Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Bringing innovation and community together to advance animal and human health
Ecosystem and Public Health (EPH)
+1 (403) 210-7407
My research interests are founded in ecotoxicology and the impact that environmental contaminants have on human and animal health. I study wildlife for their own sake, and also because they can serve as sentinels of pollutant effects on health, since there are many similarities in the way that toxicants affect the well-being of warm blooded vertebrates. This is what makes animal research relevant to both human and animal medicine, allowing me to explore anthropogenic factors that affect the conservation of healthy ecosystems. A healthy ecosystem, by definition, includes the health of animals, humans and their environment (air, water, soil).
My most recent area of toxicology research is towards mitigating chronic arsenic toxicity (arsenicosis) in mammals using biofortified food. Arsenicosis is estimated to affect 50 to 100 million people worldwide, with the World Health Organization declaring it to be the largest human toxicity problem on the globe. My earlier work with laboratory animals has shown numerous, measurable benefits from high selenium diets to counteract subclinical signs/symptoms of arsenic poisoning. These results lead to my current efforts working with international agencies on a human clinical trial in arsenic-affected regions of the world.
Another continuing research interest of mine has involved birds including passerines, waterfowl and gulls, storks, vultures and raptors. Other classes of vertebrates with which I work are amphibians and carnivores. Much of my research occurs through graduate students and postcdoctoral fellows, spanning wide geographic areas including numerous sites across Canada, Bangladesh, Spain, Argentina and South Africa.
Specific research areas:
My Arsenic Research: