Catherine Soos

Research Scientist - Research in wildlife health and disease ecology

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment Canada’s mandate to ensure wildlife is conserved and protected

  • Development, validation, and use of novel biomarkers to investigate impacts of large-scale environmental changes (e.g., climate change, oil sands development) on wildlife health
  • Investigation of relationships among environmental stressors (e.g., contaminants, climate) and stress responses in wildlife, and their impacts on individuals and populations
  • Investigation of ecological determinants, risk factors, and impacts of emerging infectious diseases of migratory birds
  • Research on origins, distribution, and movement of emerging infectious diseases of importance to wildlife and conservation as well as to human and domestic animal health

Professional activities / interests

Environment Canada lead coordinator for Canada’s Inter-Agency Wild Bird Influenza Survey

International capacity building for wildlife disease surveillance in Ecuador

Reviewer of manuscripts submitted to numerous scientific journals (e.g., Journal of Wildlife Diseases, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, EcoHealth, The Auk, etc.), reports (e.g., Ecosystem Status and Trends Report, Arctic Biodiversity Assessment – Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna), and for national and international granting agencies (e.g., NSERC, ISTC)

Invited co-chair or speaker for numerous international conferences (e.g., Wildlife Disease Association, Asia-Pacific Conference on Wildlife Borne Diseases, etc.)

Active member of Wildlife Disease Association, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, The Wildlife Society, Canadian Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians, and Northern Studies Training Program committee, University of Saskatchewan.

Education and awards

Environment Canada Citation of Excellence, for Teamwork, Partnering and Collaboration, in recognition of outstanding collaboration on the Integrated Environmental Oil Sands Monitoring Plan, 2012

Order of Scientific Merit from the citizens of Galápagos for the work of the University of Saint Louis - Saint Louis Zoo partnership to study avian disease threats to the Galápagos Islands (Collective Award to research team, appointed by the Municipal Government of Santa Cruz, Galápagos, Ecuador), 2008

PhD, Department of Veterinary Pathology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 2004

DVM, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 1997

BSc (Hons.), Biology, Science College, Concordia University, 1992

Key publications

Legagneux, P., L.L. Berzins, M. Forbes, N.J. Harms, H. Hennin, S. Bourgeon, H.G. Gilchrist, J. Bêty, C. Soos, O. Love, J. Foster, S. Descamps, and G. Burness. 2014. No selection on immunological markers in response to a highly virulent pathogen in an Arctic breeding bird. Evolutionary Applications, in press.

Olson, S.H., E.J. Parmley, C. Soos, M. Gilbert, N. Latorre-Margalef, J. Hall, P.M. Hansbro, F.A. Leighton, V. Munster, and D.O. Joly. 2014. Surveillance gaps and biodiversity of influenza A subtypes in wild birds. PLOS One, 9(3): e90826.

Legagneux, P., N.J. Harms, G. Gauthier, O. Chastel, H.G. Gilchrist, G. Bortolotti, J. Bety, and C. Soos. 2013. Does feather corticosterone reflect individual quality or external stress in arctic-nesting migratory birds? PLOS One, 8(12):e82644.

Fairhurst, G.D., T.A. Marchant, C. Soos, K.L. Machin, and R.G. Clark. 2013. Experimental relationships between levels of corticosterone in plasma and feathers in a free-living bird. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216:4071-4081.

Rubin, J.E., N.J. Harms, C. Fernando, C. Soos, S.E. Detmer, J.C.S. Harding, and J.E. Hill. 2013. Isolation and characterization of Brachyspira spp. including "Brachyspira hampsonii" from lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) in the Canadian arctic. Microbial Ecology, 66(4):813-22.

Chen, C.C., E. Jenkins, T. Epp, C. Waldner, P.S. Curry, and C. Soos. 2013. Climate change and West Nile virus in a highly endemic region of North America. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10:3052-3071.

Chen, C.C., T. Epp, E. Jenkins, C. Waldner, P.S. Curry, and C. Soos. 2013. Modeling monthly variation of Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) abundance and West Nile virus infection rate in the Canadian Prairies. Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10:3033-3051.

Hénaux, V., J. Parmley, C. Soos, and M. Samuel. 2013. Estimating transmission of avian influenza in wild birds from incomplete epizootic data: implications for surveillance and disease spread. Journal of Applied Ecology, 50:223-231.

Chen, C.C., T. Epp, E. Jenkins, C. Waldner, P.S. Curry, and C. Soos. 2012. Predicting weekly variation of Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) West Nile Virus Infection in a newly endemic region, the Canadian Prairies, Journal of Medical Entomology, 49(5):1144-1153.

Soos, C., E.J. Parmley, K. McAloney, B. Pollard, E. Jenkins, F. Kibenge, and F.A. Leighton. 2012. Bait trapping linked to higher avian influenza virus detection in wild ducks, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 48(2):444-448.

Buttler, E.I., H.G. Gilchrist, S. Descamps, M.R. Forbes, and C. Soos. 2011. Handling stress lowers survival and delays reproduction of female common eiders during avian cholera outbreaks, Journal of Wildlife Management, 75(2):283–288.

Parmley, E.J., C. Soos, A. Breault, M. Fortin, F. Kibenge, R. King, K. McAloney, J. Pasick, S.P. Pryor, J. Robinson, J. Rodrigue, E. Jenkins, and F.A. Leighton. 2011. Detection of avian influenza in wild ducks from Canada: a comparison of two sampling methods, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 47(2):466-470.

Pasick, J., Y. Berhane, H. Kehler, T. Hisanaga, J. Robinson, D. Ojkic, F. Kibenge, M. Fortin, R. King, A. Hamel, D. Spiro, J. Parmley, C. Soos, E. Jenkins, A. Breault, D. Caswell, C. Davies, J. Rodrigue, K. McAloney, and F. Leighton. 2010. Survey of Influenza A Viruses Circulating in Wild Birds in Canada 2005 to 2007. Avian Diseases, 54:440-445.

Research facility

115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X4


Adjunct Professor, Department of Veterinary Pathology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Research Associate, Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Supervise / manage a research team composed of technicians, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, undergraduate/summer students (currently 3 technicians, 2 PhD, 1 MSc, 3 PDFs, 1 research associate, and 3 undergraduate/international exchange students)