

Andrea BreenFamily Relations and Applied NutritionFamily relationships, including human-dog relationships in the home.
John CranfieldFood, Agricultural
and Resource Economics
The drivers of consumer choice, including the impact of welfare labeling on animal products.
Stefan LindquistPhilosophyAnimal ethics, animal capacities, and the use of genome editing to improve animal welfare.
Michael von Massow
Former Steering Committee member
Food, Agricultural
and Resource Economics
How people think about food, including labelling, novel products, antibiotic use, and animal welfare.
Susan NanceHistoryAnimal and environmental history, including when and why people have used animals for entertainment.
Gus SkorbergPhilosophyApplied ethics, e.g. bioethics, neuroethics, moral psychology, and virtue ethics.
Lauren Van Patter
Steering Committee Member
Clinical StudiesInterdisciplinary animal studies, including what it means to ‘live well’ across diverse species.

Adjunct and University Staff Members

Some of CCSAW’s most important members are Adjunct and University Staff specialising in practical animal welfare improvement, via teaching, consulting and other professional activities.
Anna Bolinder
Steering Committee Member
Oversees Animal Care Services User Training program, Animal Care Service’s veterinary program for agricultural animals, and its Post-Approval Review program.

Gayle Ecker
Steering Committee Member
Equine care and well-being. Gayle directs Equine Guelph and is a member of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Advisory Table.

Lena Levison

Interested in animals used for research, with a specialism in dairy; works for both Animal Care Services and the Saputo Dairy Care Program.

Penny Lawlis
Adjunct faculty*
Assessing and professionally auditing farm animal welfare. Visit her LinkedIn profile.

Stephanie Torrey
Adjunct faculty
Farm animal welfare consultant, with a specialism in poultry. Visit her faculty webpage and LinkedIn profile.