Ontario/Nunavut’s Summer Students:

Akshaya Chandrashekar:

Hello! I am Akshaya Chandrashekar, a Phase 1 veterinary student at the Ontario Veterinary College. With a passion for One Health and conservation and a particular interest in pathology and epidemiology, my goal is to build a career in wildlife and public health. I am thrilled to be part of the Jardine lab this summer, working with Dr. Kerry Schutten to investigate plastic ingestion in Ontario birds. During my free time, I enjoy collecting too many succulents, singing, hiking, and scuba diving when I can!

Simon Jeeves:

Hello! My name is Simon Jeeves and I am a recent graduate from the University of Guelph BSc program, majoring in microbiology. I am super excited to be returning to the Jardine lab for another summer, once again working with Dr. Sarah Robinson on her PhD research involving zoonotic pathogens in Ontario urban rat populations. There are some other projects which are excited to get started on, including arbovirus seroprevalence in deer and coronaviruses in Ontario mammals! When I am not waist-deep in lab work, find me playing the piano, fishing, or trying weird craft beers.

Matthew Howard:

My name is Matthew Howard and I just completed my first year of the DVM program at the Ontario Veterinary College. I graduated from the University of Guelph last year with an undergraduate degree in zoology. I am very excited to be working in Dr. Claire Jardine’s lab this summer studying Leptospira in Ontario wildlife. I am very interested in wildlife health and conservation, and I hope this summer project is my first step towards working in this important field. In my free time, I love watching movies and spending time with my pet hamster and two dogs.

Steph Gerend:

Hey! My name is Steph Gerend, and I am an undergrad student entering my fourth year at the University of Guelph majoring in Biomedical Science. This summer, I am grateful to be involved with Dr. Katie Clow on this One Health project. I am working to evaluate what determinants, mainly social and environmental, facilitate and contribute to zoonotic disease spillover, such as SARS-CoV-2. We hope to eventually synthesize this into a framework that could guide future fieldwork measurements. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, figure skating, and any basically any type of craft.

Andra Tarta:

Hello! My name is Andra Tarta and I am in my fourth year of Biomedical Science at the University of Guelph. Although I am interested in many scientific fields of study, the recent pandemic has allowed me to uncover a passion for epidemiology. This summer, I am excited to be working with Dr. Jane Parmley to identify gaps in Canada’s network of pandemic research and communication. To get a comprehensive understanding of our pandemic preparedness plan, our research will employ a One Health approach. When I am not working, I like to write, cook, and take my camera on long walks.

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