Patricia Bell-Rogers – Animal Health Laboratory, University of Guelph

Topic: From mammals and birds to bees: adapting veterinary testing protocols for honey bee testing

I graduated from the University of Guelph with a MSc degree in 2001, and joined the Animal Health Laboratory molecular biology section in 2002, becoming team lead in 2012. I have worked on the development of several diagnostic PCR assays for pathogens affecting both livestock and small animals, with a focus on mycoplasma. In 2015, the AHL began working on the development/validation of tests for honeybee pathogens and I had the opportunity to take an introductory beekeeping workshop. After becoming very comfortable handling this unusual sample type, I began processing live bees as helped to establish some of the testing protocols that are currently in use.

Dr. Theresa Bernardo –  University of Guelph

Dr. Bernardo is going to speak about current trends in technology, their impact on research, data, epidemiology and surveillance, and the importance of networks. She will introduce new technologies and talk about their potential and some innovative applications.
Emerging technologies have disrupted many sectors (communication, publishing, music, transportation, retail, recruiting, etc.), but have not yet had a profound effect on the health of individuals and populations. We will examine technological trends and their impact on epidemiology, particularly data, research and surveillance, as well as the importance of networks.

Dr. Theresa Bernardo is currently the IDEXX Chair in Emerging Technologies and Bond Centered Animal Healthcare at the University of Guelph, exploring the potential for new technologies (social media, sensors, big data analytics, etc) to improve animal health and wellness, and strengthen the relationship between the veterinary team and animal owners. She has a decade of experience in the United Nations and Inter-American systems in health informatics (humans/food/animals/plants), and another decade in academia. As leader of Knowledge Management and Communications for the World Health Organization’s office in Washington DC she introduced the use of social media for disasters and disease outbreaks: (Pandemic H1N1 (swine flu); Haitian earthquake and cholera). Previously, she developed tri-lingual software for global reporting and mapping of animal diseases and zoonoses that was used in over 100 countries and adopted by the World Organization for Animal Health (the OIE). Dr. Bernardo holds Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and MSc (epidemiology) degrees from the OVC and AVC, respectively. She would like to see our interconnectedness used to improve the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants.

Dr. Doug Campbell – Ontario Veterinary College

Topic: Using laboratory techniques to answer wildlife disease questions

After obtaining degrees in biology and urban and regional planning I worked as a land use planner for the Nova Scotia government (Municipal Affairs and Lands & Forests) for 4 years.  I then attended the Ontario Veterinary College, graduating in 1987.  Following a time in private practice in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and Halifax I returned to OVC to study pathology, graduating with a D.V.Sc. in 1992.  I spent a year as a senior diagnostic fellow in the Department of Veterinary Pathology in Saskatoon and then returned to Guelph to take the position of Staff Pathologist with the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre in 1993.

Dr. Matt Cochran – Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, at Texas A&M University

Topic: From Data to Intelligence- AgConnect® Laboratory Data in Decision Support

Dr. Matt Cochran serves as program director for the AgConnect® suite of tools at the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, at Texas A&M University. As program director he provides strategic vision, management and implementation for the projects. He also works closely with the IIAD leadership team to manage day-to-day operations, support strategic planning and direct logistical activities to promote program success and strategic vision. Cochran came to IIAD in September 2015 from the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, where he served as assistant agency director since 2012. Prior to that, he held multiple roles at the Texas Animal Health Commission and worked in large and small animal private practice – giving him the ideal background to interact with veterinarians/producers, veterinary diagnosticians, and state animal health officials regarding requirements, implementation, and transition of AgConnect® technologies.

Dr. Catherine Filejski – Infectious Diseases Policy and Programs Unit (Health and Long-Term Care)

Topic: One Health in action: the critical role of laboratory-based animal disease intelligence to public health

Dr. Catherine Filejski’s professional and academic background includes expertise in international relations, public policy, public health and veterinary medicine. Two years after completing her DVM degree at the OVC, she joined the Public Health Division of the ministry in 2008, where she provides veterinary public health advice and expertise on zoonotic disease issues to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as local public health units across the province. Her portfolio as the Public Health Veterinarian for the province covers a wide range of diseases and issues at the human-animal interface.


Dr. Harpreet Kochhar – Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada

Topic: “Bovine Tuberculosis in Canada”

Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar was appointed the Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada in January 2014. He is also Associate Vice-President of the Operations Branch at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Dr. Kochhar joined the CFIA in 2002 as a Senior Animal Biotechnology Policy Specialist. Since then, he has worked in a number of roles in the CFIA’s Science Branch, Operations Branch and Policy and Programs Branch, including Executive Director of Operations Strategies and Delivery, Executive Director of Western Area Operations and Executive Director of the Animal Health Directorate.

Prior to joining the CFIA in 2002, Dr. Kochhar worked as a veterinarian in private practice and an assistant professor with research interests in animal biotechnology at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College. Dr. Kochhar is a veterinarian by training with a Master’s degree in Veterinary Science and a PhD in biotechnology. He is an expert on animal biotechnology for the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and has worked internationally with such organizations as the U.N. Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO).

As Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Kochhar leads Canada’s efforts to effectively manage current and emerging disease threats in order to protect animal and human health, and to maintain international trust in Canada’s inspection and certification systems in support of market access.

Dr. Andrew McEwen – Veterinary historian

Topic: Canadian Veterinary History

Dr. Andrew McEwen is currently a contract historian with Parks Canada. He completed his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at Queen’s University, his Master’s at the University of Waterloo, and his PhD at the University of Calgary in September 2016. His doctoral dissertation, entitled “‘Maintaining the Mobility of the Corps:’ Horses, Mules, and the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps in the Great War,” examines the history of Canadian military veterinary and remount services from 1874 to 1919. He presented his research at major academic conferences in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and has published papers in The Canadian Army Journal, Canadian Military History, Western Humanities Review, as well as a chapter on the First World War Human-Animal Bond in The Historical Animal (Syracuse University Press, 2015).

Dr. Beverly McEwen – ‎Veterinary Pathologist & Surveillance Specialist at Animal Health Laboratory

Topic: Veterinary forensic science: new approaches to an old problem

Beverly graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada and after a year in practice, she returned to OVC completing a Master’s degree and PhD in veterinary pathology and became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 1986. She is a full member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is a founding member of the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association, completing 2 terms on the IVFSA Board of Directors. She is an invited speaker on veterinary forensic pathology at national and international conferences and has authored or co-authored journal articles on topics in veterinary forensic pathology in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Forensic Medicine, Science, and Pathology and Veterinary Pathology. She was guest associate editor for the September 2016 issue of Veterinary Pathology, entirely devoted to veterinary forensic pathology, a first for any veterinary journal. She contributed chapters on the pathology of asphyxia and drowning for an upcoming textbook on veterinary forensic pathology. As an adjunct professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida she teaches several courses in veterinary forensic pathology for the online certificate/MSc program on Veterinary Forensic Sciences.

Dr. Zvonimir Poljak – Ontario Veterinary College

Topic: Use of laboratory data for near-real time disease reporting, prediction, and understanding complex problems

I am currently Associate Professor at the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College. Majority of my research over the past five years has been in the area of transmission and control of respiratory viruses in swine populations on different scales. At the provincial scale, I have contributed to development of a database designed to document progress in disease control programs for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in Ontario, which has since then been modified to include surveillance of newly emerging porcine viruses. Members of my research group contribute to development of analytical and reporting tools and methods based on this, and other standardized databases. In this work; we aim to maximize efficiency of analysis for reporting purposes, and the amount of information that could be gained from the data to inform disease and infection control. In many cases, this require linking data across different scales and data sources.

Dr. Evelina Rog – University of Guelph

Topic: Navigating and leading change in a professional environment

Evelina is a seasoned consultant, coach, and facilitator who has partnered with private, public and not-for-profit sector organizations to design and deliver engagements at the individual, team and organizational level in the areas of: leadership assessment, development, and coaching; culture and change management; emotional intelligence; conflict coaching; team development; career management; and performance management.

After spending a rewarding 6.5 years with LHH Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions in an external consulting role, Evelina decided to move into an internal consulting role in the Learning and Development & Consulting Services unit of HR at the University of Guelph. In her current role as the Senior Consultant, Evelina designs and delivers learning and development programs for employees and leaders and provides consulting services in the areas of: culture and change, strategic planning, performance management, leadership development, conflict mediation, assessment and coaching, and career management.

Evelina completed her Ph.D. in Industrial & Organizational Psychology at the University of Guelph where she focused her dissertation research on authentic leadership.  She has also served as a co-instructor in the University of Guelph’s MA Leadership & MBA programs and has published articles on:  talent management, career management, and corporate volunteerism.  Evelina is a certified coach (through the International Coach Federation) and is passionate about developing leaders, transforming teams, and building authentic relationships.

In her spare time, Evelina loves to go on adventures with her family and enjoys anything related to health, personal and professional development, and parent-child relationships.