Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

Kelsey is a postdoctoral researcher in the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group (VEEPH). Her research integrates a variety of epidemiological approaches to understand the introduction, spread, and control of infectious disease in populations.

Kelsey received her BSc in Forensic Science and Biology from Trent University (Canada) in 2014. She subsequently received her PhD in Epidemiology from the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College (Canada) in 2017. Kelsey's PhD research used network analysis and mathematical modelling to describe the potential for disease spread in the horse population, and to examine the effectiveness of disease prevention and control strategies.

Kelsey joined the RVC as a postdoctoral researcher in September 2017. Her current research, funded by The Alborada Trust, explores horse owners’ awareness, perceptions, and preparedness towards an exotic disease incursion into the UK. The project team includes Dr Jackie Cardwell, Professor Josh Slater, and Dr Sarah Rosanowski (City University of Hong Kong).

Kelsey’s research integrates quantitative and qualitative approaches to understand the risk of infectious disease introduction and spread in populations, and to identify optimal prevention and control strategies. Specific research interests include:

  • Infectious disease dynamics
  • Social network analysis
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Biosecurity and infection control
  • Risk perception
  • Mixed methods

A large component of Kelsey's work includes the translation and communication of research findings to general audiences to support awareness and evidence-based decision making.

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, and Greer AL. (2018). A longitudinal study describing horse demographics and movements during a competiton season in Ontario, Canada. Canadian Veterinary Journal. 59(7):783-790.

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, and Greer AL. (2018). Using a computer simulation model to examine the impact of biosecurity measures during a facility-level outbreak of equine influenza. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. 82(2):89-96. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5914078/pdf/cjvr_02_89.pdf

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, and Greer AL. (2018). Estimating the potential for disease spread in horses associated with an equestrian show in Ontario, Canada using an agent-based model. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 151:21-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.12.013

Spence KL, O’Sullivan TL, Poljak Z, and Greer AL. (2017). Descriptive and network analyses of the equine contact network at an equestrian show in Ontario, Canada and its implications for disease spread. BMC Veterinary Research 13(1):191. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-017-1103-7

Greer AL, Spence KL, and Gardner E. (2017). Understanding the early dynamics of the 2014 porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreak in Ontario using the Incidence Decay and Exponential Adjustment (IDEA) model. BMC Veterinary Research 13(1):8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-016-0922-2

  • EXPLORE

    People: Kelsey Spence, Jackie Cardwell, Josh Slater

    The 'EXotic disease Prevention: Learning from horse Owners to inform Research & Education' (EXPLORE) project aims to improve exotic disease awareness and preparedness within the non-racing horse population.

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