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Hello, I'm Nithucha Chandran.
Welcome to my online portfolio. Below, you can find experiences I have gathered over the years as a student at the University of Guelph, Durham College and Algonquin College. You will also find skills and certifications I have gained in education, research, and animal studies, which I hope to bring to your team.
Career Goals
Zoologist →
My goals in this career include becoming a crucial and leading member of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, where I can work alongside well-known zoologists. I hope to secure a position that allows me to observe animals in wildlife and expand my knowledge of their behaviour.
Researcher →

I aim to be a part of university or college research labs that focus on understanding the canine heart in different breeds, along with its associated diseases or malfunctions. This is inspired by my own dog, Oliver, who has mitral valve disease and has been living an amazing life due to advancements in medicine, but still suffers in some ways every day.

I also hope to improve the quality of life for livestock animals, by understanding which forms of nutrients and enrichment they would interact with the most. During my masters project, I have worked closely with laying hens to see which pecking blocks they would use the most, and which locations in enriched cages. For more information go to

Animal Welfare Scientist →
As someone who is working in the field of animal welfare and continuing to learn about it everyday, I hope that I could take on the role as an animal welfare assessor, auditor, or inspector in various zoos, aquariums, farms, or animal research labs. Not only does this allow me to use my background in animal welfare, but regulatory affairs in terms of animal quality assurance. I also aspire to be a part of Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) or Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA).
Professor →
My overall goal is to use the knowledge and work experience gained, and share it with the younger generation in a university or college lecture hall. The journey ahead is long, but I hope to obtain the experience needed to get admitted into higher education to receive a PhD or Post-Doctoral fellowship in an animal research field of study.
Technological & Statistical →
  • Microsoft Suite
  • R Programming
  • SAS Programming
  • Data Analytics & Management
  • Descriptive & Inferential Statistics
Animal Handling →
  • Live Animals
    • American Guinea Pig (C. porcellus)
    • Black Ghost Knifefish (A. albifrons)
    • Mangrove Killifish (K. marmoratus)
    • Goldfish (C. auratus)
    • Rainbow Trout (O. mykiss)
    • Rusty Crayfish (O. rusticus)
    • Common Fruit Fly (D. melanogaster)
    • European Green Crab (C. maenas)
    • American Giant Millipede (N. americanus)
    • Giant Carpet Anemone (S. gigantea)
    • Giant African Snail (A. fulica)
    • Forbes Sea Star (A. forbesi)
    • Rock Barnacle (S. balanoides)
    • Common Periwinkle (L. littorea)
    • Blue Mussel (M. edulis)
    • Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp (L. amboinensis)
    • Laying Hen (G. domesticus)
    • Various Tarantulas
    • Large, Medium, and Small Dog Breeds
  • Preserved & Dissected
    • Moon Jelly (A. aurita)
    • Common Earthworm (L. terrestris)
    • Common Starfish (A. rubens)
    • Rusty Crayfish (O. rusticus)
    • Rainbow Trout (O. mykiss)
    • Pacific Purple Sea Urchin (S. purpuratus)
    • Various Tarantulas
    • Frogs
    • Sea Cucumbers
    • Laying Hen (G. domesticus)
Laboratory →
  • Basic Lab Safety
  • Biohazard Aware
  • Dissection Tools
  • Compound & Dissection Microscope
  • Autoclave
  • Chemical Fume Hood
  • Centrifuge
  • Gel Electrophoresis (Polymerase Chain Reaction)
  • Blood Collection & Sampling (Blood Smear & Staining)
  • Urinalysis
  • Stool Sampling (Parasite Identification)
  • Ear Cytology
Regulatory Affairs (Sciences) Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Sep 2021 - Apr 2022
Algonquin College
Animal Care Ontario College Certificate
Jan - Aug 2021
Durham College
Professional Certificate in Animal Breeding & Genetics
Dec 2020
Wageningen University & Research (WageningenX)
Certificate in Digital Agriculture
Oct 2020
World Bank Group (WBGx)
Honours Bachelor of Science (Zoology & French Studies)
Sep 2015 - Apr 2020
University of Guelph
International Baccalaureate
Jan 2011 - Jun 2015
Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy
Volunteer Experience
Marketing & Communications Volunteer
May 2021 - Present
Humane Canada
  • Utilized MailChimp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach out to various animal and nature based organizations, inviting them to major welfare and violence link coalition events
  • Researched information on organizations and statistics related to animal welfare in Canada
  • Compiled data on Google Sheets, scheduled postings through Hootsuite, effectively used Asana to track progress and Microsoft Teams to communicate with team members
Peer Note Taker
Jan 2021 - Apr 2021
Durham College
  • Provided notes to students in Animal Restraint and Handling, Animal Legislation and Ethics, and Animal Behaviour
  • Transcribed instructors during online lectures and created diagrams to deepen understanding of course material
Wellness Education & Promotion Centre Volunteer
Sep 2019 - Mar 2020
University of Guelph
  • Supported students through large-scale health and wellness programs offered by Wellness Services
  • Increased engagement through posters, games and by offering accessible health products
  • Set-up work spaces for nurses during mass STI testing events and flu clinic appointments
  • Gained skills in client/patient interaction, confidentiality, administration and advertising
International Student Experience Volunteer
Aug 2019 - Mar 2020
University of Guelph
  • Paired up with a new incoming international student in the LINK program to help them transition into Canadian and Guelph customs and integrate into the community while being a reliable means of support
  • Provided constructive feedback to students through the Conversation Partners program to improve their spoken English and make them feel more comfortable using the language
  • Assisted with the smooth transportation of new international students from the airport to their university residences and provided tours of the city via the START Orientation program
Co-President, Tamil Students Association
Apr 2019 - Mar 2020
University of Guelph
  • Pitched for funding from the University Interhall Council which resulted in coverage for all event expenses
  • Delegated various tasks to executive members to organize cultural festivities
  • Composed professional emails to arrange meetings and collaborate with other clubs
  • Managed club finances, social media and accreditation
Student Accessibility Services Note Taker
Sep 2019 - Dec 2019
University of Guelph
  • Provided notes to students in BIOL4150 (Wildlife Conservation and Management) who have a disability that limits their ability to efficiently take notes in class
  • Took detailed notes integrating lecture content, posted notes and technical explanations of R code onto an online portal
  • Ensured that notes were clear and comprehensible to all students
Orientation Week Team Leader
Aug 2019 - Sep 2019
University of Guelph
  • Worked with the Orientation Team to identify which shifts, events, or activities my team could assist with during Orientation Week
  • Established expectations, answered questions and sent out reminders about responsibilities
  • Tracked participation and engagement levels, making sure to prevent overexertion among team members (ex. when lifting heavy objects into rooms, staying out in the sun too long, etc.)
Digital Media Coordinator, Tamil Students Association
Oct 2018 - Mar 2019
University of Guelph
  • Designed a cultural event banner using Pixelmator Pro that was advertised across campus via digital screens
  • Created several digital posters that were published on Facebook and Instagram to promote upcoming club events
  • Increased club membership by photographing activity during events and devising creative captions for social media posts
Teaching Experience
Animal Labs Volunteer
Jan 2018 - Mar 2020
University of Guelph
  • Prepared equipment and specimens for invertebrate, animal physiology and developmental biology courses (ZOO 2700/3700, 3610/3630, 3050, 4170)
  • Responded competently to students' questions about course material and provided helpful advice to increase their performance on exams
  • Transported and handled live animals (fish, guinea pigs, aquatic invertebrates, insects, snakes, etc.) and explained proper handling methods to students
  • Troubleshooted advanced lab equipment such as microscopes and autoclaves, following lab protocol while being mindful of user safety
Book Club Facilitator, Gryphons Read
Sep 2019 - Oct 2019
University of Guelph
  • Facilitated small group discussions for first-year students by encouraging active participation, respectfulness and open-mindedness
  • Addressed sensitive topics in the book including violence, discrimination and substance-abuse in Indigenous communities
  • Raised awareness about minority populations existing in Canada today
Peer Mentor
Sep 2018 - Apr 2019
College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Worked one-on-one with mentees to help them build a professional network and enhance their communication skills
  • Presented mentees with a list of relevant on-campus resources and ways to get involved in extracurriculars
  • Assisted one mentee with finding work opportunities, which led to them being hired
  • Provided insight on what to expect in an undergraduate science major as well as tips on being successful in first year exams
Research Experience
Mangrove Killifish Lab Volunteer
Sep 2019 - Mar 2020
Wright Lab, University of Guelph
  • Prevented cross-contamination of diseases between live fish injected with different strains of viruses when cleaning and changing their water containers
  • Removed embryos and dead fish from containers with living fish
  • Kept a detailed record of all fish activity and monitored egg hatching
  • Maintained a healthy environment for fish by ensuring water temperatures and salinity met standard criteria
Professional Experience
March 2022 - Present
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
  • Provided educational lessons on aquatic wildlife, including information on their physiology, nutrition, and environments to guests
  • Presented dive shows about the lifestyle of various species of stingrays and sharks while monitoring the diver's activity in the water for safety reasons
  • Facilitated scientific based birthday parties by engaging children in experiments related to aquatic animals, science and climate change
Vet Clinic Assistant
May 2018 - Aug 2018 | Jan 2022 - present
Forestbrook Pet Hospital
  • Demonstrated strong knowledge of AviMark for creating medication prescriptions, booking appointments and printing documents
  • Assisted in the restraint and handling of cats and dogs for blood withdrawals, vaccine injections and ear cleaning
Honours & Awards
President's Honour Roll
Oct 2021
Durham College
Highest Ranking Graduate
Oct 2021
Durham College
Dean's Honours List
Fall 2018
University of Guelph
Dean's Honours List
Summer 2018
University of Guelph
Ontario Scholar
Jun 2015
Ontario Ministry of Education
Outstanding Leadership - Breakout Award
2014 - 2015
York Secondary Catholic Presidents' Council
Autism and Sensory Awareness Training
Apr 2022
IBCCES University
Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Training
March 2022
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Workers Health and Safety Awareness Training
March 2022
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Training
March 2022
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Training
March 2022
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Standard First Aid & CPR-C
Apr 2021
Canadian Red Cross
Personal Finance Essentials
Oct 2020
McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management
Principles of Healthy Child Development (PHCD)
Aug 2014
Animal Care Philosophy

Animals have always had a special place in my heart. I believe as stewards of the planet, we should take every opportunity given to protect animals and ensure that they can enjoy their life here - either in the wild or with their human/animal companions. While it is still argued today that animals are lower beings than us, I believe we should try to see them as equals as much as possible and treat them with kindness, dignity and respect. We give greater importance to vertebrates and "higher" primates, but I believe while there is no harm in using certain species of invertebrates with simple nervous systems to further our knowledge of science, they should still be treated carefully and should not face any form of abuse or unnecessary handling/manipulation. However, I do not tolerate any form of neglect (ex. cosmetic testing/products, abuse, poaching, etc.) towards any animal.

My ethical views includes taking the "ethic of care", animal welfare and animal rights approach. I apply animal rights over welfare wherever reasonably possible and welfare for all other cases. My ethic of care approach is always applied, where I try to create a personal relationship with animals and people, when I can. I would not interfere with wildlife or those deemed as "exotic" animals rather than "domestic" animals - I would help them if they are in danger but leave them to thrive in their natural habitat (if not at risk due to climate change). I would never hesitate to step in and help an animal who needs it or stand up to those who cause harm to animals.

  • English - Native
  • French - Proficient
  • Tamil - Proficient
Please contact me directly if references are required. Thank you!
Zoology & French (HBSc.) - University of Guelph