Alberta’s Associate Additions

The CWHC welcomes our two newest official associates in the Alberta region, Drs. Susan Cork, Judit Smits, and Nigel Caulkett.


Dr. Susan Cork – CWHC Alberta Associate

Dr. Cork joined the UCVM faculty in 2008 as founding Head of the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Cork spent five years with the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture where she held a number of policy and management positions. Dr. Cork completed her Veterinary degree (Massey University) in 1987 and returned to complete a PhD in 1994. During her PhD she provided diagnostic support for wildlife in partnership with the New Zealand Department of Conservation. In 1995, Dr. Cork accepted the position of veterinary laboratory manager in Bhutan; this was part of an EU funded project to strengthen veterinary services in Asia. In 2003, after 6 years in the UK working in academia, she returned to New Zealand to join the Government Service and obtained a Diploma in Public Policy from the School of Government, Victoria University. In 2014, Dr. Cork completed a 6-month sabbatical at the National Centre for Animal Health in Bhutan. Her special interests are in global health, animal health policy, veterinary public health and wildlife diseases.


Dr. Judit Smits – CWHC Alberta Associate

My research interests focus on ecotoxicology and the impact that environmental contaminants have on human and animal health.  I study wildlife for their own sake, and because they can serve as sentinels of pollutant effects on human and animal health. A healthy ecosystem, by definition, includes the health of animals, humans and their environment (air, water, soil).  My most recent initiative in toxicology research is towards mitigating chronic arsenic toxicity (arsenicosis) in humans using bio-fortified food.  Arsenicosis affects 50 to 100 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organization.  Another continuing research interest of mine involves avian research; passerines, waterfowl and gulls, storks, vultures and other raptors.  Other classes of vertebrates with which I work are amphibians and carnivores. My research spans a wide geographic area, including numerous sites across Canada, Bangladesh, Mexico, Spain and South Africa.


Dr. Nigel Caulkett – CWHC Alberta Associate

Dr. Caulkett completed his DVM at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. Soon after graduation, he worked on a project in the Northwest Territories, performing semen analysis on wood bison. Dr. Caulkett spent a year in mixed practice in St Paul Alberta and returned to WCVM in 1990 to start a residency in veterinary anesthesiology. Dr. Caulkett’s MVetSc research focused on xylazine epidural analgesia in cattle. After completion of his residency, Dr. Caulkett remained at WCVM in a clinical position for 1 year. Dr. Caulkett started on faculty at WCVM in 1994 and received board certification from the ACVA in the same year. Much of Dr. Caulkett’s research has focused on the development of safe capture and handling techniques in free ranging wildlife, and the development and evaluation of analgesic techniques in farm animals.

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