Our Team


Our Team

Click below to get to know us!

Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, DVM, PhD, Dip ECVCN

Associate Professor

adronie Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe graduated as a companion animal veterinarian (DVM) from Ghent University, Belgium in 2005. She completed her PhD focusing on nutritional modulation of carbohydrate metabolism in cats in 2009. She became a European Veterinary Specialist™ in Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition after completing a residency and board certifying exam for the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Verbrugghe joined the Department of Clinical Studies at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), University of Guelph, as Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Verbrugghe’s academic responsibilities at OVC include the development and teaching of the small animal clinical nutrition curriculum for the DVM program. Dr. Verbrugghe is also the service chief for the OVC Health Science Centre Clinical Nutrition Service. In 2019, she was awarded a Research Excellence Award from the University of Guelph. Her research interests include companion animal nutrition, the link between nutrition, gut microbiota, health and disease, alteration of metabolic pathways through nutrition and nutritional modulation of inflammation and immunity.

Dr. Sarah Abood, DVM, PhD

Associate Professor

sarah Dr. Sarah Abood is a veterinary nutritionist and educator who originally came to the Ontario Veterinary College in 2018 for a short-term contract. She was able to return in Nov. 2023 and is glad to be teaching nutrition and running the OVC Clinical Nutrition Service. Prior to 2018, Dr. Abood served as Assistant Dean of Student Programs at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. During her 16 years at MSU she taught small animal nutrition, communication skills, veterinary ethics, and veterinary leadership. In 2009, she started her own consulting company, called Sit, Stay, Speak Nutrition. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Abood worked in Research and Development at Ralston Purina. Her formal training began at Michigan State University (BS, DVM), followed by a large animal rotating internship at the University of Minnesota, and the completion of her nutrition residency and PhD at The Ohio State University.

Alicia Lorch, RVT, CCRVN, VTS (Nutrition) Candidate

alicia Alicia is a true animal lover, big and small. She knew from a very young age that she wanted to surround herself with animals every moment of every day. When Alicia began researching jobs in the animal industry and found the description of a Veterinary Technician, she knew that it was the perfect job for her. Alicia attended Georgian College in Orillia were she graduated and received her diploma in April 2018. Later that year, Alicia wrote her Veterinary Technician National Exam, where she earned the title of a Registered Veterinary Technician. Alicia was lucky enough to complete her second year placement at the OVC Smith Lane Animal Hospital and was offered a position as an RVT during her time there. Since working at Smith Lane Animal Hospital, Alicia completed the requirements to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Veterinary Nurse. Alicia joined the OVC Pet Nutrition Team to further explore her interest in nutrition and is currently working to become a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Nutrition. When not at work, Alicia enjoys spending time with her fur babies, Lumi, Leti, Faith, and Billy.

Shoshana Verton-Shaw, RVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Registered Veterinary Technician in Clinical Nutrition, Supported by Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets

shoshana Shoshana graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus with honours and as the recipient of the Award for Proficiency in Canine and Feline Nutrition in 2007. She became the first Registered Veterinary Technician in Ontario to achieve her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Nutrition in 2015 and has been active with the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians since. Shoshana enjoys sharing and igniting a passion for veterinary nutrition in her peers, with a special interest in canine and feline obesity management and performance dog nutrition. Along with her dogs, Kinetic and Iron, Shoshana is an active member of the German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada, T.O.P. Working Dog Club, and the Kitchener-Waterloo German Shepherd Club.

Hannah Godfrey, BScH, MSc

PhD Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

hannah Hannah is now pursuing her PhD with Dr. Verbrugghe after completing her Master’s in Clinical Studies. Hannah previously graduated with a BScH in Biology with a minor in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Science at the University of Guelph. Her MSc thesis focused on the lipotropic effects of choline supplementation in post-gonadectomy kittens. Her PhD focuses on the impacts of macronutrient composition on metabolims. Outside of the lab you can find Hannah at home with her own happy healthy cats, Balthazar and Benny.

MSc Thesis: Effects of additional dietary choline on food intake, body weight and composition, respiratory quotient, serum lipid profile, and serum metabolic signature in post-gonadectomy kittens

Dr. Manuela Fischer, MV, MSc, PhD

DVSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies), ECVCN Resident

manuela Dr. Manuela Fischer obtained her Veterinary degree (MV) in Brazil in 2008. Her interest in pet nutrition began while in vet school, when she had the opportunity to visit a pet food facility. Her MSc thesis focused on the effects of different fiber sources on energy and macronutrient digestibility, fermentation product formation, postprandial metabolite responses and colon histology of overweight cats. One of her PhD research projects was carried out at UCDavis. She completed her PhD focusing on faecal microbiota and it’s relation with obesity, energy restriction and neutering in 2015. From 2015 to 2023, she worked as a graduate professor, consultant for pet food industries and as a veterinary nutritionist in a small animal clinic. In her spare time, Manuela loves being with her husband, daughter and dog, and enjoys going out to see new places.

Dr. Erico de Mello Ribeiro, MV, MSc, PhD

DVSc Candidate (Department of Clinical Studies), ECVCN Resident

erico Dr. Erico Ribeiro obtained his veterinary degree (MV) at Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) in Brazil in 2010, where he also completed a residency in small animal medicine in 2012. Following, he completed a residency, a master’s and a PhD in nutrition and clinical nutrition of dogs and cats at Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) with Dr. Aulus Carciofi. He joined the OVC Clinical Nutrition Team in 2020 as a DVSc student and a resident of the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. His research focuses on feline fatty acid metabolism.

Dr. Francisco Poblanno Silva DVM

DVSc Candidate (Department of Clinical Studies), ECVCN Resident

francisco Francisco Poblanno graduated as Medico Veterinario Zootecnista (equivalent to DVM in North America) from Mexico’s National University (UNAM) in 2016. Before graduation he did a Study Abroad Program at the Royal Veterinary College in London. After obtaining his degree, he worked in a small animal practice in Mexico City then he worked in the swine industry in the Midwest United States. Afterwards he started working in Small Animal General Practice in Mississauga, Ontario.He always had a special interest in nutrition and the impact it has on the welfare of all species. He is currently enrolled in the DVSc program in Clinical Nutrition at OVC and as a resident of the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ECVCN). His research interests are focused on small animal clinical nutrition, particularly in feline obesity.  During his time off he likes to go out for walks and hikes with his wife and their chihuahua-cross Nash.

Brooklynn Liversidge, BScH

PhD Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

brooklynn Brooklynn is working towards her PhD in Clinical Studies after completing her Master’s in Clinical Studies and graduating in 2020 with a BScH in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph. Her research interests include digestibility and metabolomics, but she has a fascination with continuing to grow her knowledge in all aspects involved with nutritional research. Her MSc thesis project focused on investigating the digestibility, fecal microbiome and fecal metabolome in adult healthy dogs on plant-based versus meat-based diets. In her spare time, Brooklynn loves to be with her two dogs, her cat and her two horses.

Shawna Morrow, BScH

MSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

shawna Shawna completed her BScH in Biomedical Science, at Trent University in 2021. She is currently in her first year of her Master’s in Clinical Studies with Dr. Verbrugghe. Her research interests include companion animal nutrition, with her thesis project focusing on pet owner’s attitudes toward canine nutrition and rehabilitation counselling. In her spare time, you can find Shawna spending time outdoors, painting, or playing with her cat Honey.

Jess Fletcher, BScAgr

MSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

jess Jess completed her BScAgr in Animal Science in 2020 at the University of Guelph, and is working towards her Master’s Degree with Dr. Verbrugghe. Her research interests include lipotropic effects of choline in overweight cats, with a focus on genetics. Jess also has a passion for public education in regard to pet nutrition and discovering new methods to combat emerging issues in the industry. In her spare time, you can find Jess spending time with her rescue dog, Finn, and exploring Guelph’s beautiful scenery.

Kehan (Coco) Zhang, BsCH

MSc student (Department of Clinical Studies)

Red-1 Coco completed her BScH in Animal Biology at University of Guelph in 2022. She is currently working toward her Master’s in Clinical Studies with Dr. Verbrugghe. She is interested in all aspects related to companion animal nutrition and her research focuses on the effects of macronutrients on fecal microbiome and metabolome in cats. In her spare time, she likes to play with her friend’s dog and cats.

Tesa Maria Teresa Kinasih, BScH, MSc


Sashen Rajagopaul, MSc (Course-work)