Country representative news, Introduction of country representatives, News

Introducing Sweden’s second Country Representative: Johanna Johnsson!


My name is Johanna and I am excited to announce myself as Sweden’s second country representative! After two years of “time off” I am about to start my fourth year of veterinary medicine in Uppsala (because apparently one needs to finish at some point!)

I wish I could be one of those people saying that becoming a veterinarian always was a childhood dream now finally coming true. Honestly, I don’t even know or remember when the veterinarian-bug hit me! But by know it feels like there never really was any other choice. I mean, what could possibly be a better job than to save animals? Oh that’s right, working to preserve wildlife!

My interest in wildlife and conservation was also something that sort of sneaked up on me. There was no big, life changing experience that brought me here. Rather many small but crucial encounters with wildlife and nature suffering from different anthropological activities. To have this real life experience of the human impact on the planet and to see what it does to its nature and the animals living in it was something that changed my perspective of the world. While traveling I have worked and volunteered with marine conservation in Mexico and elephant rehabilitation and reintroduction in Thailand and India. Animal welfare is another affair of my heart and I’ve been volunteering with animal welfare organizations in Tanzania and India as well as being an active member of Veterinarians Without Borders – Sweden.

The love I developed for our huge friend the elephant brought me to last year’s EAZWV Summer School in Elephant Medicine in Zürich were I for the first time was introduced to the EWDA family. I absolutely fell in love with this community of engaged, inspiring, “daring-to-dream-big” group of students that I am now super excited to be a part of myself! At the moment, Tina and I are working to engage the local veterinary students as well as planning events at our university in Uppsala.

Looking forward to meet you all in the future!

Country representative news, Introduction of country representatives, News

Introducing Poland’s new Country Representative: Magdalena Walczak

Magdalena Anna Walczak

My name is Magdalena Anna Walczak, friends call me Mag.

I am a 5th year Veterinary Medicine student at the University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Wrocław, Poland. As a child, I spent most of my time watching Animal Planet documentaries, before I was able to actually share adventures with live animals.

During my third year of studies, I participated in Erasmus exchange at the University of Cordoba in Spain. Together with my colleagues, we worked on a poster on ‘Detection of septic osteitis in phalanges of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)’, which has deepened my interest in wildlife. The following year, I had an opportunity to volunteer in the area of Sundarbans National Park in India. Later, cooperating with the Wildlife Trust of India, I was placed in the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in Kaziranga National Park. Situated in the river’s flood plain, Kazianga experiences annual flooding during monsoon which regularly cause large scale temporary displacement, including orphaned rhinos and elephants. Our activities largely aimed to stabilise displaced animals and release them back into the wild, as close to the site of rescue as possible, following necessary treatment.

A case that particularly stayed in my memory was hepatitis B virus infections in two gibbons, while the possibility of horizontal transmission between gibbons and humans was not certain. Further interest directed me to the Summer School “Zoonoses” in Dubrovnik organised by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb.

Last year, I did my clinical internship in Białowieża National Park in Poland, which protects last remaining fragment of Europe’s primeval forest. At present, after successful reinstatement, Białowieża Forest is a habitat of the world’s largest herd of European bison, the biggest European land mammal. I was lucky to share my experience at the Seminar organised by the Animal Rights Scientific Society at Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics of the University of Wrocław, and we are excited to plan the next Conference.

I am currently involved in behavioural research on Asian elephants, and an active member of IVSA Wrocław, Veterinary Medicine and Exotic Animals Medicine Scientific Clubs at my Faculty. I am also interested in animal welfare. I had a pleasure to speak about Ethics of Wildlife Management and Conservation during the 2nd Ethical Dilemmas in Veterinary Education Conference, held by IVSA Warsaw.

In our current curriculum, very little attention is yet given to Wildlife Medicine. Together with EWDA Student Chapter, I wish to promote this fascinating field and integrate students around lectures, workshops and Conferences. I plan regular meetings and activities at our Faculty, as well as national events. As a Student Representative of Poland, I hope to enable our students an understanding of a broad range of conservation issues through externships and international cooperation.


Yours faithfully,

Magdalena Anna Walczak

Country representative news, Introduction of country representatives, News

Introducing Irelands new Country Representative: Grace Thornton

12015054_10156037653670627_8675126708224687510_oMy name is Grace and I am a first year Veterinary student at the University of College Dublin in Ireland. Growing up in Canada, I was fortunate to have many animals and exposure to nature in my life, so my passion for science and wildlife came naturally. I spend as much time outdoors as I can, camping, hiking, and canoeing.
I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the University of Guelph in Canada before pursuing my Veterinary career in Ireland. Exploring different facets of the wildlife field confirmed that becoming a Veterinarian is the best way for me to apply my love of practical medicine and ecology with conservation. I love birds, particularly birds of prey. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I worked as a zookeeper at a local safari park in the Birds of Prey department, and also volunteered with an educational-outreach program that works with non-releasable raptors. These opportunities taught me about bird health and husbandry, and allowed me to educate visitors about my favourite group of birds, vultures! These scavenging birds play an integral role in the removal of dead animals and diseases from the environment, and are experiencing drastic population decline worldwide.
I like projects that have big-picture effects, so I became involved in wildlife disease research at the University of Guelph. These include researching tick-borne diseases by surveying ticks, birds, and wild cervids, and investigating Baylisascaris procyonis in raccoons by surveying latrines and measuring the parasite load in fecal samples. I’m excited for my newest project with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, where I will be investigating rodenticide exposure in raptors. OneHealth is a concept I am passionate about, and believe it is important for students to be conscious of emerging zoonoses and conservation risks in this time of rapid environmental change. I had the opportunity to present a research poster at the 2018 WDA Conference in Florida, where I met many supportive and awesome scientists involved in every aspect of wildlife disease and conservation imaginable!
As an EWDA representative for Ireland I would help other students explore the wildlife disease field and meet other ambitious and adventurous scientists, so we can encourage and inspire each other as we develop different career paths and goals. Collaborating with biological, zoological, and OneHealth societies at different institutions in Ireland for workshops, lectures will involve and remind students that no discipline exists in a vacuum; we are all continuously learning. I would give other student researchers a platform to speak and develop their public presentation skills, as well as encourage student involvement in WDA workshops and conferences, as I plan on attending myself in the future. I look forward to exploring new opportunities and meeting new scientists from many disciplines!
News, WDA student events

WDA Student Workshop

Application deadline has been extended to March 25th 2019! Apply here

Attention all wildlife disease and conservation students!

Billedet indeholder sandsynligvis: tekst

It’s Happening! We are officially announcing the 1st North American WDA pre-conference Graduate Student Workshop titled “Sustaining Healthy Wildlife: Current Research and Future Directions in Conservation.” This workshop is aimed towards rising graduate students in wildlife disease to help them network and transition into future independent researchers.

Sustaining Healthy Wildlife: Our world is changing and presenting us with a variety of challenges in wildlife disease. Many diseases are emerging while others are becoming endemic. How do we deal with these challenges? What tools are out there? What kind of research is being done? Where should we move our focus in the future?

This workshop will bring together top researchers and rising graduates in the broad field of wildlife disease and conservation. Our two-and-a-half-day program will include interactive learning through lectures, discussions, and updates on important analyses and novel technologies. This event will ultimately facilitate sharing of ideas between current leading professionals, post-docs, and students.

When: Thursday, Aug 1, 2019 – Sunday, Aug 4, 2019. This will be a full three-day event starting Thursday evening and ending conveniently at the onset of the 68th WDA Annual International Conference, Sunday Afternoon.

Where: The entire workshop will take place at UC Davis, including room board and event space. Transportation from the workshop to the meeting at Lake Tahoe will be available to help with travel arrangements.

What is included? Registration is all inclusive! Your fee will include a once in a lifetime experience, your lodging, all meals on campus during the workshop and a ride up to the WDA conference at Lake Tahoe on Sunday. Our registration fee is TBD pending sponsorship opportunities, but we anticipate a maximum total fee of $300 per student. Participants are responsible for their registration fee and travel to the UC Davis campus. We highly encourage participants to apply for travel awards from the WDA, their universities and other nonprofits that support conference travel.

How Can I Apply? Applications can be submitted via our website between February 1, 2019 through March 3, 2019. Please visit to access the application and to stay up to date with our plans as we finalise all important workshop details.

Want an Affordable Experience? We are actively looking for sponsors to keep costs as low as possible. If you have any suggestions, please let us know at

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions at

We look forward to reviewing your applications! The North American WDA Workshop Planning Committee

External Events, News

The 4th ICARE Conference, London, UK


Post Graduate Evening At The 4th International Conference On Avian, Herpetological And Exotic Mammal Medicine, London, UK.

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that the 4th International Conference on Avian, Herpetological and Exotic Mammal Medicine (ICARE) will be held in London in 2019.  The venue is at one of London’s main conference centres, ExCel.  It has a campus setting with easy access to hotels covering all cost options. Access is available by rail, road and air with rail links to all five of London’s airports.

ICARE conferences have grown in popularity with successful conferences being held in Wiesbaden in 2013, Paris in 2015 and Venice in 2017. These conferences bring together specialists from all over the world in the fields of avian, herpetological and exotic mammal medicine.

The dates for this conference have been confirmed as Sunday 28th April 2019 – Thursday 2nd May 2019.  We plan to run multiple streams covering all topics in small mammal, reptile, bird and zoo animal medicine and surgery. Sunday 28th April will be a fun-packed day of wet labs and practical sessions followed by an evening icebreaker event.  The opening ceremony will take place on Monday 29th April, followed by the scientific programme including a wide range of lectures to cover all aspects of exotic, wildlife and zoo animal medicine. Masterclasses, basic and refresher classes will be included in this conference.  ICARE 2019 will end on Thursday 2nd May with the closing ceremony. Alongside the conference, a world-class exhibition will be held with exhibitors in industries related to exotic animal medicine from all over the world.  It is also a great opportunity for institutions to promote their courses and meet potential future interns and residents.

On behalf of ICARE and the Organising Committee, we would like to invite you to join us in London.  We will be holding a post-graduate evening on Tuesday 30th April 2019 for potential interns and residents to meet other colleagues and institustions offering courses. This will be an exciting opportunity to promote your courses and chat to people from around the world, at no additional charge.

If your institution would be interested in attending the post-graduate evening, or sponsoring a session or having an exhibition stand at the conference, we would love to hear from you!

For more information please look at our webpage or contact Charlotte Hussey,

Kind regards,
Sarah Pellett (Student coordinator)
Iain Cope (Chairman)
Steve Smith (Vice Chairman)
Charlotte Hussey (Secretary)



Introducing Sweden’s new Country Representative: Tina Jansson

Tina Jansson

My name is Tina Jansson and I am an undergraduate from Sweden, studying at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. I have a great interest in wildlife, nature and sustainability. My carrier with wildlife started as a zookeeper at Kolmarden zoo in Sweden, where I mainly worked with carnivores, but also with other mammals. After my Biology degree I continued working with animal welfare in the zoo, with a focus on behavioural management. My main focus though the last years has been conservation, something that is very close to my heart. As responsible for our fundraising foundation and our in-situ conservation projects, my work included everything from management of the organisation, fundraising to project leading for our rhino project. During my years in the zoo I have also done educational work (for students, visitors and the staff) and arranged both national and international seminars and workshops. Working with people is something I really enjoy.

I have done some field work in shorter periods, for example rhinos in Kenya, penguins in Peru, elephants in Sri Lanka, and wolves in Sweden, but my main experience comes from working at the zoo. And of course, I love my job! But I just could not resist veterinary medicine anymore. So here I am, missing wildlife but loving the studies. So, I hope I can contribute as a student representative and get more people to love wildlife and understand the importance in wildlife medicine.

I hope to spread the word about wildlife medicine and EWDA and the initial plan is to get people engaged through inspiring seminars at our university, field visits and study visits. We have identified interested students through a Facebook group and I am already planning the first seminar with the most important researchers and veterinarian in wildlife medicine in Sweden. As a student representative, I also hope to meet new people through the EWDA.

Hope I will see you!



Introducing the new Vice Country Representative of Austria: Fabian Bagó

Hi all,

Fabian Bagó, the Austrian Vice Representative

I´m Fabian Bagó, a 3rd year vet-student from Vienna, and Julian´s apprentice for becoming the next Student Chapter Country Rep for Austria. Even though I grew up surrounded by animals and vets, it wasn´t that clear to me that I wanted to become a vet myself – I fancied becoming a pilot instead. But when I started studying, I quickly realized that being a future vet is the only profession where you´re able to pursue so many different careers with just one degree.

Besides my studies I started working in Wildlife Pathology, mainly as a parasitologist, right in my 2nd semester. And after all that “shit“ I looked at, I´m still not bored of it. Currently I´m a bit obsessed with the fox tapeworm so we´re trying to work out new detection methods and conduct prevalence studies. Due to my work I had the honor to visit the 13th EWDA Conference in Larissa back in August 2018, which was the first EWDA event I attended, to present my first poster there. That´s when I realized I wanted to engage in organizing lecture events and field trips. I am convinced that we as vet students should be particularly well informed about both the opportunities our future degree grants us, and the responsibility we have to take to fulfill the „one-health-concept“ to conserve all the species in our ecosystem in the best way possible.

I am sure that my job at the Research Institute for Wildlife and Ecology will help me a lot in finding interesting speakers for our upcoming events.

Right now I´m organizing my first lecture event, which will address the human-wolf-conflict in Austria and inform about wildlife veterinary forensics. For the future I’d find it cool to maybe organize some “lecture/workshop weekends“ together with other student chapters close to Austria.

All in all I´m looking forward to the upcoming years, where I´ll hopefully be involved in the EWDA Student Chapter Austria!