New Faculty Profile: Amelia MacRae
Amelia MacRae bought her first horse at age 12, using her savings from babysitting jobs. Since that time, she’s had horses most of her life.
“My parents say my first word was ‘horse.’ Horses are incredible animals, and I’ve always been fascinated and drawn to them.”
As a new Animal Welfare Program Lecturer, MacRae is able to share with students her passion and deep respect for animals. She is no stranger to LFS, however, having been a Sessional Lecturer since 2019. She teaches third- and fourth-year applied biology courses on such topics as animals in society, animals and global issues and equine biology, health and welfare. She also teaches first-year science writing.
Originally, MacRae obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria, but after working for a short time, she decided to return to school to obtain the prerequisites for veterinary medicine. She enrolled in UBC’s Land and Food Systems, graduating from the Global Resource Systems program. It was during this period that she met Professor David Fraser, who introduced her to the field of animal welfare.
“It was like a whole other world of animal work opened up for me. I decided then to pivot away from veterinary medicine and instead pursue an MSc in Applied Animal Biology under David’s supervision.”
Her master’s research focused on trying to improve the health outcomes of orphaned seal pups by adjusting their diet and feeding protocols. Her study more than doubled the survival rate of pups undergoing rehabilitation.
Subsequently, MacRae was hired by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre as a Rehabilitation Specialist, working over the next decade with a wide variety of marine mammals.
To further her goals of better understanding animals and improving their welfare, MacRae then completed her doctoral degree, focusing on the identification of non-invasive indicators of pain in seals and social buffering in horses.