At the heart of Solvet is a highly skilled team of professionals dedicated to delivering innovation in veterinary pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Merle Olson
Founder, VP Research and Development

Merle has a Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario (UWO). After graduating with his DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981, Merle spent three years in a veterinary practice in Pincher Creek, Alberta. Merle then moved to the University of Calgary for the next 20 years where he published over 200 scientific papers and filed 45 patents.

In 2009, Olson created a partnership with Paul Tulan to establish Alberta Veterinary Labs to market products for use in animal health. They also manufacture human pharmaceutical products through Chief Medical Supplies and together they have developed and manufactured over 40 products for farm animals, pets and people at their facility in Calgary.

Dr. Olson created Solvet to market products through veterinarians. Not only are the products driven by veterinarian requests, practicing veterinarians are providing technical support in the field.

Dr. Denis Nagel
Veterinary Consultant

Dr. Denis Nagel was raised on a small ranch in southern Saskatchewan. After obtaining his DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 1983, he returned to his roots by establishing Nagel and Company Veterinary Services, a large animal practice serving the horses and cattle north of Calgary. In 1990, Denis shifted focus of practice from a fee for service to a herd-orientated, consultative practice.

In 2002, he began to collaborate with Dr. Merle Olson, running over fifty trials evaluating vaccines, bandages, catheters, anti-inflammatory and various other products. In 2013, he sold his practice to internal employees, continuing to provide guidance as an associate. In the years following, he joined the Solvet team as a veterinary consultant. Dr. Nagel still enjoys working on his ranch; he also spends his free time training stock dogs and travelling. He and his wife Annabelle have three grown children starting the path to their own careers. 

Barb Olson
Director of Quality & Regulatory Affairs

Barbara Olson is the Director of Quality & Regulatory Affairs for Alberta Veterinary Laboratories (AVL) / SOLVET. Barbara completed a Bachelor in Sciences at the University of Manitoba followed by a Master of Sciences in Toxicology at the University of Guelph. Deciding to return to Western Canada, Barb then studied for a Doctorate in the Department of Veterinary Physiological Sciences (WCVM University of Saskatchewan) complemented by a Post-Doc at the University of Calgary. While teaching at the University of Calgary in the Department of Biological Sciences, Barbara became involved in regulatory work and as a member of a research group involved in conducting contract and in-house research studies for submission to the FDA and Health Canada on medical devices (catheters, implants), biofilms, drugs and vaccines. Development of AVL/SOLVET led to a career change and move to devote full time efforts to the company. Barb works with a skilled group with both inorganic and organic analytical laboratories ensuring that raw materials and finished products meet the high level of quality demanded for all AVL/SOLVET products. The group has developed a stimulating work environment involving the ongoing effort to coordinate animal research studies in order to register products requested by veterinarians and producers. Barb works with the group to develop drugs for future manufacture, direct contract manufacturing and work with veterinarians to develop quality drugs needed for Canadian producers. Barbara continues to love the opportunity to continue field work as an internal QA monitor participating in research field studies with cattle and horses. When Barb isn’t busy with regulatory work and updating internal systems, she loves to cycle, hike, ski in the mountains, travel, gourmet cook, and train her dog in agility.

Dr. Roger Thomson
Consultant Veterinarian

Roger was born and raised on a farm in Bruce County, Ontario.  He graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc degree in 1970 and went on to graduate from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1975. He worked in a mixed practice in Uxbridge Ontario for two years and in 1977 bought the practice in Kincardine where he remained the sole owner of Kincardine Veterinary Services until 2005.

From 2005 until 2011, Roger was employed as a Technical Services Veterinarian with Wyeth Animal Health and subsequently Pfizer Animal Health. Up until joining the Solvet team in November 2016, Roger consulted on technical issues with several companies including, CEVA , Novometrix , Novartis and Bayer.  Roger sat on the Animal Care Committee for Kingfisher International Inc.. Kingfisher is a veterinary contract research institution providing services and expertise to the animal health industry.

Roger has been involved with international development in Tanzania since 1988. Roger and his wife Cathy continue to support student education at the Ilima Primary School.  For the last ten years, Roger has worked with small holder farmer programs delivered by Veterinarians without Borders-Canada. These summer programs are based on a “train the trainer” model involving veterinary students from the all the veterinary schools in Canada. This summer, Roger and his students will be working with the Isangati Agriculture Development Organization in Mbeya, Tanzania.

Dave Ireland
Marketing and Sales Consultant

Throughout his life, Dave Ireland has always been involved in his family dairy farm. After graduating from the University of Guelph, he worked in purchasing for Interprovincial Co-ops and later joined Pfizer Animal Health. During his 38-year career at Pfizer he held such positions as Director of Sales, Director of Operations, Companion Animal Business Unit Director and Director of Business Opportunities.

Dave draws on his experience at Pfizer Animal Health and Family Farming business to provide guidance to his position at Solvet, helping build their Business Operations and Sales and Marketing programs. 

Dave’s years of experience help bring Solvet’s commitment to “Innovation by Request” to life and aid in marketing the products requested by Veterinarians and Producers.