Dr. Elsa Vasseur
Dr. Elsa Vasseur is the Chairholder of the NSERC/Novalait/Dairy Farmers of Canada/Valacta Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle. She received both her B.Sc. and her first M.Sc. in Rural Development from the Institut Supérieur d'Agriculture (ISA) in Lille, France before going to AgroParisTech to get a second M.Sc. in Animal Behaviour in 2005. Elsa then came to Canada to pursue a Ph.D. in Animal Science at Université Laval, where her research focused on on-farm assessment tools for the welfare of young dairy animals. After obtaining her Ph.D. in 2009, Elsa received an NSERC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship where she worked with some of Canada’s leading researchers in dairy cattle welfare at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and the University of British Columbia. After her fellowship, Elsa moved to the University of Guelph’s Organic Dairy Research Centre in Alfred, ON, where she supervised a number of graduate students on a variety of research projects. In January 2016, Elsa came to McGill University as an Assistant Professor and Industrial Research Chairholder.
Vasseur’s academic background is multidisciplinary and areas of expertise are plural i) applied animal behavior science (ethology) for a better understanding of animal needs, ii) the development of outcome measures of welfare for animals in confinement and the links in between those outcomes and the risk factors in housing and management, and iii) study of knowledge and technology transfer methods to encourage adoption of new practices by farmers. Her international interests and experience include a CIDA project in the DR Congo looking at reducing poverty through renewable charcoal-based agroforestry systems; and a most recent mission by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to develop a framework for the cooperation on livestock between Québec Gv’t and FAO in West Africa (Dakar, Sénégal November 2017).