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!
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”.