Our Team

W3.CSS

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. Caitlin Grant, BSc, DVM, DVSc, ECVCN Resident

Assistant Professor, Nestlé Purina Professorship in Companion Animal Nutrition

caitlin Dr. Caitlin Grant is originally from Markham, Ontario and completed her undergraduate degree in animal biology earning a BSc at the University of Guelph. She then attended the Ontario Veterinary College and graduated with honors in 2014. After graduation, Dr. Grant became an associate veterinarian in a private, mixed animal practice working with mostly canine, feline and bovine patients. Dr. Grant thoroughly enjoyed her time in private practice, especially the daily interaction with clients and their pets, as well as the opportunity to strengthen the veterinary-client relationship. Dr. Grant had an interest in nutrition before she became a veterinarian, and this interest grew during her three years in private practice. Nutrition plays a vital role in the health and well-being of animals and this was seen daily in appointments with small animals as well as on the farm with food production animals. Dr. Grant made the decision to return to the Ontario Veterinary College in 2017 and completed a nutrition residency through the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ECVCN) and earned a Doctor of Veterinary Science (DVSc) degree in September 2020. Dr. Grant has recently joined OVC faculty as Assistant Professor in Companion Animal Nutrition and is excited to be involved with the nutrition curriculum for all 4 Phases of the DVM program. She will also be heavily involved with running the OVC Clinical Nutrition Service.

DVSc Thesis: Investigating the Effect of Energy Restriction for Weight Loss in Obese Cats on Intake of Essential Nutrients and on Serum Metabolites

Dr. Jackie Parr, BScH, DVM, MSc, Dip ACVN

Adjunct Faculty

jackie Dr. Jackie Parr, an Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) ’09 graduate, is a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist™. Dr. Parr completed a rotating small animal internship and a residency in clinical nutrition at Angell Animal Medical Centre in Boston, MA. During her internship, Dr. Parr was awarded the Dr. Sharon Drellich Memorial Award for professionalism, collegiality, and compassion. During her four years in Boston, she also completed a Masters in biochemical and molecular nutrition at Tufts University. Dr. Parr returned to OVC in 2013 for a post-doctoral fellowship and was also a clinician for the Clinical Nutrition Service, OVC Health Sciences Centre. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN)™. in July 2015. Dr. Parr has since remained Adjunct Faculty within the Department of Clinical Studies. She was awarded the OVC Young Alumnus Award in June 2016. Dr. Parr has given numerous continuing education lectures at conferences and veterinary schools across Canada. Her passions are teaching and social media. She is known as The Kibble Queen™, which was a nickname she was given during veterinary school by her peers due to her unrelenting passion for cat and dog nutrition. Dr. Parr also the founder of the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (CAVN).

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.

Nicole Weidner, BScH, MSc

PhD Candidate (Department of Biomedical Sciences)

nicole Nicole is a PhD candidate at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. Nicole has focused on the nutritional needs of companion animals and equines through graduate research, coursework, and mentorship by board certified veterinary and PhD nutritionists. Nicole’s MSc and PhD research focus on links between vitamin D and cancer in dogs. This research involves looking at the amounts of vitamin D and inflammatory markers in a dog’s blood before and during cancer treatment. Nicole is also interested in science communication, public outreach and knowledge translation. Her fur family consists of 1 dog, 1 cat, 2 horses and a pony.

MSc Thesis: Dietary Vitamin D Intake and Vitamin D Status in Canine Cancer Patients

Alexandra Rankovic, BScH, MSc

PhD Candidate (Department of Biomedical Sciences)

alex Alex completed her BScH in Animal Biology, with a minor in Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences, at the University of Guelph in 2016. She then completed a Master of Science in Clinical Studies with Dr. Verbrugghe in 2018. Upon completion, Alex started her PhD in Biomedical Sciences, with a focus on the lipotropic effects of choline in overweight cats. In her spare time, Alex enjoys spending time with her bunny Oscar, her cat Larry and her horse Jenna.

MSc Thesis: The Acute Effects of Starch Sources on Glycemic Index, Glycemic Response, Insulinemic Response and Satiety-Related Hormones in Dogs

Dr. Sarah Dodd, BVSc, MSc

PhD Candidate (Department of Population Medicine), ECVCN Resident

sarahd Dr. Sarah Dodd graduated from the veterinary program at Massey University in New Zealand in 2016. Since then, she has worked with the OVC Clinical Nutrition Team initially as an intern and now as a resident of the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. In addition to practicing clinical nutrition, Dr. Dodd also engages in nutrition research, completing an MSc in 2018 and currently working towards her PhD. She is fascinated by unconventional diets for dogs and cats, and her research focuses on plant-based nutrition.

MSc Thesis: Plant-based diets for dogs and cats – an investigation of pet feeding practices, motivations and concerns

Hannah Godfrey, BScH

MSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

hannah Hannah is currently in her second and final year of her Master’s in Clinical Studies after graduating with a BScH in Biology with a minor in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Science at the University of Guelph. Her research interests include nutraceuticals and functional foods with her thesis project focusing on the effects of choline supplementation in post-gonadectomy kittens on lipid metabolism and body composition. Outside of the lab you can find Hannah at home with her own happy healthy cats, Balthazar and Benny.

Olivia Chiu, BScH

MSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

olivia Olivia completed her BScH in Animal Biology in 2020 at the University of Guelph. She has started a MSc by coursework with Dr. Verbrugghe. Her research interests include feline fecal microbiome as her major project. Olivia is also interested in overall feeding habits in pets in a nutritional context. In her spare time, you can find Olivia spending time with her dog Jaci, or outdoors.

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.

Brooklynn Liversidge, BScH

MSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

brooklynn Brooklynn is currently in her first year of her Master’s in Clinical Studies after 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 thesis project is focusing 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.

Dr. Michael Chae, DVM

MSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

michael Dr. Michael Chae graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University in South Korea in 2010. After attending Veterinary Skills, Training and Enhancement Program (VSTEP) offered by OVC in 2017, he worked in Banfield Pet Hospital in Southern California for 2 years. Michael is currently in his first year of his Master’s in Clinical Studies. His research interests include clinical nutrition and nutraceuticals, with a research project focusing on the evaluation of the anti-inflammatory properties of β-glucans in cats with naturally occurring periodontal disease. In his spare time, Michael loves to be with his three cats, jju-bong, jju-byul, and jju-bee.

Alyssa Guta, BScH

MSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

alyssa Alyssa completed her BScH in Animal Biology at University of Guelph in 2018. She is currently in her first year of her Master’s in Clinical studies with Dr. Verbrugghe. Her thesis project focuses on choices and habits related to raw pet food recommendations and feeding. Outside of research and studying, Alyssa loves to spend time with her dog Molly and horse May.

Available MSc Thesis or PhD Position

The effect of feeding frequency on feline energy metabolism and body composition – A long-term study

mscphd A 2-year MSc position or 3-year PhD position is available in the Department of Animal Biosciences, investigating how feeding frequency affects energy metabolism, body composition, satiety and activity in cats. The position commences May 3, 2021 and is offered in co-supervision between Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe at the OVC Pet Nutrition Team and the laboratory of Dr. Anna Kate Shoveller in the Department of Animal Biosciences.

Applicants are encouraged to send CV, transcripts, names and contact information of three references, and a cover letter stating interest in the above mentioned title to Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, at averbrug@uoguelph.ca.

Available DVSc Position

Doctor of Veterinary Science – Clinical Nutrition

The Doctor of Veterinary Science degree (DVSc) was developed to fulfill two objectives: 1) the need for applied clinical experience and training designed to prepare the candidate for board eligibility with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and 2) the need for training in and experience with clinical research. It is an interdepartmental graduate degree program and receives strong faculty commitment from all Departments within the Ontario Veterinary College. The DVSc program involves 9 semesters (3 years) with two thirds of this time for clinical training and one third for applied clinical research and didactic coursework, culminating in the defense of a written thesis. The applicant should have a strong commitment to clinical research in Companion Animal Nutrition and when matched will enroll in both full time graduate studies in the Department of Clinical Studies at the University of Guelph and a standard approved ECVCN residency training program in companion animal nutrition in the OVC Health Sciences Centre (OVC HSC). Also application to enroll in an alternative ACVN program is an option.

For more information, and to apply, visit: https://www.virmp.org/Program/Detail/12661.