Applied epidemiology, defined as "the application or practice of epidemiology as used to address issues of public or animal health," has been identified as the prime focus of teaching and research at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine on the University of Saskatchewan campus.

The WCVM's Centre for Applied Epidemiology was formed:

  • to showcase applied epidemiologic research
  • to promote learning opportunities here at the University of Saskatchewan.

The main goals of applied epidemiology are:

  • to monitor and describe the distribution of health-related outcomes in populations
  • to study particular risk factors for the development of a health-related outcome
  • to evaluate the effectiveness or impact of an intervention, health program or policy
  • to synthesize results of etiologic studies across disciplines to assess disease causation 
  • to communicate epidemiologic findings effectively to policy makers and the public.

About Us


  • Dr. Tasha Epp, Associate Professor – Zoonoses and Epidemiology, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, WCVM, U of S

Assistant Director

  • Dr. Sarah Parker, Research Associate - LACS, WCVM, U of S

Other Members

  • Dr. John Campbell, Professor - LACS, WCVM U of S
  • Dr. Cheryl Waldner, Professor - LACS, WCVM, U of S
  • Dr. Hugh Townsend, Professor Emeritus - LACS, WCVM, U of S
  • Dr. Tasha Epp, Associate Professor - LACS, WCVM, U of S
  • Dr. Murray Jelinski, Professor - LACS, WCVM, U of S. Alberta Chair in Beef Cattle Health and Production Medicine 
  • Dr. Sheryl Gow, Epidemiologist - Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS)
  • Dr. Joanne Tataryn, Epidemiologist - Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Outbreak Management Division, Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases


Graduate training in epidemiology

Epidemiology-focused training and research studies for graduates, Masters of Veterinary Science (with a clinical residency), Masters of Science, and Doctorates of Philosophy occurs at the WCVM through various faculty in the LACS department. Projects cover a wide range of topics including animal health, public health and wildlife/environmental health.

The University of Saskatchewan is preparing to take bold new steps in the study and control of disease in animal health with a new Master of Science degree program in field epidemiology.

The Centre offers a select number of workshops every year. These workshops focus on applied aspects of research, such as data management, diagnostic testing and outbreak investigation.


Ongoing research

Members of the WCVM Centre for Applied Epidemiology have ongoing research projects: 

New research projects

Companion Animal Surveillance Initiative for the Prairie Provinces

Historically, animals have been great sentinels for assessing human health risks, serving as accessible populations to monitor altered risk levels due to changing environmental drivers. While it is estimated that 50 to 60 per cent of urban households in Canada contain at least one companion animal, there is currently no active surveillance of this population.

This project will develop and establish a Companion Animal Surveillance Initiative (starting with dogs) within the Prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, focusing on identifying and disseminating information to both animal and public health stakeholders.

The first steps in the project are underway, which includes identifying and narrowing down to only a few important zoonotic and canine specific pathogens of interest to follow in the first years of the project. The first portion of the project has been completed and accepted for publication in the Canadian Veterinary Journal. 

Click the buttons below to view the appendices that list all pathogens identified in dogs. The documents specifically note zoonotic pathogens that have occurred in Canada and where the dog plays a role in understanding disease occurrence. Through a ranking process, only a few pathogens on these lists will be selected to be part of Companion Animal Surveillance in the Prairies.


Disease Investigation Unit (DIU)

The Disease Investigation Unit (DIU) is a long-established unit within the Large Animal Clinical Sciences (LACS) department. The DIU supports private veterinary practitioners in addressing complex and unusual animal health situations. It also enables the livestock industry to respond early and to reduce the economic impact of possible foreign animal disease incursions, emerging livestock disease or food safety crises.


WCVM Centre for Epidemiology Webinar Series | 2020-21

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and the college's Centre for Applied Epidemiology are hosting a series of free public webinars from October 2020 to April 2021.

The webinar series replaces the Canadian Association of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (CAVEPM) annual conference that had to be cancelled earlier this year. In lieu of the in-person conference, the Centre for Applied Epidemiology is hosting invited speakers for online webinar presentations. 

Registration is required for these webinars. You can register for the series, selecting which events you would like to attend. Registration will be through the WebEx Events service hosted by the University of Saskatchewan. Phone-in options are not available; you will need to connect through your computer or mobile device (WebEx app).

Time and date: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. CST, July 28, 2020

  • Presenter: Dr. Petra Muellner, EPI-interactive
  • Topic: "Connecting data with people: from epidemiology to interfaces and beyond."

Time and date: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Local Time in Saskatoon (10 a.m. CST or MDT; Local Time; GMT - 6)

  • Presenter: Dr. Nick Ogden, senior research scientist and director of Public Health Risk Sciences Division, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Topic: "Surveillance for vector-borne diseases — our needs in a changing climate."
  • Click here to view event notice

Registration for each webinar will be limited. Future webinars will be scheduled on Wednesdays through to the end of April 2021. 

Time and date: 9 a.m. Local Time in Saskaton (9 a.m. CST or MDT; Local Time; GMT - 6)

  • Presenter: Dr. Arjan Stegeman, professor, veterinary medicine, Utrecht University
  • Topic: "COVID-19 in farmed minks in the Netherlands."
  • Click here to view event notice

Registration for each webinar will be limited. Future webinars will be scheduled on Wednesdays through to the end of April 2021. 

Date and time: 10 a.m. Local Time in Saskatoon

  • Presenter: Dr. Phil Gauger, associate professor, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Iowa State University
  • Topic: "History, epidemiology and surveillance of influenza A virus in swine in the United States."
  • Click here to view event notice

Registration for each webinar will be limited. Future webinars will be scheduled on Wednesdays through to the end of April 2021. 

Contact Us

Centre for Applied Epidemiology
Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
52 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK   S7N 5B4

Dr. Tasha Epp, Director
Sarah Parker, Assistant Director