Introducing the UK’s new Country Representative: Laura Ryan!

I’m Laura, a final (5 th year) veterinary student at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. I’ve always had a keen interest in wildlife and ecology as well as in animal health, and was torn when applying to university between veterinary medicine and zoology, so I did both! I intercalated in zoology between my 3 rd and 4 th years of vet school, which was an eye-opening experience for me, one I can’t recommend highly enough for anyone considering it. While vet school tried to include wildlife in the teaching, there’s only so much time they have; intercalating allowed me to spend an
entire year looking into ecology, behaviour, conservation and other concepts crucial to working with wildlife. I also gained a keen interest in genetics through my honours research – DNA barcoding butterflies from Malaysia. When I returned to vet school I decided to pursue this further, doing research into genetic diversity of red squirrels in the UK, which is still ongoing. I’m especially interested in the intersection between disease and genetics, and how inbreeding depression in endangered or at-risk populations makes them more susceptible to disease outbreaks.
Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to help with fieldwork on leprosy in red squirrels. It completely opened my eyes to the field of wildlife disease research. This led to involvement in red squirrel post mortems, and I’ve also been able to sit in on several raptor post mortems which highlighted to me how invaluable post mortem and surveillance work are for disease monitoring and management.
I’m into my second year of holding a committee position for Edinburgh Veterinary Zoological Society (EVZS), a student branch of B(ritish)VZS. It’s main role is organising talks, events, and seminars about wildlife and exotic medicine. I’m very keen in getting more people interested in and aware of wildlife disease research, and sharing and building opportunities to get involved or learn more. I’m hoping my new role in EWDA can help with that!

Laura Ryan

Introducing Hungary’s two Country Representatives: Anne-Maud & Charlotte!

Hello everyone!

My name is Anne-Maud and I’m a fourth year student at the University of Veterinary Medicine of Budapest. I’ve always had an interest in wildlife as I was brought up in the countryside and near the sea, I was taught to respect nature and wanted to pursue a vet career in this field.
I’m originally from France but lived in multiple countries over the years and currently Hungary. I have always travelled and love interacting with an international community which is one of the things I love about the EWDA, how so many passionate people from difference cultures and backgrounds are brought together by their joined passion in wildlife medicine. I am also a member of the IVSA and have already helped organising events for the animal welfare and student wellness weeks.
I have completed multiple externships in wildlife rehabilitations and working on disease control such as tuberculosis in badgers in the UK or rabies in raccoons in the USA. I have also completed zoo externship in order to learn more about their role in conservation. I am also working towards my thesis which will look at the parasites of red eared sliders in eastern Europe and their impact as an invasive species.
I met members of the EWDA for the first time last summer at the EAZWV Summer School and was immediately wanted to get more involved. After attending the Student Symposium and Workshop in Lyon last April I decided to be more involved as a country representative to share the benefits of this association and grow the interest in wildlife at my University by organising lecture events.

The EWDA has presented me with so many great opportunities I am looking forward to working with you all and give something back! 🙂

Anne-Maud Dupuy-Roudel

My name is Charlotte Guis.

I can’t remember when my passion for animals started, but becoming a veterinarian was naturally my chosen vocation from a young age. I’ve always had a big interest in taking care of them and observing them in the nature. I grew up in the countryside surrounded by nature. I would spend all my free time hiking, or snorkelling, spending hours looking for fish, shells or any marine life. From an early age, I have been passionate about horse riding, but my true love has always been wild animals. They are fascinating, and I love how challenging it is to work with them.

I’ve had the chance to live abroad for several years in countries such as Austria, Indonesia, then Canada and finally Hungary. I have come to appreciate the richness of different cultures and wanted to pursue my international journey. This is why I decided to study at the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, where I am now a 4th year student. I’ve always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian and finally my dream is coming true!

I have been an active member of the IVSA Hungary since I was a fresher, and I’m now on the board as an Exchange officer and member of the Animal Welfare committee.

I had the opportunity to go to the 2nd Ethical Dilemmas in Veterinary Education Conference, held by IVSA Warsaw, and participate in the 2nd Animal Welfare Conference organized by IVSA Munich. Those events inspired me to take part into our university’s Student Presentation Competition this year. I had the pleasure to speak about the scientific aspects of animal welfare. I’m convinced the animal kingdom has a huge significance and that we need to respect and protect it.

During the past years, I have tried to take any opportunity to work with wildlife, starting by being a member of the Marine Conservation Club in Jakarta, where we mainly worked on coral conservation.

I then tried to follow as many lectures and courses as possible about exotics and wildlife in my university.

I am now currently working on a new project for my thesis, and will hopefully be able to study the influence of enrichment on animals in captivity, at the Budapest Zoo.

I am also very excited to have been accepted for a placement during my final clinical semester at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital in Australia.

But I’ve always believed that working with wildlife was not really an option for me, until I recently discovered WDA, at the Student Chapter Symposium and Workshop in April 2019. I was amazed to see so many professionals from different background working together for wildlife.

By being a country representative, I hope to inspire other students to join this great community. I want to show them that, yes it is possible to work with wildlife, and that there is so much we can do. I also wish to bring knowledge by promoting events such as workshops and conferences, and organizing more lectures about this fascinating field. Raising awareness about the different issues and diseases encountered with wildlife is essential.

I’m looking forward to working with all of you!

Charlotte Guis

EWDA Student Board 2019-2021

Dear Members of the EWDA Student Chapter,

Thank you all very much for your votes. The election results are in and we are pleased to announce the appointment of the new EWDA Student Board:

  • Sinan Julian Keleş
  • Stefania Tampach
  • Tina Jansson
  • Marco Vecchiato
We are convinced that they will do a great job. Congratulations and best of luck!
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