Organizing Committee

OE3C is a student-run, student-focused conference celebrating the very best ecological, ethological, and evolutionary research being done in Ontario and surrounding areas. The University of Guelph organizing committee is very proud to have hosted the 50th annual OE3C online, and the 51st (hopefully) in-person at the University of Guelph in 2021!

Meagan King – Co-Chair

Meagan is one of the OE3C co-chairs and also works on fundraising for the 2021 event. She is currently doing her post-doctoral research on wildlife health and welfare with Claire Jardine and Jane Parmley at the University of Guelph.

Alicia Halhed – Co-Chair

Alicia completed her undergraduate degree at Trent University in 2019, majoring in Forensic Science with a minor in biology. She is currently a Bioinformatics MSc student at the University of Guelph studying microbial ecology in the Department of Integrative Biology. Her thesis research focuses on the metacommunity dynamics of microbiomes from two host species – the Canada Jay and the North American Red Squirrel.

Michelle Lavery

Michelle is a PhD Candidate in Integrative Biology, studying how degree of preference might change the effects of environment enrichment on the welfare, cognition, and brain development of laboratory zebrafish with Dr. Georgia Mason. She has previously completed an MSc in Biology at the University of New Brunswick, where she studied the winter ecology of Atlantic salmon. She’s currently running this website and handling OE3C’s twitter account!

Aileen Maclellan

Aileen completed a BSc in Animal Biology at the University of Guelph, before beginning an MSc with Dr. Georgia Mason examining the effects of standard, barren housing the behaviour of laboratory mice. This laid the groundwork for her PhD, where she is investigating whether the stress of standard cages causes states consistent with clinical depression, and whether environmentally enriched cages protect mice from such effects.

Lindsey Kitchenham

Lindsey is an M.Sc. student in Dr. Georgia Mason’s Animal Behaviour and Welfare lab. She completed her H.B.Sc. in Psychology Brain and Cognition with a minor in Neuroscience here at the University of Guelph. Her research is aimed at understanding the neurobiological correlates of cage-induced stereotypic behaviours in laboratory mice by comparing the effects of barren (standard laboratory housing conditions) versus enriched housing on stereotypic behaviour severity/type and neuronal activity in the basal ganglia and the prefrontal cortex. She looks forward to continuing this work in her Ph.D.

Quinn Rausch

Quinn (they/them) is a PhD student at the Ontario Veterinary College studying animal welfare and behaviour. Specifically their research focuses on early puppy socialization and development. They completed a BScH in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph in 2018 and entered their PhD program with Dr. Lee Niel in September of 2019. They have a passion for ethology and joined the OE3C Organizing Committee to be able to give back to the local scientific community. 

Xuezhen Ge

Xuezhen completed a BSc and MSc at Beijing Forestry University. Currently, she is a second-year PhD candidate working on climate change impacts on species distribution, supervised by Dr. Jonathan Newman in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. She uses species distribution models and investigates the roles of biotic interactions, climate variation, and evolutionary change in determining species distribution under climate change.

Colin Bonner

Colin is a PhD student in the Integrative Biology department studying the ecological and evolutionary effects of climate change in the Swedish Arctic. His work focuses on how plants have migrated and shifted their phenology over the past century by comparing modern observational and experimental data to transect data from the turn of the century. 

Nathaniel Quarrell

Nathaniel is a Masters student in the Norris Lab expecting to graduate in 2020.  He is currently studying how environmental factors effect the lower range limits of Canada Jays on Vancouver Island.  His future interests lie in pursuing ecological epidemiology.

Georgia Mason – Faculty Advisor

Dr. Mason is a behavioural biologist who moved from Oxford to Canada in 2004 to take up a Canada Research Chair in Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph. In May 2020, she became Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. She and her fabulous lab are interested in how animals adapt (or otherwise) to barren, unstimulating captive housing conditions. In other words, if animals are healthy, well-provisioned and protected from physical harm, is that all that they need for good welfare? Or do they still need to be able to perform activities like social interaction, foraging, or ranging? She also studies sentience, environmental enrichment, and states like ‘boredom’, to name a few.