Undergraduate Thesis Student (2018-Present)
In 2015, I completed my Diploma in Veterinary Technology at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. I gained technical knowledge and healthcare training relating to large, laboratory, and companion animals to work in association with practicing veterinarians. In 2015, I was accredited by the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians as a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). I am now completing my Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the University of Guelph and am a Research Assistant in the Norris Lab, working with Dr. Elizabeth Gow. She is assessing the temporal and geographic impact of feral and owned cats on birds in Canada.
News outlets across Canada have reported raccoon attacks on cats in urban areas, however, there is lack of scientific literature investigating interactions between these two common urban mammals. For my undergraduate thesis, I am using images captured from urban trail cameras to investigate co-occurrence patterns of free-roaming cats (Felis catus) and raccoons (Procyon lotor), while accounting for site and survey covariates. This study will provide relevant information pertaining to free-roaming cats and potential rising raccoon aggression concerns in Canada. The results of this research will also be used in Nature Canada’s “keep cats safe, save birds lives” educational campaign, to help citizens make informed decisions about cat welfare.