Kelsey Spence

Kelsey Spence Picture

Assistant Professor

BSc, PhD
 Office: Stewart Bldg. 2533
 519-824-4120 Ext. 54746


Kelsey Spence is an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology and One Health in the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She received her BSc from Trent University in 2014 and PhD from the University of Guelph in 2017. Prior to returning to OVC, she held positions as a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Veterinary College in London, England, and as a mathematical modeller at the Public Health Agency of Canada.​

Research Interests

Dr. Spence's research program explores the use of biosecurity and infection control practices among animal and human populations. She is particularly interested in how disease dynamics and the use of biosecurity measures are influenced by socio-cultural factors. She uses epidemiological, sociological, and mathematical approaches to identify and communicate optimal risk reduction strategies to ultimately improve disease preparedness.

Research areas: Biosecurity; infectious disease epidemiology; mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative); One Health; knowledge exchange

Prospective students: Prospective graduate students whose research interests align with mine should contact me early to discuss available opportunities. If you are interested in working with me, please contact me via email and include an unofficial transcript, academic CV, and a description of your research interests.

Current Graduate Students

  • Peggy Pritchard - PhD
  • Juliet Germann - PhD
  • Natassia - Lambrou - MSc
  • Sarah Makepeace - MSc


POPM*6200*01 - Epidemiology I (Graduate)

POPM*3240*01 - Epidemiology (Undergraduate)

Selected Publications

Gabriele-Rivet V, Spence KL, Ogden NH, Fazil A, Turgeon P, Otten A, Waddell LA, Ng V. (2021). Modelling the impact of age-stratified public health measures on SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Canada. Royal Society Open Science 8:210834.

Spence KL, Rosanowski SM, Slater J, Cardwell JM. (2021). Challenges to exotic disease preparedness in Great Britain: the frontline veterinarian’s perspective. Equine Veterinary Journal 00:1-11.

Spence KL, Cardwell JM, Slater J, Rosanowski SM. (2019). Preliminary insight into horse owners’ perceptions of, and attitudes towards, exotic disease in the United Kingdom. BMC Veterinary Research 15(338).

Spence KL, Slater J, Rosanowski SM, Cardwell JM. (2019). A cross-sectional study of horse owners’ awareness and perceived risk of exotic diseases in the United Kingdom. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 169: 104706.

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, Greer AL. (2019). Descriptive analysis of horse movement networks during the 2015 equestrian season in Ontario, Canada. PLOS One 14(7): e0219771.

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, Greer AL. (2018). A longitudinal study describing horse demographics and movements during a competition season in Ontario, Canada. Canadian Veterinary Journal. 59(7):783–790.

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, Greer AL. (2018). Using a computer simulation model to examine the impact of biosecurity measures during a facility-level outbreak of equine influenza. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research 82(2):89–96.

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, Greer AL. (2018). Estimating the potential for disease spread in horses associated with an equestrian show in Ontario, Canada using an agent-based model. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 151:21–28.

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, Greer AL. (2017). Descriptive and network analyses of the equine contact network at an equestrian show in Ontario, Canada and its implications for disease spread. BMC Veterinary Research 13(191).

Greer AL, Spence KL, Gardner E. (2017). Understanding the early dynamics of the 2014 porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) outbreak in Ontario using the Incidence Decay and Exponential Adjustment (IDEA) model. BMC Veterinary Research 13(8).

Search PubMed for additional publications by Dr. Spence.