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  • Stewart Bldg. 2501

Carol Tinga

PhD Candidate (Epidemiology), MSc (Population Medicine), Honours BA (Studio Art), Honours BSc (Human Biology)


I have been interested in animals, the arts, and science for my whole life. My formal education began with a specialized honours BSc in human biology with a biomedical science minor from the University of Guelph. After working for several years and completing communication skills courses at Conestoga College (Waterloo, ON), I returned for an MSc in population medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). The MSc research resulted in a paper, a “Survey of veterinary technical and professional skills in students and recent graduates of a veterinary college,” being published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. After graduation, I worked as an epidemiologist and had the opportunity to author numerous reports, design studies, make presentations, publish scientific papers, facilitate workshops, and attend national and international meetings. During this time I also completed an honours BA in studio arts where I focused on painting and European art history. Artistic interests fueled many trips to Europe where I enthusiastically tracked down creations that I had studied. Before returning to OVC’s Department of Population Medicine for the PhD program in epidemiology, I worked as a professional artist (often with animal subjects) and assisted faculty and students with writing projects. I serve as a General Director for Population Medicine on the university's Graduate Student Association and enjoy participating in the lively weekly gatherings of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. I participate in community life in Guelph and particularly enjoy volunteering at the annual Hillside Community Festival. My research is dedicated to Vespa, a lop-eared rabbit who changed my life and inspired the question, what's a good life for a pet rabbit?

Research Interests

Epidemiology studies and non-invasive, experimental interventions exploring risk factors and testing the hypothesis that the human-animal bond can be enhanced via environmental and social enrichments that optimize natural, highly motivated rabbit behaviours and that make rabbits more engaging and satisfying pets.

Key words: pet rabbits, play behaviour, motivation, human-rabbit interactions, environmental enrichment, social enrichment, human-animal bond, animal welfare, owner satisfaction, owner engagement, house rabbit, good life



  • Teaching and Career Development Fellowship awarded in January 2020 to co-create and co-teach (Winter 2021) an experiential-learning course, Bambi and You, Bambi in Stew: Exploring the Human-Animal Connection - UNIV*1200 (Undergraduate), as part of the University of Guelph’s First Year Seminars program

Instructional Skills Development

  • Graduate Student University Teaching Conference, University of Guelph, 2018
  • (3-day) Instructional Skills Workshop, Open Learning, University of Guelph, 2018

University of Guelph Teaching Experience

  • Teaching assistant, Art of Veterinary Medicine III -  VETM*4220 (Undergraduate), Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 2020
  • Guest lecturer, Epidemiology I - POPM*6200 (Graduate), Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 2002
  • Guest lecturer, Population Health (Undergraduate), School of Nursing, McMaster University, 2000 & 2001
  • Short course co-facilitator, Survey Design: A Skill Development Short Course (OVC Faculty & Graduate students) for Directed Studies in Population Medicine - POPM*6950 (Graduate), Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 1999

Professional Experience & Honours

Professional Experience

  • Science Editor & Writing Tutor serving faculty and students at three universities, since 2014
  • Simulated Client, OVC Medical Communications Program and Pet Loss Support Hotline, University of Guelph, since 2013
  • Artist with over 90 exhibitions, commissions and public demonstrations; since 2004
  • Research Analyst & Epidemiologist with broad human and animal health experience: Social & Public Health Services (Hamilton), Public Health Agency of Canada (Guelph), and as a private consultant; since 2000

University of Guelph Honours

  • (3-year) OVC PhD Entrance Scholarship, 2018
  • 39th & 40th annual Juried Art Show Prizes, 6th places, School of Fine Art & Music, 2007 & 2008
  • First Year Visual Studies Prize, School of Fine Art & Music, 2004
  • Ethel Rose Charney Scholarship, OVC, 1999
  • Waltham Fellowship, OVC, 1999
  • University Graduate Scholarship, OVC, 1999