UBC and BC SPCA launch new research chair to study companion animals | BC SPCA
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UBC and BC SPCA launch new research chair to study companion animals

June 22, 2020

The BC SPCA is excited to share the following announcement from the University of British Columbia about the creation of a new research chair to improve the lives of companion animals. The BC SPCA is contributing $100,000 annually for a minimum of five years for the research chair.

Companion animals play a large role in their adopted families and in service programs where their social interactions can benefit people with disabilities. Alexandra Protopopova, an assistant professor in UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems, has done extensive research to improve the fate of companion animals and those who surround them.

Now Protopopova has been named the NSERC/BC SPCA Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare, and she will lead research between UBC and The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) over the next five years.

“Companion animals face critical issues related to optimal housing in animal shelters, rehabilitation and adoption following cruelty or neglect, import of rescue animals, and in various other human-animal interaction contexts,” says Protopopova. “I’ll be working with the scientific community, professionals in non-profit organizations, and the companion animal industry to discover new ways we can improve the lives of companion animals.”

The new program will combine research, public education and outreach and will be integrated into the faculty’s established and renowned Animal Welfare Program, which was first created in 1997.

“Our Animal Welfare Program has a long history of transferring rigorous research into findings that directly benefit industry and improve outcomes in the field, both here in Canada and abroad,” said Rickey Yada, Dean, Faculty of Land and Food Systems. “We are very pleased that Dr. Protopopova will be expanding into this new area for UBC and working in partnership with the BC SPCA.”

This program runs from 2020-2025 and will generate cutting-edge research as well as create multidisciplinary training opportunities for graduate students, professionals in the companion animal industry, and for undergraduate students through the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award program.