I am glad to introduce myself as the Spain and Andorra EWDA student representative!
My name is Johan Espunyes and I am currently pursuing a PhD in animal medicine and health at the Wildlife Health Service (SEFaS: Servei d’Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
The aims of my PhD project are to analyze the importance of environmental factors and coinfections on Pestivirus epidemiology in Pyrenean chamois and the possibility of using remote sensing to assess the impact of this disease. This study is the result of an agreement between the SEFaS and the French National Hunting and Wildlife Agency (ONCFS) in order to improve international collaboration around issues in the Pyrenees.
I was born in 1989 in Andorra where I developed my affinity and interest for mountains, nature and their conservation. In 2012, with an exclusive interest in wildlife, I graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine at the UAB. Soon after, I decided to conduct some externships at the Institute of Research in Game Resources (IREC) in Ciudad Real and at the ONCFS in the French Alps where I discovered and get started in the world of research and wildlife management. I also took a course in Wildlife Epidemiology and Disease Control at the IREC. Following these stays I decided to pursue a Master degree in wildlife management and health at the University of Murcia. My Master thesis research focused on the Epidemiology of Pestivirus in wild ungulates and their relationship with livestock in Andalusia. I also worked three summers as a temporary technician in the Wildlife Department of the Andorran Government dealing with wildlife management, conservation and recovery. At the end of my Master degree I decided to return to the UAB and prepare a PhD thesis with the SEFaS.
I am really looking forward to spread the word of the EWDA, introducing vet students to wildlife research, improving networking between students and creating a bridge between them and the professionals in order to advise them about their options regarding future work with wildlife, externships, PhD, etc.
I am also really interested in strengthen the links between wildlife students (Degree, MSc, PhD) in Spain and Andorra in order to create a collaboration network and motivate the spread of information.
Please, don’t hesitate to contact me: johan.espunyes<at>gmail.com