New CWHC graduate student to study wildlife health
The CWHC would like to welcome Julie Wittrock to the team. Julie is a PhD student supervised by our executive director Craig Stephen at the University of Saskatchewan.
After completing her Masters in epidemiology at the University of Guelph, Julie is eager to apply her herd health background to populations of wildlife. Her PhD thesis aims to investigate the potential for integration of wildlife health and cumulative effects concepts. The prevailing model for wildlife health is “the absence of disease”, which does not adequately address the complex relationship of an individual or population with its environment. There is more to wildlife health than not being sick; health is really the capacity to cope with stressors, or resilience. Through her research, Julie hopes to determine the feasibility of developing external population-level indicators and determinants of wildlife health, creating a framework for decision and policy makers as well as other researchers.