University of Saskatchewan

Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Conference Speakers

Each of the conference's session themes has a keynote speaker invited to open the session. The following are biosketches of confirmed speakers:

Session I: The Here and Now – Dr. Cheryl Waldner

Cheryl Waldner


Dr. Cheryl Waldner (DVM, PhD). Professor, Epidemiology

Dr. Waldner teaches outbreak investigation and epidemiology to the veterinary students and epidemiology and statistics in the graduate program. Before joining the WCVM faculty in 1999, she worked in private practice and consulting in Alberta.

Dr. Waldner is actively involved in research examining the factors affecting the health and productivity of cow-calf herds in Western Canada. Her current research includes drought-related nutritional issues, BVDV, Neospora, zoonotic E. coli, antimicrobial resistance, and Cryptosporidia spp. and Giardia spp. in cow-calf herds. She also has a continuing interest in environmental epidemiology.



Session II: Lost in Translation – Dr. Jan Sargeant

Jan Sargeant
Dr. Jan Sargeant (DVM, MSc, PhD). Professor and Director of CPHAZ

Visit CPHAZ website »

Dr. Jan Sargeant is the founding director of the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses (CPHAZ). She has been instrumental in promoting CPHAZ research and programs and was newly re-appointed for a continued five-year term as the centre’s director. A professor in the Ontario Veterinary College’s Department of Population Medicine, Dr. Sargeant holds an Applied Public Health Chair that is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research — the only one at a Canadian veterinary college.

Dr. Sargeant's areas of interest include zoonotic disease prevention and control, food and water safety, examining the role of veterinary medicine in public health and input of research to public health decision making.



Session III: Advancing Applied Epidemiology – Dr. Petra Mullner 

(Workshop Instructor)

Petra Muellner
Dr. Petra Muellner (DVM, MSc, PhD, MANZCVS, Dipl. ECVPH)

Epidemiology Consultant, mEpiWorks

Dr. Muellner is the Director of Epi-interactive, a New Zealand-based consultancy company. She holds academic qualifications in both veterinary and medical epidemiology and has previously worked as Senior Advisor (Risk Assessment) at the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and Senior Lecturer (Veterinary Epidemiology) at the EpiCentre, Massey University.

Dr. Muellner's research on the molecular epidemiology and risk attribution of campylobacteriosis in New Zealand has contributed to the recent successful implementation of disease control measures that have been followed by a greater than 50 per cent reduction in human cases.

Dr. Muellner enjoys teaching and the challenges of applying her skills to a wide range of topics including a particular interest in the molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases and interdisciplinary research.



Session IV: Training Applied Epidemiologists — Dr. Kathleen Laberge

laberge.kathleenDr. Kathleen Laberge, DVM, MSc
Field Service, Training and Response Division, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

Dr. Kathleen Laberge obtained a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine diploma in 2001 (Université de Montréal). She worked for two years as a veterinary practitioner in a farm animal practice before completing a MSc on the epidemiology of campylobacteriosis in Iceland (Université de Montréal, 2005).

In 2005, she joined the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program and was based at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. During the years she spent as a field epidemiologist, Dr Laberge performed regional and international surveillance activities, outbreak investigations and applied research related to zoonotic diseases. 

Dr. Laberge now works for the Public Health Agency of Canada where she contributes to the Field Service, Training and Response Division. Her main roles are to develop, support and facilitate field epidemiology training, and to develop, build and maintain capacity in veterinary public health.

Dr. Laberge was a member of the development committee for the creation of a new Veterinary Public Health Master’s program at the Université de Montréal that was implemented in the summer of 2012. Dr. Laberge has expertise in spatial epidemiology applied to field investigations.