CWHC Western/Northern – Meet the Team

CWHC Western Northern has added to our team over the past year and wanted to introduce some new faces in addition to highlighting some familiar ones! Our regional node is housed in the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon. We provide wildlife diagnostic services to our partners and the public in Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, and Yukon. Our enthusiastic team is always striving to uncover the mysteries behind wildlife mortalities and understand factors affecting wildlife health in our region. Our shared passion for wildlife conservation and appreciation of a good challenge makes the world of wildlife diagnostic pathology the perfect place for us. 

Trent Bollinger
Director|Veterinary Pathologist|Professor

Trent completed a BSc (Hon) in biology at the University of Saskatchewan in 1984 followed by a DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988. After a year in private practice, he enrolled in a DVSc program in veterinary pathology and epidemiology at the Ontario Veterinary College. Trent has been with CWHC Western Northern since its inception in 1992, first working as a wildlife pathologist before taking on the additional role of Regional Director in 2002. In 2006, he accepted a tenure-track faculty position in the Department of Veterinary Pathology, while continuing his various roles with the CWHC. Trent has been at the helm of several important research and disease surveillance programs over the years, including: management of avian botulism in waterfowl on the prairies, transmission dynamics of chronic wasting disease in wild cervids, ranavirus in salamanders, columnaris disease in yellow perch, and the Saskatchewan chronic wasting disease (CWD) hunter surveillance program from 1997 to 2018, amongst others. His passion for wildlife health and pathology is infectious and has encouraged many graduate students and recent graduates to pursue career paths in wildlife health.

Erin Moffatt
Wildlife Biologist|Lab Coordinator
BSc, MSc

Erin has been a wildlife biologist with CWHC Western Northern since 2019. After completing her BSc at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2005, she jumped into the world of wildlife health by taking a job with CWHC Western Northern collecting samples from deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing. This seasonal job led to a Masters project with Trent as her supervisor tracking mule deer along the South Saskatchewan River and eventually over a decade of work with the CWHC, including two years with the National Office. So many years after that first job in CWD sampling, she still spends a lot of her time in the necropsy room collecting samples for CWD and other wildlife diseases. She enjoys the ever-changing nature of the work and the unique view into wildlife health that can be gained through working so closely with dead wildlife. When she’s not in the lab you can find her somewhere in the pasture on her acreage near Pike Lake, cross-country skiing in the winter and looking for native plants in the summer. Besides her love for the outdoors, she also enjoys slowing down from her busy life through reading, writing, and knitting and sharing these hobbies with her three daughters.

Ursula Perdrizet
Veterinary Pathologist

Ursula has been in her current position as a full-time pathologist since April 2023 but has been involved with CWHC Western Northern since 2016. She completed her PhD with Trent as her co-supervisor researching viruses of big brown bats in Saskatchewan. Originally from Saskatoon, she is a lifelong student and has spent most of her time in post-secondary education at the University of Saskatchewan. She is passionate about wildlife health and conservation. One of her hobbies is being a know-it-all; she is always looking to find answers, particularly when it comes to her diagnostic cases. After all this education you’d think she would be sick of reading, but it is one of her favorite things. She also enjoys spending time with her family, pets, and being outside.

Sabine Kirsch
Wildlife Technician

Sabine graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Bioscience in April 2023. Her academic interests include wildlife health, conservation, and disease ecology. Her path into the world of animal health started at the molecular level when she joined Dr. Kristen Conn’s Veterinary Microbiology lab in 2021 to work on a project that involved cellular histone dynamics and transcription regulation using herpes simplex virus 1 as a model system. After graduation, she took a seasonal wildlife technician position with CWHC Western Northern, which then turned into a full-time job assisting with necropsies and organizing samples for wildlife disease testing. Sabine loves animals and has volunteered with Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation and Bandit Ranch Rehab. Her hobbies include hiking, being outside, taking care of her cats, and occasionally fostering cats through SCAT Street Cat Rescue. Her favorite things about her job are that no days are the same, getting to learn new things, and seeing many different wildlife species up close, even if they are not in their natural habitats.

Lorraine Bryan
Veterinary Pathologist

Lorraine received her veterinary and pathology training at WCVM in Saskatoon. Subsequently, while working at the provincial pathology laboratory in Airdrie, Alberta she became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. 

Since 2008 Lorraine has been a member of the team at CWHC Western Northern performing necropsies on wildlife in an attempt to determine the cause of death in the animals she has felt honoured to examine. When asked about her perspective on her work with CWHC Western Northern, her response was this: “Through this experience I have gained an enormous appreciation for the beauty of the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians living in our region. In addition, the complexity and often destructive relationship between wildlife and  human beings has become disturbingly apparent.” She suspects that this may be the reason her list of hobbies includes bird-watching, hiking, cross-country skiing, gardening and generally enjoying anything Nature has to offer.

Shelagh Copeland
Veterinary Pathologist

Dr. Shelagh Copeland was born and raised in Manitoba. She graduated from the WCVM in 1979, after which she worked in mixed animal practice in Kindersley, Saskatchewan and co-ran a cow-calf operation in the area. After her husband passed away, she returned to the WCVM in 1988 and obtained her Master of Veterinary Science in Anatomic Pathology. Since then she has enjoyed many different career paths with her two sons in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan including working on Chronic Wasting Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis programs. Pathology has always been her greatest interest, as well as the factors that tip the balance in favour of disease versus health. Being more involved in wildlife has been a long-standing desire which led to her beginning work with CWHC Western Northern in 2023. She finds that working with the CWHC, the public and government agencies with similar concerns is very rewarding and gives one optimism for the future.

Lynsey Bent
Wildlife Technician
BSc, MSc Student

Lynsey started part-time with CWHC in February 2023. A current master’s student in Dr. Kirsty Gurney’s lab in the U of S biology department, Lynsey is studying lead ammunition fragmentation in field-dressed animal remains and the scavenger community that utilizes this food resource. Originally from Edmonton, Lynsey completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Biology at the University of Alberta in 2019 and dipped her toes in a variety of wildlife-based jobs. Similar to Erin, Lynsey worked as a postmortem technician for the Government of Alberta Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance program in 2020. She got to see a variety of cases that came through the necropsy doors, which fueled her interest in wildlife disease. She was thrilled to come across an organization with people that also found dead “things” endlessly interesting and endearing. In her spare time Lynsey enjoys paddling the South Saskatchewan River, hiking and backcountry camping in the Rockies, cross country skiing, and hanging out with her terrier cross, Peanut.

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