Chelsey Paquette

Chelsey Paquette

Improving animal health

Chelsey Paquette

Chelsey Paquette is determined to make a difference in the life of animals. The Biology student is in her zone at Bishop’s, since she has the opportunity to study both the human and the animal side of her field.

Her future being a source of almost constant thought, the London, Ontario student is careful to plan the next steps of her academic career. This is why her ears perked up when she first heard about the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund.

“I was inspired to check out B.E.S.T. after I heard about my friend’s experience in the program,” she says. “Reading about the different projects also made me want to apply.”

Because Chelsey wishes to attend veterinary school after she graduates from Bishop’s, she needs a certain number of hours of practical experience to be admitted. Chelsey realized that B.E.S.T. could give her the experience she needed to reach her ultimate goal of becoming a veterinarian.

“I’m really happy that I received an internship from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,” says Chelsey. “I will be working with Dr. Karin Orsel and Dr. Frank van der Meer, who are working on bovine respiratory disease in beef cattle.”

“Together we will be identifying the viral biodiversity present in cattle, which play a role in Bovine Respiratory Disease,” explains Chelsey. “Bovine respiratory disease has become a huge problem for the beef cattle industry. As a result, the sick animals are receiving significant amounts of antibiotics. We’re hoping to figure out how we can decrease the dosage for some of these animals.”

Chelsey will also be helping two other Ph.D. students in the faculty, one of whom is working with parasites in wild sheep to explore the thermal adaptations and the impact of climate change on these parasites. Secondly, she will be assisting in a project with canines, to determine the different strains of parasites found in foxes and coyotes around Alberta.

“I’ll be gaining dissection experience, as well as time in the field and the lab. I’ll be working with graduate students participating in research based on veterinary medicine, so I’ll be able to see what life is like for them. It’s great because I’ll be able to see both sides and make a decision on the next step in my career path.”

In Chelsey’s field, experience is crucial to getting ahead, which is why B.E.S.T. fits perfectly into her strategy.

“I have been doing at least three labs per year since I enrolled at Bishop’s. I see a big difference between my skills and those of other students who have less experience,” she says.

The ambitious student is very clear about what she needs to succeed in her field. “Experience is something you need in the real world,” she says. “That’s why B.E.S.T. is such a blessing for me, since I’ll be gaining experience in multiple fields of veterinary medicine. If you don’t have experience, you’re not as much of a qualified candidate as other people would be.”