Recipients of the One Health Graduate Award | Social Science and Humanities for One Health

2022 Awardees




“Travelling Fido”: Perceptions, motivations, and practices related to international dog rescues

About the Project:

Each year, thousands of dogs are rescued by Canadian owners, with a significant number of these ‘rescue dogs’ being imported from other countries (herein termed canine importation). Many in the veterinary and public health communities have sounded the alarm on the potential infectious pathogen and welfare risks associated with largely unregulated dog movement. Despite these significant concerns, these rescue practices continue to grow, which is driven by diverse moral, ethical and cultural beliefs. For many Canadians, dogs are an integral part of a family and human-animal bonds form because of these adoptions. The focus of this PhD project will be to expand beyond a purely risk-focused narrative on canine importation by: (1) describing rescuers’ (both organizations and adopters) perceptions of and motivations for canine importation, (2) identifying the sociocultural drivers associated with canine importation, and (3) analyzing the human-animal bond formed between rescued dogs and adopters. By including a diversity of perspectives, we increase the likelihood of developing a fulsome understanding of the practice and thus effective, sustainable solutions to make the practice safer for all.

Meet the Team:

Co-Principal Investigator

Professional headshot of Dr. Katie Clow

Katie Clow

Assistant Professor | Department of Population Medicine

Graduate Program Coordinator | Collaborative Specialization in One Health

Ontario Veterinary College | University of Guelph

Dr. Katie Clow is an Assistant Professor in One Health in the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. Her research focuses on the ecology and epidemiology of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases. She also conducts research more broadly on One Health, including pedagogy and community-level applications. 

Co-Principal Investigator

Karine Gagne

Assistant Professor | Department of Sociology and Anthropology

College of Social and Applied Human Sciences | University of Guelph

Dr. Karine Gagne’s work builds on various methods from anthropology in order to bring a multidisciplinary perspective to issues related to the convoluted notions of nature and culture, with a focus on examining the political and cultural dimensions of human interactions with the environment.

PhD Student (U of G)

Accepting applications! Details below…

This PhD position provides a unique training opportunity in both epidemiological and anthropological theory and methods, as well as the One Health approach. The successful candidate will have a strong interest in the role of non-human species in society, the human-animal bond, and the use of mixed methods. Moreover, they will enjoy working in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment.

Interested applicants should submit the following to Dr. Katie Clow, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Medicine, kclow@uoguelph.ca. Please write: “One Health PhD Position Application” in the subject line. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2022.

  • a cover letter outlining their interest in and suitability for the project
  • a lifetime CV
  • transcripts
  • contact information for two references to:

Applicants must meet the academic standards for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Guelph. Additional information concerning graduate studies in the Department of Population Medicine is available at: https://www.uoguelph.ca/graduatestudies/programs/popmed

The University of Guelph is committed to an Employment Equity Program that includes special measures to achieve diversity among its faculty and staff. We therefore particularly encourage applications from qualified aboriginal Canadians, members of the LGBTQA community, women, veterans, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities.


Mapping the Cryptosporidium transmission landscape among people, cattle, and lemurs in rural Madagascar

About the Project:

In rural Madagascar people face a humanitarian crisis linked to income, food, and health insecurity (World Bank, 2019). There is also a conservation crisis within Madagascar where 44% of forests have been lost or converted to agricultural landscapes between 1953 and 2014 (Vieilledent et al. 2018). These forests support people’s livelihoods and are habitat to many animal and plant species unique to Madagascar (Goodman and Benstead, 2003). This loss of forest has contributed to lemurs (a primate endemic to Madagascar) becoming the most endangered mammal group in the world (Schwitzer et al., 2014). Within Ankarafantsika National Park in NW Madagascar, people and their cattle live in forested landscapes shared with eight species of lemurs (Steffens et al., 2020). People, cattle, and lemurs are all potential carriers and susceptible to infection by Cryptosporidium spp. that can result in the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis causing illness and sometimes death (Thomson et al., 2017; Bodager et al., 2015; da Silva et al., 2003). Cryptosporidium is mainly transmitted indirectly via water (e.g., drinking water) and/or directly via a fecal-oral route (CDC, 2022). To protect both animal and human health in this complex system, it is important to understand the potential reservoirs and transmission routes of Cryptosporidium. Identifying and mapping the transmission routes is essential to identify appropriate interventions. This work necessitates a One Health approach and will incorporate tools from multiple disciplines: microbiology, spatial ecology, participatory development, public health, anthropology, and international development.

Meet the Team:

Co-Principal Investigator

Professional headshot of Dr. Heather Murphy

Heather Murphy

Associate Professor | Department of Pathobiology

Ontario Veterinary College | University of Guelph

Dr. Murphy’s research interests involve understanding and addressing water and health challenges in both developed and developing countries. Dr. Murphy leads the Water, Health and Applied Microbiology (WHAM) Lab. Her research focuses on four key areas related to microbial quality of water and public health: 1. Surface water quality and recreation, 2. The impact of septic systems and agricultural activity on private wells, 3. Microbial Ecology of drinking water distribution systems and 4. Water and Sanitation challenges in resource limited settings. 

Co-Principal Investigator

Travis Steffens

Assistant Professor | Department of Sociology and Anthropology

College of Social and Applied Human Sciences | University of Guelph

As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph, Dr. Travis Steffens works to understand the risk factors associated with zoonotic/anthroponotic transmission among humans and their domestic animals, wildlife and their shared environment.

Dr. Steffens leverages conservation biogeography, spatial ecology, and One Health approaches to understand how lemurs interact with and respond to human caused disturbance. He is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Primate Specialist Group for Madagascar, an international fellow of The Explorers Club, a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and founding director of Planet Madagascar, a charity focused on helping to create sustainable forest communities in Madagascar.

Graduate Student

Application instructions will be posted April ’22.