USask researchers use foxes to solve health mystery in Northern communities

A combination of ecological and biological methods in studying wildlife helped University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers track a parasite dangerous to humans. As USask spotlights World Health Day on April 7, we take a closer look at this One Health Signature Area of Research project.

Wildlife leader emphasizes collaboration with WCVM

Amid a growing need for wildlife health research and surveillance in Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) wants the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) community to know that relationship building is more important than ever.

New diagnostic tools protect dogs and humans from deadly parasite

An emerging parasite known as Echinococcus multilocularis has been increasingly appearing in coyotes in Western Canada as well as in new regions of North America in recent years.

USask veterinary graduates pursue wildlife pathology in Sydney

Three veterinary graduates of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) never thought they would find themselves living “Down Under” and working in wildlife pathology.

USask researchers test alternative anesthetic protocol for sedating pronghorn

A research team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is working to find a reliable method of sedating North America’s fastest land mammal: the pronghorn.

WCVM researchers use metabolomics to explore avian influenza questions

A relatively new field of scientific study called metabolomics is providing important information for Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researchers who are studying the impact of avian influenza virus (AIV) and environmental stress on the metabolism of waterfowl.

Spread of deadly brain parasite threatens Saskatchewan’s moose and caribou

Last summer, imagine my surprise as I peered into the brain of a harvested white-tailed deer from Saskatchewan and observed a little brown thread of a worm that wasn’t supposed to be there.

Scientists work toward goal of saving bison, one problem at a time

How can a bison cow have a calf sired by a bull from the opposite side of North America? The collection, disinfection and freezing of semen using novel technologies can make this former pipe dream a reality, and it may be our best chance of saving the North American bison species.

Does blueberry pollen diet make honey bees more prone to disease?

Did you know that honey bees and humans face similar challenges when it comes to diet and health? Just as people require proper nutrition to stay healthy, bees also need an ample supply of their primary food and protein source — flower-collected pollen.

It’s a gut feeling: measuring stress in waterfowl

Just like people, waterfowl can experience feelings of stress that affect their gut microbiome — the trillions of microorganisms living inside their digestive system.

From small-town kid to Vanier Scholar

When Cody Koloski graduated from high school in Rossburn, Man., he headed for university with dreams of becoming a doctor — buoyed by his teachers’ enthusiasm for biology, chemistry and physics.

USask researcher asks public to report cougar evidence

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher is building a database to uncover the whereabouts of the secretive and elusive prairie cougar.

Veterinary immersion

All of Karlynn Dzik’s childhood experiences — the books she read, the videos she watched, the camps she attended — revolved around her desire to study and interact with animals.

New project has big impact on bison genome biobank’s development at USask

Researchers’ aim of developing the world’s first bison genome biobank at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) received a critical boost on July 14 with Genome Canada’s funding announcement of $5.1 million for the Bison Integrated Genomics (BIG) project.

WCVM alumni appointed to Order of Canada

Dr. David Waltner-Toews, a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), was appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada – one of the country’s highest civilian honours.

Family or foe? How prey and predator animals can develop mother-infant bonds

Ever wonder why a pig is willing to nurse tiger cubs? Or why a dog will take care of a baby leopard?  What about a cat that fosters ducklings?

WCVM hires pollinator health research chair

A new University of Saskatchewan (USask) research chair position at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will focus on the health of pollinators that play an integral role in global food production and agricultural sustainability.

WCVM faculty receive federal research funds

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers in diverse disciplines were recently awarded over $7 million in federal government grant funding. Faculty members at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will receive $682,500 in research funds as part of this announcement.

Crashing shorebird populations ring alarm bell on global water crisis

Shorebirds are among the world’s most impressive travellers. Year after year, they make round trips of 32,000 kilometres from the top of the world to the bottom — and back again.

USask-led study aims to understand, mitigate change in western boreal forest

University of Saskatchewan wildlife ecologist Dr. Philip McLoughlin’s (PhD) research team has been awarded $1.87 million by a federal granting agency for an interdisciplinary project to study complex environmental changes occurring in Western Canada’s Boreal Plains and help mitigate the consequences.

Surveillance team detects SARS-CoV-2 virus in Saskatchewan white-tailed deer

Nearly two years after academic, provincial and federal researchers pooled resources to build a wildlife surveillance program, there’s proof that SARS-CoV-2 virus is circulating among free-ranging, white-tailed deer in Saskatchewan.

USask, international researchers find modern animal life could have origins in delta

The ancestors of many animal species alive today may have lived in a delta in what is now China, suggests new research published in Nature Communications by an international team including University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers.

USask research finds substance derived from tire debris is toxic to trout species

Every time it rains, fish living downstream of storm drains are exposed to pollutants, including the tire-derived compound 6PPD-quinone, in the runoff. Recently, this substance has been linked to massive die-offs of coho salmon across the West Coast of the United States.

Protecting endangered species and habitats

Dr. Eric Lamb (PhD) understands there are no easy answers when it comes to the delicate balance between ecology and the economy in a proudly agriculture-driven province.

USask researchers probe Lyme disease ecology

A mysterious disease is creeping its way into Saskatchewan, and its diagnosis remains complicated and unstandardized. Lyme disease, a tick-borne bacterial infection, is spreading westwards and northwards into the province of Saskatchewan.

On the trail of the B.C. bat mortality mystery

British Columbia is losing its bats. Half of the 16 bat species in the province are either vulnerable or threatened, and ecologists and farmers alike worry about how the loss of these voracious pest control experts will affect our natural and agricultural systems.

USask veterinary pathologist appointed to Order of Canada

Dr. Frederick (Ted) Leighton, a professor emeritus and graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), was appointed officer of the Order of Canada — one of the country’s highest civilian honours.

USask researchers angling to protect fish from chemical contamination

Chemicals widely used in everyday life end up in wastewater that flows to rivers and lakes, potentially causing serious impacts to aquatic life.

USask researcher links climate change and disease prevalence in Arctic

University of Saskatchewan (USask) PhD candidate Kayla Buhler has spent her academic career in the sky and on the ground of the Canadian Arctic, examining how infectious diseases are transmitted through the interactions of wildlife with their environment.

White nose syndrome detected in northern Manitoba

White nose syndrome (WNS) — a fatal fungal infection of bats — has been confirmed in four little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) found near Cranberry Portage, Man. This is the furthest northern and western occurrence of WNS in Canada to date.

PhD student receives prestigious Northern Canada research award

Kayla Buhler, a PhD candidate at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), has received a prominent award for her research in the Canadian North.

Graduate finds her own path in veterinary medicine and research

Dr. Gabrielle Achtymichuk of Outlook, Sask., has always wanted to be a veterinarian ever since she was a kid — but a taste of research during a summer job at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) made her question that lifelong goal.

New flight pen is for the birds’ rehabilitation

Veterinarians at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will be able to better evaluate rehabilitating wild birds and prepare them for release using the college’s newly built flight pen.

Habitat loss creates stress for honey bees

While society is coping with the stress related to a pandemic, honey bees and other pollinators are going through another problem — the stress associated with habitat loss.

Wildlife health at the top of the world

For two decades, veterinary scientist, Dr. Emily Jenkins has been studying parasites and vector-borne diseases that cause illness in animals and people — and much of that work has been done in Canada’s North.

Study credits herd immunity for stopping avian cholera among sea ducks

New research published in Scientific Reports shows that herd immunity was instrumental in stopping avian cholera from infecting and destroying a population of Arctic-nesting sea ducks in Canada’s North.

USask team developing COVID-19 wildlife test

As the world continues to search for answers to COVID-19, University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are focused on tracking the virus in wildlife.

New USask research helps rescue threatened bison

Fast like the wind, baby bison Skeeter happily runs to his mum across the pastures of USask's Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).

Polar disease research merits award

Insects are a great resource in learning how climate change affects diseases that are transmitted in the Arctic, which is warming at two to three times faster than other parts of the world.

Fish give clues about oil contamination

“Why do you ultrasound fish?” That question often came up while I conducted research at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) during the summer of 2019.

'Super immunity' may explain how bats carry coronaviruses

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has uncovered how bats can carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus without getting sick — research that could shed light on how coronaviruses make the jump to humans and other animals.

Mapping metals in feathers

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have mapped metals in bird feathers, a technique that could help make environmental monitoring less destructive.

Bats’ immune systems key to understanding global epidemic diseases

Why is it that bats don’t get sick when infected with viruses that can be deadly in humans?

Windows into local waters

The wet sand squishes beneath my gumboots as I walk along a beach near Tofino, on the western edge of Vancouver Island, B.C. Last night’s storm has strewn bull kelp and broken shells across the beach. It has also landed a true ocean oddity: a mermaid’s purse.

Ducks Unlimited Canada and USask partner to advance wetland and waterfowl conservation in Canada

SASKATOON – Today, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) announced a partnership to create the Ducks Unlimited Canada Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation—the first of its kind in Canada.

Ducks Unlimited Canada and USask partner to advance wetland and waterfowl conservation in Canada

Today, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) announced a partnership to create the Ducks Unlimited Canada Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation—the first of its kind in Canada.

Injured owl flies free

After months of rehabilitation, a great horned owl named Newman is enjoying a second chance at life in the wild — thanks to the hard work of a dedicated team of clinicians, students and staff at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

The effects of climate change on waterfowl

Stressed-out ducks have the potential to give University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers a glimpse of the destructive effects of climate change on wetlands — the primary habitat for ducks and other waterfowl.

Revelling in research: poster day celebrates undergraduate program

From disease in honey bees to pain management in beef calves, the research topics on display at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) annual undergraduate research poster day spanned species big and small.

WCVM researchers part of polar report

A federal science report describing field research in Canada’s Arctic features the work of veterinary parasitologist Dr. Emily Jenkins, a professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher.

Watching for wild carriers of avian influenza

Most people who see a flock of wild ducks flying over a lake don’t automatically think about the diseases these birds could be carrying, but for many chicken and turkey producers, the threat of wild birds spreading disease to their flocks is all too real.

Ecologist’s work targets what makes Lyme disease tick

Dr. Maarten Voordouw and his wife Anne enjoy being outdoors, especially with their young daughters, Naia and Margot. But after any outing, particularly if the girls have been playing in the grass or leaves, the couple are diligent about checking for ticks.

USask researcher recognized for work on predator-prey relationships

It’s a life she hadn’t imagined when she was a young student.

Bats waking up to viral reactivation

I feel like a predator. Only my target isn’t a blood meal – it is something far more precious.

Veterinarian looking at ways to manage TB in northern bison herd

A Parks Canada scientist is conducting research on bovine tuberculosis in bison to improve diagnosis of the disease and to develop better vaccines. This research is conducted in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Bison Association.

Turning the tide for the bigmouth buffalo fish

The bigmouth buffalo fish, or Ictiobus cyprinellus, is one of 67 fish species found in Saskatchewan waters, but it is also one of the six fish species currently at risk of extirpation (gone from a once-populated area) in the province.

Wild pigs invade Canadian provinces—an emerging crisis for agriculture and the environment

Wild pigs—a mix of wild boar and domestic swine—are spreading rapidly across Canada, threatening native species such as nesting birds, deer, agricultural crops, and farm livestock, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows.

Investigating tularemia on the Canadian Prairies

Between June 29 and July 19, 1978, a group of seven monkeys at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo mysteriously fell ill.

WCVM alumna cares for calving caribou

One WCVM-trained veterinarian is at the forefront of caring for caribou and other wildlife as the official wildlife veterinarian for British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests.

Fish under threat release chemicals to warn others of danger

Fish warn each other about danger by releasing chemicals into the water as a signal, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has found.