University of Saskatchewan

Western College of Veterinary Medicine


Toxicology and Environmental Health

The University of Saskatchewan's Toxicology Group was created in 1978 to support research, academic programs and public awareness in toxicology. Initially, the groups members - which included a number of WCVM faculty - focused on biomedical and nutritional toxicology. But in the past decade, the focus of core members' research has shifted to environmental or "eco-toxicology" that encompasses a broad range of topics, disciplines, collaborators and funding partners. More researchers are investigating the impact of contaminants on wildlife and aquatic systems health - and ultimately, they're studying questions about human health.

Examples of toxicology-related research involving WCVM faculty include a study of animal health effects associated with exposure to emission from oil and natural gas facilities and investigating the environmental effects of the Athabasca Oil Sands project on fish, bugs and amphibians in the area's wetlands and lakes. Another group is looking at the effects of landscape change on the health of Alberta's grizzly bears, while several group members are part of co-operative studies with companies in different mining sectors.

As well, the Toxicology Group has a history of working on food animal and wildlife health issues with government and non-government agencies. One example includes investigations into the potential effects of pesticide use on wildlife species. Group members are also involved in training programs for northerners that have led to community-based projects that link natural and social science researchers with members of northern communities.

Aquatic laboratory, Animal Care Unit