Robert W. Woolner Undergraduate Summer Research Studentship in One Health

The Woolner studentship is awarded to a University of Guelph faculty member conducting One Health research. It is used to support undergraduate student summer research on this One Health project. The faculty member is responsible for selecting the University of Guelph undergraduate student. There are two studentships available annually.

The Robert W. Woolner Undergraduate Summer Research Studentship is designed to offer an experiential learning opportunity in research to two University of Guelph undergraduate students interested in One Health. The Studentship will support an opportunity for these undergraduate students to engage in a semi-independent research project or participate in a larger, ongoing research project during the summer of 2021. By engaging in this research opportunity, the student will begin to develop One Health skills and competencies that will enable them to work at the forefront of these complex health challenges, cross disciplinary boundaries, conduct multidisciplinary research, mobilize knowledge, and inform policy.

The Woolner Studentship is valued at $8,000 for 14 weeks (35 hours per week). Successful student applicants must be:

1. a full-time University of Guelph student in good standing who is registered in Phase 1 or 2 of the DVM program, or after 2nd or 3rd year of a related University of Guelph undergraduate program and returning in the fall.

2. available to work on the research project for 14 weeks full-time (i.e. 35 hours/week) between May 1 and August 31, 2021

3. be able to participate in the summer CORE program if no such program is available in the college in which the student is registered

4. complete a survey evaluating the research experience and the mentor’s performance

5. participate in the CPHAZ One Health Poster Day in the fall semester of 2021

Application Details

Students interested in working on a specific summer research project will apply directly to faculty members to discuss possible involvement with the project.

Applicants must submit their academic record (transcripts provided by student), and a one-page letter demonstrating their interest in One Health and the summer research project to the faculty member.


Summer 2021 Faculty & Student Recipients

Image of Dr. Katie Clow

Dr. Katie Clow

Project: Assessing spillover of ARS-COV-2 in peri-domestic wildlife species

Dr. Katie Clow is an Assistant Professor in One Health in the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College. Her research focuses on the ecology and epidemiology of vectors and vector-borne zoonoses, with a specific emphasis on the blacklegged tick and Lyme disease. She also conducts research more broadly on One Health, including pedagogy and community-level applications and is the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Collaborative Specialization in One Health.

She holds both a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (OVC, 2011) and PhD (Pathobiology, 2017). Dr. Clow has worked in private small animal practice as well as at the national and international level in One Health through internships at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Disease at the World Health Organization.


Image of Stephanie Gerend

Stephanie Gerend

Steph is entering her fourth year as an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph, completing an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. She is eager to work with Dr. Katie Clow on this One Health project and emphasize the importance of a transdisciplinary approach to solving problems, as solely focusing on one sector does not account for spillover and downstream effects. Espeically considering that the effects of SARS-CoV-2 are not isolated to humans.

During her time at UofG, she has developed a deep interest in the intersection of global development and biological science subject areas. After taking the One Health course, she realized that is a way to combine these two disciplines and has found herself extremely passionate about this intersection.

Beyond academics, Steph loves being involved in community-based work. She is currently the Co-Chair of Relay for Life at UofG, and over the past three years the committee set a Canadian Cancer Society record for largest post-secondary amount raised. She is also involved with Big Brother Big Sisters as a community mentor, facilitating one-on-one weekly meetings with her mentee in an effort to help reduce the societal barriers and adversities they face.

Through the Robert W. Woolner Studentship, Steph hopes to learn more about how the One Health approach can shed light on potential gaps in disease transmission and help build a framework for preventing future zoonotic transmission and spillover. She is looking forward to working with professionals from different sectors to solve this complex issue and learn more about multidisciplinary collaboration.


Image of Dr. Amy Newman.

Dr. Amy Newman

Project: Effects of environmental modification and early-life stress on wildlife physiology

Dr. Amy Newman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology in the College of Biological Sciences. She is an ecophysiologist who’s training lies at the intersection of physiology, ecology and neuroendocrinology. She uses both field and laboratory techniques to answer questions that integrate ecology and physiology with the goal of understanding how the early life environment shapes stress physiology, behaviour and fitness.

Prior to joining the Department of Integrative Biology as a faculty member in 2012, Dr. Newman obtained a BSc from Queen’s University, a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia, and was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph.


Image of Hossam Ehab

Hossam Ehab

Hello! My name is Hossam, and I am spending this summer working with the Newman lab on a project that involves a number of One Health principles. One Health is a research approach/outlook that I am passionate about. The project I will be working on examines the impacts of agricultural stress and landscape restoration on avian diversity in farms across southern Ontario.

I’m entering my fourth year of undergraduate studies at the university of Guelph this fall as a marine and freshwater biology major. In my spare time I enjoy biking, going for a hike, or photographing interesting things that catch my eye.

Through the Robert W. Woolner studentship, I’m looking forward to exploring how One Health principles can be applied to ecological diversity studies and to conservation efforts in a region that is also important for food production.


Previous Recipients

Summer 2020

Dr. Fiona James & Rachel Vella

Project: Comparing canine and human epileptic syndromes

Dr. Travis Steffens & Kiana Gibson

Project: Investigating the potential transmission of intestinal pathogens among people, lemurs, and domestic animals in Madagascar