2014 BBS Leadership Group Shot  

The Leadership Program

Jolanda Verhoef

Jolanda VerhoefUniversiteit Utrecht


Born in the Netherlands, but raised in the western slopes of the Rockies in Alberta, Canada, I developed a keen curiosity in the natural world. Unlike many veterinary students, I have always wanted to be a biologist. After taking a year to travel after high school, I packed my bags and headed to Vancouver Island for my undergraduate degree. I had the marvelous opportunity of working in a forest biology lab for Dr. von Aderkas at the University of Victoria during my undergraduate career, completing my honors project with his guidance. This exposed me to research and academia and fueled my love for science in general. After working in the “real world” for three years at a commercial (conifer) tissue culture lab and a neurology clinic, I decided to return to school. I was always interested in public health, food safety and conservation biology so veterinary school was a natural progression. I am currently in my final year of veterinary school, concentrating on Veterinary Public Health and working on a research project focused on the public health risks of urban wildlife in Calgary, Alberta.


I am a huge fan of outdoor activities and try to get out as often as I can. I enjoy exploring the mountains - hiking, camping, canoeing or skiing. I always bring my camera with me. I also enjoy long distance running, volunteer work, travel and music (and dancing!).

Career Goal:

After graduation from vet school I plan to pursue a residency in (wildlife) pathology. I may combine this with a PhD investigating disease dynamics at the human-wildlife-domestic animal interface. I believe that a disease surveillance system in wildlife will have important impacts on ecosystem and public health. I also enjoy teaching and hope to someday motivate a new crew of enthusiastic students. I look forward to the Cornell program, meeting other motivated people and working in a world class facility.