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Vanessa Pasquale

Position/Title: M.Sc. by thesis
email: vpasqual@uoguelph.ca
Office: ANNU 047

LinkedIn site link


  • B.Sc. Animal Biology, University of Guelph, 2020
  • M.Sc. Animal Behaviour and Welfare, University of Guelph, Present


From a young age, I have always loved animals, exotic and companion animals in particular. However, it was in my undergrad where I fell in love with livestock animals and knew that I wanted to work with them in the future. In my second year, I had the opportunity to work in the swine industry at the Arkell Swine Research Station as a summer student. It was here where I fell in love with pigs and pig welfare. While working at Arkell, I continuously apply my knowledge about swine management from past undergraduate courses. In my fourth, I had the opportunity to work with Penny Lawlis and Gayle Ecker in developing an equine code of practice guide for people who have no prior horse experience. I also completed my fourth-year research course with Dr. Ester Finegan where I observed hyena behaviour at the Toronto Zoo.

Current Education:

I am currently working towards a master’s by thesis with Dr. Renee Bergeron. My project is investigating the effects of space allowance on airflow patterns and pig welfare during transportation in an actively ventilated vehicle during the summer and winter. The current transport vehicles used in Canada lack an active ventilation system which can result in a poor thermal environment inside the trailer that can lead to pig discomfort and poor welfare. In recent years, newly designed trailers such as the Berdex flat deck trailer have been introduced to Canada in hopes to provide better thermal comfort and overall welfare for the pigs during transport. My project involves shipping 6 loads of pigs to slaughter per season with selected pigs being randomly assigned to different space allowances. Each space allowance is applied to a selection of compartments for each season. Following the trial there is an assessment on the internal airflow rate and microclimate conditions inside the truck, an analysis of the pig’s behaviours on the truck and in lairage, the physiological stress response of the pigs and lastly their carcass and meat quality. The project is still ongoing, but the summer trials have been completed with help from my lab mate Lydia Conrad, and the data is currently being analyzed. The next steps will be to plan and prepare for the winter trial.

Additionally, I have been appointed this years President of the CCSAW Student Chapter, so while I am working towards my master’s, I am also helping plan CCSAW related events and information sessions.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends, as well as visiting my family and my cat Oddie back home in Niagara.