A new semester arrives for the math.epi.lab

With fall comes an opportunity to review our progress over the past year and plan for the coming academic year. September always feels much more like the "New Year" to me than January and I find myself spending time looking at the literature on productivity, and strategic planning in the hopes of  implementing strategies to work "smarter" instead of "harder" this semester. With that comes my renewed desire to have our website, blog, and social media streams more active and as a group we are committing to making that happen.

Today we gathered as a team to discuss our research, and to plan for the coming academic year. There have been lots of changes over the summer.

1) We are really pleased to be welcoming Emma and Gabrielle back to the team. 

2) Salah has accepted a CIHR Health Systems Impact Fellowship to start a joint postdoc in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) so we will likely see a little bit less of him this semester as he begins to make the transition to working out of the PHAC office here in Guelph.. 

3) We have bid farewell to Kelsey Spence and Ariel Brunn. 

3) We are welcoming four new graduate students to our team this semester. Their profiles will be going up on the team page of the website next week but we are really excited to have Wendy, Elissa, Roksolana, and Haley joining the team!

Dr. Amy Greer and Ariel Brunn after Ariel  finished her MSc defence in August

Dr. Amy Greer and Ariel Brunn after Ariel  finished her MSc defence in August

Dr. Amy Greer, Dr. Kelsey Spence, and Dr. Terri O'Sullivan after Kelsey successfully defended her PhD dissertation in August

Dr. Amy Greer, Dr. Kelsey Spence, and Dr. Terri O'Sullivan after Kelsey successfully defended her PhD dissertation in August

Fall semester highlights from the Math.Epi.Lab

  1. Dr. Emma Gardner successfully passed her doctoral qualifying examinations this fall. Congratulations Emma! Emma is now back in Rome at the FAO until fall 2017. 
  2. A huge thank you to all of our equine research participants. This fall we conducted on-farm data collection for Rachael's dissertation and we also collected data related to an outbreak of equine influenza in the Maritime provinces. Thank you to everyone who participated! Stay tuned to learn more about what we have found.
  3. Luz has published the first research chapter of her MSc thesis in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine.  Her paper examines owned dog ecology and demography in Villa de Tezontepec, Hidalgo, Mexico. Congratulation Luz!
  4. In December 2106, Kelsey travelled to the Annual Conference of Research Workers in Animal Disease (CRWAD) held in Chicago to present her research. At the meeting she was awarded The Biosafety and Biosecurity Award, sponsored by the Animal Health Institute and the Joseph J. Garbarino Foundation for the best student oral presentation in biosecurity. This is the SECOND time that Kelsey has won this award (she also won in 2014). Congratulations Kelsey!
  5. In January,  Dr. Greer participated in a workshop at OVC with researchers from the Koret Veterinary College at the Hebrew University to identify areas of potential research collaboration. It was fantastic to learn about the great animal health research being conducted in Israel. We identified several areas of potential collaboration including in the area of antimicrobial use in animals. 

Photo credit: T. O'Sullivan

Dr. Greer (far right) and researchers from both the Ontario Veterinary College and the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine at the Hebrew University. 

Recruitment and data collection for our newest study is underway

Yesterday Rachael, Beatrice, and Enise were out conducting a farm visit! They are collecting all of the preliminary information we need from the farms that are participating in our new equine contact network study. If you are a horse or farm owner who is interested in participating in our new study please contact us. We would love to speak with you about the project. 

A blog post from Enise about her trip with World Vets

From June 29 to July 6, I had the chance to volunteer with World Vets in Granada, Nicaragua. World Vets is an organization which provides free veterinary services to pet owners in developing countries. The days were packed with hours spent at the World Vets clinic; around 250 cats/dogs and 80 horses were helped by our team in the form of vaccinations, deworming, spay/neuter and physical exams. In our spare time, we got to experience the beautiful city of Granada: the food, music, salsa dancing and volcanos. It was so rewarding to be able to travel, learn and help the local community!  

Here is a photo of myself and two friends (also from the University of Guelph) holding up our flag on Canada Day in Nicaragua.

Here is a photo of myself and one of the cutest patients of the clinic, Christian the puppy.

Luz met PM Justin Trudeau at a meeting in Ottawa this week.

Luz managed to get a selfie with our PM Justin Trudeau after the discussion.

Luz managed to get a selfie with our PM Justin Trudeau after the discussion.

The math.epi.lab's very own Luz Kisiel was invited to travel to Ottawa to participate in a discussion with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday, June 28, during the Mexican leader's state visit to Canada.

Luz has conducted research in Mexico looking at owned, and free-roaming dog population dynamics as well as rabies vaccination programs within the State of Hidalgo, Mexico. She was invited to participate in a discussion about collaborative research partnerships and opportunities for students in Canada and Mexico. 

The discussion was held at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa and was moderated by Dr. Ingrid Bejerman, Coordinator for the Canada in the Americas Initiative (CITA) at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. 

The #popmed #50papers challenge

After 2 weeks of our summer reading challenge, I am thrilled to report on our reading progress. Most participating students have already read 10 papers! Keeping up to date on an ever growing body of scientific contributions is a difficult task. Making a plan, and consciously setting aside time each day to read one new paper is a great way to start. Personally, when my to-do list is long, reading papers is one of the first things that continues to get bumped down the list. Making it a priority and scheduling it into my day helps me to be sure that I meet my goal. Two weeks down and 8 more to go. If you want to check out what #popmed students are reading for the #50papers challenge search the hashtags on Twitter.