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Dr. Kayley McCubbin

Research Veterinarian
University of Calgary
Dre. Kayley McCubbin
Dre. Kayley McCubbin
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway
School Subject

Unlike veterinarians who take care of pets, I do research to help improve the health of dairy cattle.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Halifax, Nova Scotia

I now live in: Canmore, Alberta

I completed my training/education at: 

PhD Candidate – Veterinary Medical Sciences (Ongoing) - University of Calgary, Department of Production Animal Health (Calgary, Alberta)

MSc of One Health (Infectious Diseases) -The Royal Veterinary College & The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (London, England)

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)

Bachelor of Science, Biology Major - Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

What I do at work

I am the Alberta project manager for the Canadian Dairy Network for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Resistance. This means that I am often on dairy farms. At other times I am organizing work related to this program by collecting samples or dealing with the data once it is collected. I was in charge of initiating the program in Alberta. I also worked to get dairy producers engaged. I spent a lot of time problem solving so we could continue the field work safely during the pandemic.

We coordinate with a team of researchers and fieldworkers across Canada. We meet to discuss the program and share results. I also do a lot of work for One Health at the University of Calgary. This includes teaching and organizing additional educational opportunities for students, young professionals, and the public. I am also finishing my own PhD research. This involves a lot of data analysis and writing to publish my results. I wear many hats in my current role and get to experience a lot of different aspects of academic and public health work.

My career path is

I always knew I wanted to be a veterinarian and help animals. I just did not expect to end up doing what I am doing now in veterinary medicine. I learned early on in vet school that I was interested in things other than clinical medicine. I wanted to continue my education to see where those other opportunities would take me. I have been fortunate enough to have very supportive mentors over the years. These people have helped me get to where I am and understand what work I am interested in doing. This led me to my current position at the University of Calgary. Here I am always adapting to new projects and all the interesting things that pop up.

I am motivated by

I really enjoy making changes that will improve human and animal health. I work with the dairy industry to ensure the animals are healthy, and it continues to be sustainable for producers. I also work with the Public Health Agency of Canada to protect the health of Canadians. I help officials understand what needs to be put in place in the future as the bacteria change.

I get to work on a variety of projects and contribute to lasting changes. I also get to provide educational opportunities to a variety of audiences. I get to teach people about how the health of different species and the environment are connected. By sharing these lessons, I get to help people view the world they live in differently.

How I affect peoples’ lives

I help understand how bacteria respond to antibiotics. This helps us to make sure our antibiotics will remain effective to treat humans and animals in coming years.

Outside of work I

Outside of work, I enjoy skiing, softball, cooking, and going to the park with my dog. I lead a Trainee Chapter for One Health at UCalgary.

My advice to others

Try to volunteer and get experience in the field, to try out many things and see what you enjoy doing.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Drama
  • Science
  • Math
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Learned best “by doing”

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