The Animals in Science Policy Institute is delighted to work with a team of expert advisors who provide advice and feedback on our research projects and operations.
Dr. Willis obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto, and his Diploma in Bacteriology and Doctor of Philosophy degree at the School of Hygiene, University of Toronto. His career in the federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency, spanning 36 years, included directing animal health and plant protection programs and laboratories. He managed programs to construct five laboratories across the country including Canada’s only maximum biocontainment laboratory in Winnipeg, built and operated jointly with Health Canada. At that laboratory, he served as its first Executive Director. Dr. Willis represented Canada’s animal health program internationally and is the only North American to be elected as President of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). He is also the only Canadian to be awarded the OIE Gold Medal.
After his retirement from the federal government, he established and was President of the Norm Willis Group Inc. This group contributed to a number of animal health topics including the international consideration of mass animal destruction, the introduction of foresight to animal health policy development, a study of the future of veterinary medical education, and the development of a National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.
Dr. Willis served as an inaugural member of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council established to implement the Strategy. He also served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.
In 2014, Dr. Willis was appointed by the Governor General of Canada, as a Member of the Order of Canada.
Dr. Becca Franks
After completing her undergraduate degree at New York University, Becca Franks worked for several years as a research assistant at the New York Aquarium, where she discovered the field of animal welfare science. Soon thereafter, she enrolled as a doctoral student at Columbia University to study how recent advances in motivation science may generate insights into the well-being of other animals. With her current position as a Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Animal Welfare Program, she is extending this work with the goal of improving our understanding of and appreciation for fish welfare.
Peter Kelly lives in Guelph but grew up in Lambeth, Ontario with a passion for the natural environment and photography. He received an Honours B.Sc and M.Sc. in Physical Geography from the University of Western Ontario.
Peter spent 19 years with the Cliff Ecology Research Group at the University of Guelph where he conducted ecological research and conservation work on the ancient cedars of the Niagara Escarpment. He has co-authored three books related to cliff ecology: Cliff Ecology: Pattern and Process in Cliff Ecosystems, The Urban Cliff Revolution and “The Last Stand; a Journey through the Ancient Cliff-Face Forest of the Niagara Escarpment”. He has published extensively in the popular and scientific press and given numerous talks to a broad range of audiences.
Peter was also Research Director at the rare Charitable Research Reserve, a 1,000–acre land reserve at the forks of the Grand and Speed Rivers. He has also served as President of Nature Guelph and Executive Director of the North American Native Plant Society. Currently, he serves on the board of Ontario Nature as well as being the Coordinator of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System, a collaborative project to protect, restore and enhance natural lands at the western end of Lake Ontario.
Dr. Joanna Makowska
Joanna Makowska obtained her B.Sc. in Biology (Animal Behaviour) and Psychology from McGill University in Montreal. She then completed her M.Sc. and her PhD in laboratory animal welfare at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Animal Welfare Program. Joanna’s Master’s work on humane methods of rat and mouse euthanasia contributed to the development of the Canadian Council on Animal Care’s new and revised guidelines on euthanasia of animals used in science. For her doctoral dissertation, Joanna studied the welfare impacts of housing rats in standard versus naturalistic laboratory environments. Her work highlighted the importance for rats to burrow, climb and stand upright. Joanna also spent 8 years on the UBC Animal Care Committee, which oversees laboratory animal use at the university.
Jan Oakley is an animal advocate who teaches social justice courses in the Faculty of Education and department of Women’s Studies at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her doctoral research focused on the practice of animal dissection in schools and its many costs: animal suffering and death; student discomfort and objection; disconnection from scientific standards regarding animal use; environmental and health concerns; and financial costs. Her publications, presentations, and policy development work outline the need for a progressive and ethically sound model of science education. This involves the replacement of animal dissection with alternatives, the implementation of student choice policies that allow students to opt out of dissection and use a comparable alternative, and a commitment to a humane education paradigm.
Liz is a veterinarian who graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario, in 2008. She has done advanced clinical training at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island in small animal medicine and surgery, and holds a Master’s degree in biomedical science. Her research background is in cardiac physiology and genetic heart disease, and she has authored several clinical and research publications. Liz has presented her research at both regional and international conferences. Related to her work, she has completed several undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics, animal behaviour and welfare. After seeing several deficiencies in the current systems, Liz would like to be involved with seeing changes implemented that minimize animal use while also improving how teaching, research and testing are done.