More new faces to introduce…
Hi! I’m Imara Beattie, a DVM student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. I’m working at the B.C. Node of the CWHC this summer under the supervision of Dr. Chelsea Himsworth and Dr. Kaylee Byers.
My first exposure to wildlife research was during my undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, where I conducted an Honours project looking at how species of southern Asian jumping spiders are related to each other using phylogenetics. My degree in Animal Biology at UBC fostered my interest in animal health, and I realized I wanted to pursue veterinary medicine. After my first year of vet school, I decided to become involved with wildlife research in a veterinary context. That led me to my current project at the CWHC, where I’m helping investigate causes of bat mortality in British Columbia.
Bats in North America face numerous threats, including the deadly disease white nose syndrome and fatalities from wind turbines. As humans grapple with the effects of climate change and strive to develop solutions for producing more sustainable energy, it’s important to consider the unintended consequences of these initiatives for various wildlife species. The decisions that people make as individuals, such as whether to allow their pet cats to roam outside, can also have major impacts on wildlife species. This summer, I’m hoping to get a better understanding of how these threats might affect bat conservation efforts in B.C.
My work at the CWHC has expanded my ideas about the One Health framework, and I now know that it involves much more than just zoonotic diseases. This work will inform how I, as a future veterinarian, can advise clients to improve outcomes for humans, pets, and wildlife.
When I’m not researching Halloween-themed creatures, I’m making the most of my time back in Vancouver hiking and cycling the trails near my house. On rainy days I enjoy reading, writing, drawing and snuggling with my rabbit.