Lauren Van Patter

Lauren Van Patter head shot

Assistant Professor
 Office: OVC ACC 2147
 Personal Website



I’m the Kim & Stu Lang Professor in Community and Shelter Medicine. I work with the Community Healthcare Partnerships Program (CHPP) to investigate barriers and improve access to healthcare for animals in underserved and placed-at-risk communities.

I’m a settler scholar living and working on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations, and within the ancestral lands of the Anishinnabe, Hodinöhsö:ni’, and Attawandaron peoples. I’m an interdisciplinary animal studies scholar and my research focuses most broadly on questions of ‘living well’ in multispecies communities. My work is interdisciplinary and holistic, pairing a mixed-methods toolkit with cultural and critical theory, particularly drawing on feminist, posthuman, and decolonial intellectual traditions.

After completing a BSC in Environmental Sciences from the University of Guelph, I undertook an MA in Geography where my thesis explored community responses to, and the lives of, feral cats, generating strategies for mitigating competing values and management preferences. I completed my PhD in Geography from Queen's University, where my thesis engaged wildlife managers, local residents, and community scientists to understand human-coyote conflicts and paths to coexisting with urban animals.

As an action-oriented scholar, I have worked collaboratively with veterinarians, wildlife practitioners, biologists, philosophers, and political theorists to produce outputs which extend dialogues around policy and practice for a range of domestic and wild species. In recent collaborations, I have worked with members of the Lives of Animals Research Group, the Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law, and Ethics (APPLE) Research Cluster at Queen’s University, Coyote Watch Canada, and the Vital Geographies research group in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Research Interests

My research program has two primary areas of focus:

A) Enhancing wellbeing in more-than-human communities through veterinary care access

The research program prioritizes mixed-methods and qualitative approaches to questions of One Health, lived experience of the human-animal bond, and multispecies justice. It mobilizes community-engaged, decolonial methodologies to address questions such as:

  • How are more-than-human health, wellbeing, and care understood by diverse communities?
  • How does marginalization operate across species lines, and what are the implications for wellbeing?
  • How can we most effectively enhance and promote multispecies health equity?

B) Social justice pedagogies in veterinary training

The aims of this research are to assess pedagogical opportunities and best practices in terms of:

  • Addressing implicit bias, improving cultural humility, and understanding social inequity;
  • Experiential learning and community engagement in veterinary curricula.


Selected Publications

Turnbull, J. J. & Van Patter, L. (Forthcoming). Thinking-together through ethical moments in multispecies fieldwork: Dialoguing visibility, expertise, and worlding. ACME.

Van Patter, L., Turnbull, J. J., & Dodsworth, J. (Forthcoming). Do-It-Together: ‘More-than-human collaborations’ for hacking the Anthropocene. Feral Feminisms.

Hovorka, A. J., McCubbin, S., & Van Patter, L. (Eds.). (2021). A Research Agenda for Animal Geographies. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Van Patter, L. (2021). Individual animal geographies for the more-than-human city: Storying synanthropy and cynanthropy with urban coyotes. Environment and Planning E: Nature & Space. DOI: 10.1177/25148486211049441. Access here

McCubbin, S., & Van Patter, L. (2020). Trophy Hunters & Crazy Cat Ladies: Exploring cats and conservation in North America and Southern Africa through intersectionality. Gender, Place & Culture

Sampson, L., & Van Patter, L. (2020). Advancing Best Practices for aversion conditioning (humane hazing) to mitigate human-coyote conflict in urban areas. Human-Wildlife Interactions, 14(2), 166–183. Access here

Van Patter, L. & Sampson, L. (2020). Working towards human-coyote coexistence in cities. The Conversation. Access here

Van Patter, L., & Blattner, C. (2020). Advancing Ethical Principles for Non-Invasive, Respectful Research with Animal Participants. Society & Animals, 28(2), 171-190Access here

Van Patter, L., Flockhart, T., Coe, J., Berke, O., Goller, R., Hovorka, A. J., & Bateman, S. (2019a). Perceptions of community cats and preferences for their management in Guelph, Ontario I: A quantitative analysis. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 60(1), 41-47. Access here

Van Patter, L., Flockhart, T., Coe, J., Berke, O., Goller, R., Hovorka, A. J., & Bateman, S. (2019b). Perceptions of community cats and preferences for their management in Guelph, Ontario II: A qualitative analysis. Canadian Veterinary Journal60(1), 48-54. Access here

Van Patter, L., & Hovorka, A. J. (2018). ‘Of place’ or ‘of people’: Exploring the animal spaces and beastly places of feral cats in southern Ontario. Social & Cultural Geography, 19(2), 275-295.

Hovorka, A. J., & Van Patter, L. (2017). The Lives of Domestic Dogs (Canis Africanis) in Botswana. Pula: Botswana Journal of African Studies, 31(1), 53-64.