The veterinarian was hired for the first chair to study the health of pollinators at Canadian College

In the new role, Sarah Wood, DVM, PhD, plans to focus her work on managed and wild bee species from a veterinary point of view.

A new research chair position at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) at Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will focus on the health of pollinators, which play an integral role in global food production and agricultural sustainability.

Sarah Wood, DVM, PhD, is the new chair of USask for pollinator health research at WCVM, according to a press release from the university. Wood is a USask graduate who received advanced degrees from WCVM and has been working on pollin health research since 2015.

“My long-term vision for this research chair position is to increase the resilience of agriculture and the health of ecosystems by studying managed and wild bee species from a veterinary point of view. “By implementing veterinary research tools to address the current challenges to pollinator health and biodiversity, I think we can make an impactful change,” Wood said in a statement from the university.

Animal pollinators – most of which are insects – account for two-thirds of world food production. Through their daily work, pollinators allow plants to grow successfully and produce crops. Among all pollinators, honey bees have the greatest impact on world crop production.

“As the first North American veterinary college to create a program to study and teach honey bees, we are the perfect home for this new research chair. We are so grateful for the support of industry partners who recognize the need for these discoveries at such a critical time when honey bees and other pollinators face major health challenges, ”said WCVM Dean Gillian Muir, DVM, PhD, in a university statement.

“This new research position is an exciting step for our college, as our researchers seek to protect the health of both managed and wild pollinators and thus improve the sustainability of agriculture in Canada and around the world,” added Gillian.

The new presidency was created through a 5-year $ 750,000 funding commitment from the Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission ($ 250,000), BASF ($ 250,000), SaskCanola ($ 150,000), the British Columbia Blueberry Council ($ 50,000,000) and Gro Manweritosba Canno ($ 50.000000 $).

The research chair is based on the strengths of the college’s existing honeybee health research group, which is based in the WCVM Department of Veterinary Pathology. Head Elemir Simko, DVM, DVSc, DACVP; WCVM was the first veterinary college in North America to create a program to study and teach honey bees in 2015.

“As members of the veterinary profession, we are uniquely prepared to address major issues around pollinator health, while doing so in a way that balances the need for high quality food production with pollinator protection and ecosystem health and biodiversity,” he said. Simko, in the university edition.

The group has expanded its research program over the past 7 years with more than $ 2 million in support of industry and government funding. The group’s research focuses on ecotoxicology, pesticide risk assessment and infectious diseases. The position of the research chair will now allow for the expansion of work in these key areas, while training a new generation of veterinarians, beekeepers, researchers and politicians, according to the university.


WCVM will rent a chair to study the health of pollinators at USask. News release. University of Saskatchewan. June 23, 2022 Accessed June 23, 2022

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