Principal Investigator

Dr Mauricio Seguel. I’m a veterinary pathologist and wildlife scientist interested in the host and environmental factors that impact the ecology, immunology and pathology of wildlife infectious diseases. Since July 2020 I’m an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), University of Guelph. I have worked for several years studying wildlife infectious diseases at Guafo Island, Chilean Patagonia and I collaborate on similar projects in Peru, the USA (California and Georgia) and South Africa. I also provide diagnostic consultation services for zoo and wildlife species and currently contribute to the diagnostic pathology service for the Toronto Zoo and the necropsy service of the department of Pathobiology at OVC.


Dr Carmon Co. I am a veterinarian training as a veterinary anatomic pathologist at the Ontario Veterinary College with special interest in determinants of infectious diseases in wild and exotic animals. Before pursuing a veterinary career, I completed a master’s degree researching equine cord blood stem cells and cartilage tissue engineering. My current research project in the Seguel lab focuses on the effects of helminth infections on cytokine expression in South American Fur seals. 

Dr Diego Perez-Venegas. I’m a marine biologist and PhD. from Chile and I work on the population ecology and health of marine mammals. My current project in collaboration with Seguel lab aims to evaluate the effect of global warming on the ecoimmunology of the fur seals at Guafo Island (Chile) and how mother foraging strategies affect their offspring fitness. As a marine biologist, my passion is the marine ecosystem`s health, and as a researcher, I put all my effort into pursuit of the gaps of knowledge in science and create a new method to evaluate the effects of Anthropocene over pinniped populations.

Violetta Zaitseva. I am a Master in Biomedical Science student and first time Gryphon! I graduated from the University of Ottawa in the spring of 2021 with an Honours in Biomedical Sciences with a Minor in Psychology. My current research project will be focusing on the driving factors of recovery from hookworm induced anemia in South American fur seal pups.

Jared Fischbach. I’m an undergraduate researcher majoring in Bio-Medical Science with an academic interest in pathology, microbiology and immunology. As a recipient of the University of Guelph President’s Scholarship, I am completing my President’s Research Assistantship under the supervision and mentorship of Dr Seguel. My current project focuses on assessing the potential pathogenic role of helminths in wildlife species.

Katherine Wu. I am a third-year science student pursing a major in Bio-Medical sciences with a minor in microbiology. I am interested in how the immune system functions against infectious diseases and at the Seguel Lab I’m working on a harbor porpoise model of immune response against respiratory bacterial and helminth infection

Kamilla Hak-Kovacs. I am a veterinary student at the Ontario Veterinary College, having just completed my second year. I have always had an interest in studying wildlife and disease and I completed my undergraduate degree in biology and zoology. I just recently joined the Seguel lab and am very excited to be involved in the research being done here, focusing on how fur seal pups respond to infectious disease. 

Serena Zhang. I’m an undergraduate student majoring in Bio-medical Sciences with a minor in Zoology. I’m fascinated with the natural world and I am interested in its intersections with pathology and parasitology. Currently, I am a volunteer at Seguel Lab, where I assist and learn more about conducting research under the mentorship of other lab members and Dr. Seguel.

Visiting Scholars

Dr. Nanami Arakawa. I am a recently licensed Japanese veterinarian starting my PhD studies in clinical pathology at Kagoshima University, Japan, where I am researching dolphin nutrition and biomarkers for zoo animals. I am joining the Seguel lab as a visiting international research student for one year. My interests include wildlife disease ecology and the impact of environmental changes on marine mammal health.


Dr Josefina Gutierrez. I’m a wildlife veterinarian and scientist interested in the host factors that impact the transmission and evolution of wildlife infectious diseases. I conducted my Master in Veterinary Sciences thesis under the supervision of Dr Seguel and Dr Claudio Verdugo (Universidad Austral de Chile). Currently, I’m part of the PhD program in ecology and evolution at Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.



Felipe Montalva. I’m a marine biologist interested in the impact of infectious diseases and environmental change on the behavior of wild animals. I conducted my undergraduate thesis with Dr Seguel on the impact of hookworm infection on the swimming ontogeny of fur seal pups. Currently I conduct environmental impact studies for a consulting firm in central Chile.