Anna Ratuski

 
Use of environmental enrichment to improve the welfare of rodents used in science
 
The UBC Animal Welfare Program is internationally respected, but it is also a great program to be a part of because it's fairly small, tight-knit, and led by faculty that are incredible mentors and leaders in animal welfare science.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I initially wasn't planning on pursuing a graduate degree; I intended to apply to vet school after finishing my undergraduate degree because I knew I wanted to work with animals. However, this changed once I got the opportunity to come to UBC and work within the Animal Welfare Program. I was exposed to the world of animal welfare science and decided I wanted to pursue a career in research.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I initially came to UBC after being awarded an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award in 2017, and quickly decided that I didn't want to leave. I spent 8 months working on laboratory rat welfare projects as a research assistant. During this time, I developed a passion for research and a desire to continue working as a graduate student within the supportive environment offered by the Animal Welfare Program.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The UBC Animal Welfare Program is internationally respected, but it is also a great program to be a part of because it's fairly small, tight-knit, and led by faculty that are incredible mentors and leaders in animal welfare science. The lunch-hour talks and collaborative atmosphere give students plenty of exposure to current animal welfare issues and research findings, making it a great place to learn about animal welfare science beyond your own specific research topic.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The beautiful campus is steps away from both the forest and the ocean!

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

During my undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University, I worked as an animal care technician in a research facility. This gave me hands-on experiences with laboratory animals and inspired me to get more involved in bettering the lives of all animals used in science.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Vancouver has a thriving volleyball community, so I play a lot of indoor and beach volleyball year-round!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

I have learned from experience that failure is a big part of research! Things will go wrong, things will take longer than you expect them to, and that's okay.

 
 
 

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