July 28, 2021

UCalgary cattle researcher wins prestigious Merck Veterinary Award

Claire Windeyer works closely with ranchers to keep calves healthy
Claire Windeyer
Claire Windeyer has been recognized with a national award for her work improving the health and welfare of beef calves. Todd Korol

Dr. Claire Windeyer, BSc, DVM, DVSc, associate professor in Production Animal Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM), has won the 2021 Merck Veterinary Award recognizing her significant contributions in advancing the field of food animal health.

“It is a wonderful honour to be added to a list of so many of my most respected colleagues and mentors,” she says. “I’m so grateful to the folks who nominated me, the committee who selected me, and Merck for sponsoring the award. It’s a pretty special thing to realize the work you do is seen as beneficial by your peers.”

Windeyer, who has been with UCVM’s Department of Production Animal Health for a decade, focuses her research on cow-calf health management. Her work includes caring for newborn and pre-weaned calves, the epidemiology of infectious diseases of the pre-weaned calf, and pain and animal welfare.

Windeyer provides practical strategies that veterinarians and beef cattle producers can use to help young calves thrive.

Todd Korol

“Our work focuses on practical strategies that cattle producers and veterinarians can use to continually improve the health and welfare of young beef calves,” she says. “I think it’s really important to work closely with the people who take care of the animals every day and try to help them do the best they can. We strive to combine using real-world data and rigorous scientific methods to produce both high quality, but also practical research results that people can use.”

Since 1985, the Merck Veterinary Award, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, is presented to an outstanding Canadian veterinarian. Since UCVM was established in 2005, five other UCVM faculty members have been recognized with the award—Drs. Karin Orsel, Gordon Atkins, John Kastelic, Herman Barkema and Eugene Janzen.

“When I looked at previous recipients, I was thrilled and more than a little surprised to find myself in their company,” says Windeyer. “I was struck that only three other women have received this award before me, so I feel really grateful to them and the other women who have paved the way in food animal practice and research.”

Dr. John Kastelic, DVM, PhD, department head and professor in Production Animal Health at UCVM, is “thrilled” Windeyer has received the award. “Claire is passionate about improving the health and welfare of beef cattle, with much of her work focused on newborn and pre-weaned calves, a class of animal for which there is much need for research,” he says. “She interacts closely with people in the beef industry and conducts her work under real-world conditions, including private operations and at W.A. Ranches.”

W.A. Ranches at the University of Calgary

W.A. Ranches at the University of Calgary is an ideal location for Windeyer's research on beef calves.

Todd Korol

Windeyer teaches epidemiology, health management, outbreak investigation, and production animal medicine at UCVM. In the graduate program, she teaches advanced beef health management.

“I would not have accomplished half of what I have without the meaningful mentorship I have received at various stages of my career and of course, the amazing students I have had the privilege of supervising,” she says. “I’m also super grateful to my husband, Dr. Bruce Stover, who puts up with me and helps me maintain some balance in life, and to my parents, who have always supported me. I know I’m quite privileged to have had so many amazing opportunities in my life, and for that, I’m so grateful.”