Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The 66th WDA Annual International Conference will take place in Chiapas, Mexico from July 23 – 28. Click here for more information and registration. Looking forward to seeing you there!wda-logo-04.png

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Dear Student Chapter enthusiasts,

We regret to inform you that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we have reluctantly decided to postpone our event planned for April 2017. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by this, especially if any of you were making plans to attend de Course.

Please keep an eye on our webpage, we hope to notify you promptly of the new dates.

Best wishes,

The Organising board

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We are delighted to introduce our first Country Representative from Belgium, dutch speaking part, Anna Baauw!  Her motivation to represent our Student Chapter grew when she attended the SC Symposium in the RVC, organised by the 3 representatives from the UK: Stuart, Harriet and Sima. Anna is another example of how attending lectures and meeting people outside the usual Faculty environment may enrich your knowledge and motivate you to accept new challenges.

Take a look at Anna’s brief presentation to get to know a bit more about her:

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“Hi all,
My name is Anna Baauw. I’m one of those who always wanted to become a vet as a child. I’m also one of those, who somehow ended up studying something different.

In 2014, I graduated in Forest and Nature Conservation at Wageningen University. During my master, I realized two, or maybe three things. First of all, the importance of collaboration between different disciplines, such as ecology, veterinary and medical science. Luckily, the concept of ‘OneHealth’ was gaining popularity at that time, and therefore I could easily explore pieces of those interactions. During my internship, I worked on the survival of (human) pathogens in different types of soil. For my master thesis, I did research on the interactions between ticks, animal hosts and different environmental habitat types in a nature area in South Africa.

The second thing I realized was a bit more complicated to deal with: I decided that, after all, I still wanted to become a vet. The result of this, is that I’m now a third year veterinary student at Ghent University. Although it is a long way to go, I love being in in vet school. At the same time, the ecologist in me was missing the wildlife, the linkages with nature, biodiversity, society. I started to visit conferences on biodiversity conservation and wildlife health to make that connection. In October I attended the EWDA student chapter symposium in London. Not only the talks were great; I also totally felt at home. It really felt like we all belonged to one big family. The passion and the enthusiasm I experienced there, encouraged me to start a wildlife student group back home.

As it turned out, I was not the only one, and right at that time some other great students announced that they had just started a veterinary student association on development and wildlife (www.vsdw.be), so we joined forces. We’re a very young association at this point, but my dream is for it to turn into a platform within the larger EWDA network, where we support each other, connect students, teachers and practitioners with similar passions, and also create educational opportunities (lectures, excursions, courses etc.) for students to prepare themselves for a career in wildlife conservation or other nature-society-veterinary-interdisciplinary work (OneHealth would be a shorter word to say the same…).
I’m very much looking forward to my new ‘job’. I hope that I can contribute to the EWDA by building on a larger, stronger European student network, and locally by creating a similar passionate, supportive atmosphere for other students that dream of a career in wildlife, as the one I experienced at the EWDA student chapter.

Oh, and the third thing that happened during my master studies: I met a pangolin and fell in love with him (or her).”

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Friederike Pohlin has been our Country Representative for the last 2 years as has now passed on her position to Julian Keles, who has been collaborating with her since the beginning. We would like to take this opportunity thank Fidu for her engagement with the Student Chapter: she has made tremendous effort in presenting the EWDA to the students and in organising lectures on various topics, such as: “Mortality and Disease of raccons”, “Mycobacteria in wild alpine ruminants”, “Current diseases of native fish”, “Zoonotic pathogens in wild birds in the cross-border region Austria – Czech Republic”, “Do the Costa Rican urban raccoon (Procyon lotor) populations represent a risk for Public Health?”, “Where pathways cross- urban wildlife and citizen science”, “Human urbanization: coexisting with wolves” and, most recently, a lecture on the “500 Elephants” translocation project, in Africa. Twenty students also joined a field trip to the Wolf Science Center, in Ernstbrunn, north of Vienna.

We had the pleasure of meeting Fidu last summer during the EWDA Conference in Berlin and her motivation is contagious – we wish her the best of luck during the next step her of career as a PhD student, and hope to see her again soon!

Please get to know more about Julian by reading his brief presentation below:

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“My name is Julian Keleş and I am in my final year as a vet student at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Friederike Pohlin and I have organized several EWDA wildlife lecture events, as well as a student fieldtrip over the past two years. Fidu encouraged my involvement with the EWDA and now passes her position on to me as she starts her PhD on White Rhino anesthesia in South Africa this February. Thank you for this opportunity and all the best.

While studying Veterinary Medicine in Austria I am enthusiastic about traveling to foreign places and getting involved with fieldwork related to topics of Conservation and Wildlife Medicine as well as zoo and exotic pet medicine. These experiences include externships in Europe, the West Indies and Africa covering wildlife pathology, bird and reptile medicine and a project where I worked as a research assistant on the island of Grenada.

In Grenada, we captured bats from populations across the island and tested them for the presence of viruses that may be harmful for humans. This project not only helped characterize the zoonotic viruses on Grenada, but also helped inform the local community about the potential risks of interacting with wildlife. Through this project I gained biomolecular lab skills such as extracting nucleic acids, setting up RT-PCR reactions and running agarose gels. In addition to this, I developed fieldwork skills identifying roosts, trapping with mist and hand nets and performing post mortem sample collections.

This past summer I completed my clinical rotation abroad at Onderstepoort, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in South Africa. I worked with a variety of African game species and had the pleasure to be part of the veterinary team at the local Jane Goodall Institute. I extended my stay gaining great experiences working alongside the vets and game capture unit at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife focusing on work with white rhinos, lions and wild dogs. This helped me gain hands-on skills in immobilization, monitoring, translocating and capture of wild animals. I got great insight into the logistics and management behind the capture operations, working with multiple reserve managers, ecologists and separate conservation organizations.

Through my extensive experience working with a wide breadth of wildlife in various conditions and with many veterinary techniques and ecological approaches, I am confident I can contribute valuable insight to EWDA. I am passionate about actively pursuing interesting and impactful speakers to be a part of our wildlife lecture series and spreading the word about our transdisciplinary wildlife ecology and vet student events.”

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Hi everyone,

My name is Rebecca Berg. I have a degree in veterinary medicine from University of Copenhagen in 2015. I have dreamed of working with wildlife for as long as I can remember, but unfortunately I never really, truly believed, that it could come true as a veterinarian working on wildlife issues.

My first attempt of getting wildlife into my studies was during my bachelor thesis, where I wrote about Arctic rabies in Greenland, mainly in arctic fox. Though, it was not until I did a NOVA course on Nordic Zoo and Wildlife Medicine at the end of my studies that I started believing in a future in wildlife medicine. At the course I met wildlife professionals who had pursued their dream – and succeeded! During this course I joined the WDA and learned about the EWDA. 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! It will, though undoubtedly take a lot of hard work. Shortly after this, I started working on possible PhD-proposals in my spare time. I have a close connection to Greenland, and have worked as an assistant on various field trips, both marine and terrestrial, during my summer holidays. Therefore, it was no surprise that my project plans reached towards the North. After a lot of sleepless nights working on my application I succeeded in obtaining a 3-year PhD-grant, starting in February 2017. My PhD is on health and diseases in muskox populations in Greenland. Infectious diseases (parasitology in particular), disease transmission in the livestock-wildlife interface and food safety will be the main topics in my project. Furthermore there will be some aspects of the effect of climate change and possible emerging diseases.

My first direct contact to the EWDA was at the conference in august this year (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 this year I attended the Muskox Health Symposium in Calgary, Canada, where it once again stood clear to me how important interdisciplinary work, availability, contact and networking is for the field of One Health/Planetary Health/Conservation Medicine or whatever we want to call this interest and passion for turning the world into a greener and more diverse place.

It was a great honour being offered the role as country rep. for the EWDA student chapter in Denmark, and I am really looking forward to spread the word of the EWDA, increasing the contact between students from different areas as well as bringing teachers, scientist and students with interest in wildlife conservation together. Hopefully this can help other students learn about their options regarding future work with wildlife, internships, externships, residencies etc., at a much earlier state in their studies than I did.

I am really excited about this new chapter in my life, and I am looking forward to gaining a lot of new knowledge, new experiences and new friendships.

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Crowdfunding campaign

We would like to bring to your attention the crowdfunding campaign that we have launched as an extra tool to help us raise money for the upcoming edition in 2017.

Click here to see our campaign on GoFundMe.

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This page also contains more information about the workshop. If you are part of an organisation that would like to sponsor this event, please don’t hesitate to contact us about the different sponsor packages.

If you have any questions or need additional information please contact us via ewdastudentgmail.com

We are very grateful for your help and support.

The EWDA Student Chapter Board

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Dear EWDA Student Chapter members,

We are pleased announce the Fundraising Award. Would you like to attend the 7th EWDA Student Workshop “Living and surviving the interface” for FREE? Help us raise funds and secure a FREE spot at the workshop!

To be eligible, you have to:

The participant with the most original fundraising idea will get a free spot at the EWDA 7th Student Workshop held in April, 2017, at the conference centre of the Foundation Mérieux in Veyrier-du-Lac, France. Other participants will be awarded one year of free EWDA Student Chapter membership.

No experience with fundraising? Just give it a go! You might need it later for your own research project and this is a great way to gain experience. You can start contacting local/national pharmaceutical companies to ask for sponsoring. Sometimes pet food companies are interested as well. Don’t hesitate to also contact professionals outside the field of animal health as the next topic is truly transdisciplinary. You can sollicitate any company that plays a role in relation with the topic of the next workshop – you would be surprised by how unexpected some answers can be!

Before you start, please:

  • let us know that you would like to give it a go and help raising funds!
  • tell us which organisations you plan to contact.

We will provide you with our official sponsor invitation letter to be used for addressing potential sponsors. We will also give you further advice how to get started. If you’ve got additional ideas whom to ask for sponsoring like foundations, universities, research institutions, go ahead! There are no limits set to your creativity! Please contact us (ewdastudent@gmail.com) for further information!

Do you want to learn more about previous EWDA Student Workshops? Have a look at https://ewdastudent.wordpress.com/workshop/!

The deadline for applying is Jan. 5th, 2017. Once you’ve registered you can keep track of your fellow participants progress on our website.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The EWDA Student Chapter Board

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