Dear EWDA Student Chapter Members,

We need you, our Student Chapter Members, to elect the new EWDA Student Board!

We are pleased to announce the candidates for the vacant board positions. Please see below a short introduction of the candidates and a link to their application letter. Please send an email to with YES (to vote for the new EWDA Student Board) or NO (to vote against the new EWDA Student Board)! Voting deadline is Friday, September 1st!

We are looking forward to receiving your vote!

Your EWDA Student Board

1. Candidate – Chair

Name: Jessica Magenwirth


Country: Germany

Application letter

2. Candidate – Workshop Coordinator

Name: Eirini Kamenaki


Country: Greece

Application letter

3. Candidate – Communication Officer

Name: Rebecca Berg


Application letter

Rebecca D. Berg, DVM

Phd-Student, Dep. of Plant and Environmental Sciences, UCPH


Hi, my name is Rebecca Dorph Berg. I am a veterinarian and graduated from University of Copenhagen (UCPH) in July 2015. Currently I am working on my Phd on health and diseases in Greenland muskox populations, which is a collaboration between UCPH and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. I focus on infectious diseases (parasitology in particular), disease transmission in the livestock-wildlife interface and food safety. Furthermore, there will be some aspects of the effect of climate change and possible emerging diseases.

I became a member of the WDA and EWDA in 2015 during a NOVA summer course on Nordic Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. With the support of new friends who shared my passion for wildlife, and inspiration from the teachers on the wildlife course I realised, that working with wildlife is not a dead-end or an impossible goal. However, it will undoubtedly take a lot of hard work. Shortly after this, I started working on possible PhD-proposals in my free time.

My first direct contact to the EWDA was at the conference in august 2016. It was a fantastic experience and it further supported me in my belief, that this is the direction I want to go. It was extremely inspiring learning about areas of wildlife research I never had thought existed or was even possible.

In November the same year, I attended the Muskox Health Symposium in Calgary, Canada. Here, it once again stood clear to me how important interdisciplinary work, availability, contact and networking is for the field of Conservation Medicine/One Health/Planetary Health or whatever we want to call this interest and passion for turning the world into a greener and more diverse place.

I would love to be a greater part of the EWDA, and hereby help increasing the interest of, and focus on the extremely important and fascinating work wildlife professionals and students do within wildlife research. As a member of the EWDA-SC board, I will work towards increasing the outreach of the organisation towards students in Europe. As a board, we should make the website more user-friendly and in the end create opportunities for online learning session, webinars, lectures etc.

The upcoming student workshop on One Health should have wildlife as its central focus, and from there look at the One Health perspective. Many other organisations work with One Health, but have wildlife as a side notion, and often with a negative view of wildlife being nothing more than a reservoir for human disease. The WDA/EWDA’s focus on the value of wildlife, and how wildlife health interact with livestock, humans, and environment is what makes the organisation unique, and I believe that we should treasure that!

All the best,




 Eirini Kamenaki, Veterinarian


Dear members of the EWDA Student Chapter,

I am very happy to introduce myself as a new member of the board. I am Eirini Kamenaki, a recent graduate veterinarian. I come from Greece and I work for an animal shelter in the Netherlands. During my studies, I developed an intense interest in wildlife medicine and conservation. To gain more knowledge within this fascinating field, I have got proactively involved in various relevant activities and organisations. Namely I was one of the coordinators of the “Veterinary Students Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Team” of my faculty. I have also volunteered for a number of nongovernmental associations aiming to protect endangered species such as the sea turtle. Furthermore I have completed an externship in a veterinary hospital for exotic pets in Ireland. After my graduation I have worked for an animal sanctuary in rural Thailand and in a few veterinary clinics in Greece and the Netherlands. As a student I had learned about EDWA Student Chapter but I never got the chance to get involved. So I am now very excited to become part of the team and participate in the organisation of the next workshop. I hope my multicultural background will help making this workshop an educative, enriching and unforgettable experience for all participants. I believe it will be a great chance for everyone to nurture our passion for wildlife and expand our professional horizons.

Jessica Magenwirth, Veterinarian MPH


Since graduating from veterinary school in Berlin in 2014 I have been living and working in North America, East Africa, and Southeast Asia, on topics ranging from Arctic bird health to great ape conservation, following my passion for a holistic approach to wildlife health and the health of our planet.

My first close interaction with the EWDA was in 2013, when I was fortunate to participate in the 5th EWDA Student Workshop in France – a fantastic experience and a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from both established wildlife professionals of various backgrounds and my fellow participants.

I recently received a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, USA, focusing on epidemiology, global environmental sustainability, and infectious diseases. With the help of this program I am hoping to be better positioned to understand the human drivers of global change, which I believe will benefit my impact on conservation and wildlife health programs and research in the future.

Following project work in Zambia and the DRC over the course of this year, focusing mostly on African wildlife and primates, I will return to Berlin to start my PhD at the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in the Department for Wildlife Diseases.

I would be excited to support the work of the EWDA Student Chapter for the next 2 years and to advocate for wildlife health within and beyond our community of (aspiring) wildlife health professionals. Having been part of the EWDA Student workshop a few years ago, contributing to an equally inspiring experience for next year’s participants is something I would greatly enjoy. I am also keen on increasing the EWDA’s engagement in international “call-for-action” days to increase the awareness of how wildlife health plays a role in numerous challenges.

On June 8th, another Wildlife Disease Lecture Event was organized in Vienna by:

  • Sinan Julian Keleş, EWDA Student Chapter Country Representative Austria
  • AVE, Akademikergruppe Veterinärmedizin

Please find the report by Julian Keleş below:

“Two weeks ago I attended the Zoo and Wildlife Health Conference in Berlin, Germany. On the welcome evening at the Berlin Aquarium, I spotted Dr.Thompson, whom I had met about two years ago on an IVSA (International Veterinary Students Association) Exchange at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He was at the Conference with seven of his vet-students and he told me about his plans for the next two weeks, taking ten total students to the vet schools in Brno (Czech Republic), Vienna (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary) including an International Symposium on Viral Diseases in Lower Vertebrates, getting them as much exotic pet, zoo, and conservation experience as possible.
Lucky us, we were able to also get him as a speaker for an EWDA lecture event on their last day in Vienna.

On short notice, we still organized a „seminar-room“ thanks to the Viennese University Clinic for poulty and fish medicine.
Snacks were sponsored by Dr. Thompson and drinks by AVE and we had a successful Wildlife Disease Lecture Event with about 25 national and international vet and wildlife ecology students and included several researchers from our faculty.

We started the event with a short presentation on the Wildlife Disease Association, EWDA and the student chapters.


His topic was Veterinary Roles and Research in Conservation and Wildlife Medicine and he covered a wide range of wildlife aspects during 120 minutes. He began with how tax donations, banquet and stamp fundraising efforts, and ammunition and gun sales contribute to Conservation funding in the USA and North America.
Dr.Thompson shared information on a bovine tuberculosis concern in Michigan’s free ranging white tail deer in hunting areas close to Lake Huron, part of a poster abstract he also presented at the Berlin meeting.

He gave us great insight into one of his early projects with peregrine falcons when he was still a veterinary student at The Ohio State University. These falcon population declined in numbers due to being at the top of the food chain while a pesticide called „dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane = DDT“, was being used. High concentrations of a DDT metabolite prevented normal calcium production causing thin eggshells that would easily break under the parent’s weight during incubation. Urban falcon programs involved hacking out young on the top of city skyscrapers where they would learn to prey on city pigeons.


He also introduced us to Purdue projects working with sea otters and river otters, including immobilization, capture, transport and different procedures and difficulties that had to be overcome and dealt with in order to collect data and to successfully reintroduce more than 300 individuals back into Indiana rivers.

His final interesting topic was the capture, handling and radio tracking of timber rattlesnakes expanding on his veterinary presentation from Berlin and his upcoming publication in the July edition of Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

vien5As a country representative I am very happy that we could get Dr. Steve Thompson as a speaker about Veterinary Roles and Research in Conservation and Wildlife Medicine for our latest Wildlife Disease Lecture Event in Vienna.
It is impressive to see how a small animal clinician can contribute to saving species in the wild. Thanks for your talk Dr.T!”


Dr. Steve Thompson, DVM, DABVP (certified in canine and feline practice) is a clinical associate professor at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. He is head of the Pet Wellness initiative at Purdue, where he sees primary care dog, cat and exotic pet cases daily in addition to referral cases needing exotic pet, zoo or wildlife care, small animal dentistry and dog breeder genetic improvement. He served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force that published the Canine Life Stage Guidelines in 2012 and was the chairperson and host for the Primary Care Veterinary Educators inaugural World Symposium in 2013. He has presented Feline, Canine and Exotic/Wildlife topics internationally in the Czech Republic, Austria, Japan and Canada as well as at this summer’s Zoo and Wildlife Health Conference in Berlin, Germany.  

He is involved with several conservation organizations and provided veterinary care in wildlife cooperatives with the Ohio and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources and US Fish & Wildlife related to Peregrine Falcons, Whooping Cranes, River Otters, Allegheny Wood Rats, Hellbenders and Timber Rattlesnakes.


Hi everyone ! Sorry for this very late introduction, I’m very enthusiastic to finally present myself as a new country representative. I’m Marianthi Ioannidis a Belgian vet student (originally form Brussels) currently in my second year of master’s degree in Liège and I would like to introduce myself! mari.jpg

We work together with Anna Bauw, given that our country has a language border she’s the Flemish representative and I’m the French-speaking one. We already organized our first event in April and I’m very excited to already work on our second symposium.

I particularly like conservation work but also to involve myself in different things in relation to wildlife as for example I’m also the president of a student committee (comité ceto-ornitho) organizing activities in relation with marine mammals and birds : necropsies, lectures and so… I’m in this committee for 3 years now and it was my first approach to wildlife work. At the university of Liège we’re lucky to have the mentor of the stranding marine mammals network, Pr. Thierry Jauniaux, so during the past 3 years I assisted him in a lot of marine mammals necropsies and I think my best experience but also my most shocking one was to assist the necropsy of a sperm whale. We found so much waste in his stomach and for me being confronted in real time to the bad effect of human pollution made me realized how big was the emergency to protect wildlife.

Since a few months I also work as a volunteer in a wildlife rehabilitation center and that’s really gratifying to see wildlife going back in nature thanks to our work 😉 ! The work is not really clinical  but we learn a lot about feeding, handling, species, management,… And my first zoo experience is coming this summer in France.

When the previously Belgian representatives talked to me about the Student Chapter I was really enthusiastic and interesting by involve myself in a second student organization promoting wildlife but also connections between people from different countries and areas to share the same point of interest. We went gone together to the symposium day organized by the Belgian Wildlife Disease Society and I discovered a new face of the veterinary practice but also the One Health concept !

As a country representative, I would like to spread the word about the EWDA and wildlife opportunities to students at my university (Liège) and especially that the vet work is not only a clinical work but it can also be a wonderful tool in sciences projects such as conservation plans, field works, research, … ‘Cause human impact on wildlife population doesn’t have to be only negative but also a good point ;), I think that protecting wildlife should be more like a “Human Duty”.


On May 23rd 2017 a Wildlife Disease Lecture Event was organized in Vienna by:

  • Sinan Julian Keleş, EWDA Student Chapter Country Representative Austria
  • AVE, Akademikergruppe Veterinärmedizin


  • Leonida Fusani, Prof., PhD, MPhil, MSc Professor of Animal Physiology and Ornithology, University of Vienna Director, Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Vetmeduni Vienna
  • Pia Cigler, Small Animal Clinic, Service for birds and reptiles, Vetmeduni Vienna
  • Gerhard Loupal, Prof., Dr., Dipl.ECVP Institute of Pathology and Forensic Veterinary Medicine, Vetmeduni Vienna

Please find the report below:

“As a country representative I am interested in getting students interested and involved in our student chapters’ activities and spreading the word about the EWDA. Therefore we organized a lecture event and two field trips with a focus on ornithology, giving vet and wildlife ecology students as well as members of our faculty the opportunity to network interdisciplinary and get deeper insights into the world of wild birds, aspects of their physiology, diseases and pathology.

We started the event with a short presentation on the Wildlife Disease Association, EWDA and of course the student chapters.

Followed by Prof.Fusani’s „Food intake and energy stores regulate bird migration: An overview“ lecture. The presentation focused on physiological aspects of bird migration such as how condition (body mass, fat and body score) predicts Zugunruhe and how stopover rates depend on fat reserves.

Next lecturer was Pia Cigler, who works as a clinician mainly with birds and reptiles. She explained causes and treatment of different wild bird species that had been presented within the past two years. Her case presentations ranged from pigeons, barn owl and the common kestrel to the white tailed eagle and the bearded vulture. She also discussed common radiological techniques and bandaging methods with us.

Last but not least Gerhard Loupal, veterinary pathologist and BirdLifeAustria’s honour president, introduced us into selected diseases and pathology of wild birds. Salmonellosis, Usutu-Virus-Infection, Avian Influenza and others were part of his lecture.
lob4From left to right: Julian Keles, Pia Cigler, Leonida Fusani, Gerhard Loupal and Caro Pannrucker (AVE)

Prof. Loupal is also our ornithology field trip guide. He was so kind to lead our group of 15 people into the national park „Donauauen“, Lobau area, close to Vienna on a half day tour.


We were spotting birds not only by binocular but by their different calls and relating distribution to season and environmental habitat.


As we had so many applicants, Prof. Loupal confirmed a second fieldtrip which is already booked out and will take place on the early morning of the 11th of June.


We ended the fieldtrip with lunch at a traditional Austrian restaurant close by.

This ornithology lecture event was very successful. We had about 30 visitors and enjoyed drinks and snacks sponsored by AVE. Thanks to our wonderful lecturers!

Picture Credits go to Sarah Hochgeschurz and Corina Sonnberger.

We are looking forward to seeing you at our next Wildlife Disease Lecture Event „Veterinary Roles and Research in Conservation and Wildlife Medicine“ which will take place on the 8th of June, 4-6pm, Hörsaal C, at the Vetmed Campus in Vienna.”

Julian Keleş