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Graduate Profiles

Mark Bennett
Lecturer in Animal Virology

Mark BennettProgram of study: PhD (2005-2008), then Research Masters with Training (Vet Clin Path) (2008-2010).
Currently employed: Murdoch Univeristy School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences: Lecturer in Animal Virology
Use of studies in current workplace: Original research on novel double-stranded circular DNA viruses from bandicoots during my PhD studies has given me experience in laboratory based research and diagnostics, especially in the field of virology. The RMT program allowed me to continue my research in to marsupial virology, as well as giving me opportunities to teach undergraduate students, work in a diagnostic clinical pathology laboratory and develop new commercial diagnostic tests, and undertake membership examinations in the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists.

Judy Clarke
Wildlife Biologist, Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), Tasmania

Judy ClarkeI obtained my Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree at Sydney University in 1985. I spent a short period in small animal practice, followed by 2 years in cancer research, before working as a veterinary biologist for the Australian Antarctic Division from 1990-2005, during which time I completed a Masters of Zoology on penguin foraging ecology. I moved to WA in 2006 to undertake a PhD at Murdoch University, studying the health and translocation success of the threatened western ringtail possum in collaboration with the WA Department of Environment and Conservation. In late 2010 I moved to Tasmania where I am currently employed by DPIPWE to provide services to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. I am in charge of managing the part of the captive insurance population of disease-free devils that reside in large free-range enclosures in Tasmania. I oversee the health and welfare of these animals as well as carrying out small research projects on topics such as diet, parasitology, agonistic behaviour and breeding success. I am applying the skills and knowledge that I gained during my PhD candidature at Murdoch in my work and it is great to be employed in a field that combines my interests in ecology, wildlife management and wildlife health.

Gabriella L. Flacke
Veterinarian, Cheetah Conservation Fund, Otjiwarongo, Namibia

Gabriella L. FlackeI graduated with my veterinary degree from the University of Georgia in 2003 and worked in private practice in California for three years before pursuing my Masters in Veterinary Wildlife Conservation Medicine at Murdoch University. My research for the program involved investigating the threat of domestic dog diseases, including rabies, parvovirus, and canine distemper, to the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. After completing the program, I returned to the USA and worked in both private practice and at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon, for three years. I have been with the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) since July of 2011. CCF exemplifies the concepts of conservation medicine as they work to conserve the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and its habitat by reducing human/wildlife conflict and advocating that farmers and predators can coexist in the ecosystem. Not only does CCF work with captive and wild cheetahs, they also maintain a herd of goats and sheep used to demonstrate ideal livestock management practices to indigenous farmers and they operate a widely successful livestock guarding dog program, providing farmers with Anatolian Shepherd dogs to help protect their flocks from wild predators.

Terungwa Ikye-Tor
Officer in the Veterinary Unit of the State Government House

Terungwa Ikye-TorI am a 2003 veterinary graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria with an MVS in Conservation Medicine from Murdoch University (January, 2009).
I started my professional career in 2004 with the Benue State Government under the Ministry of Agriculture as a Veterinary Officer posted to the Veterinary Epidemiology Unit (clinic/laboratory) – a unit I later headed from March 2006 to February, 2010.

Currently, I am in the Veterinary Unit of the State Government House responsible for care of horses, guard dogs and some cattle and Nile crocodiles on the farm.
Since my employment in this position, due to my interest in wild animals, I was asked to be the zoo veterinarian for the Makurdi zoological garden.
The conservation medicine program has provided me with excellent knowledge about wild animals, their environment and health with a holistic approach, which when applied does not just benefit wild animal health but indeed domestic animals as well.

Anna Le Souef

Anna Le SouefFollowing graduation from Murdoch University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, I worked in private practice in Sydney for two years. During this time I completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Conservation Medicine externally through Murdoch which provided me with a fantastic grounding in the theory of wildlife and conservation medicine. I was able to put this into practice when I returned to Western Australia and became the third veterinarian to undergo the John Howell Zoo and Wildlife Medicine Residency Program. This involved three years working as a clinical veterinarian at Perth Zoo and starting a PhD investigating aspects of the veterinary treatment and rehabilitation of endangered Western Australian black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus spp.). I am currently in the final stages of the PhD and have also started a new research study with the Department of Environment and Conservation on the health status of free-living black cockatoo nestlings in the south-west of WA. This work is very exciting as presently we know very little about the disease status and baseline health data of these beautiful but threatened birds. Since completing my residency I have been working as a locum veterinarian at Perth Zoo and in 2012 I will be employed in a locum position at the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine at Auckland Zoo. I hope to continue working as a wildlife veterinarian in the field of conservation medicine as it provides such a fulfilling and interesting career.

James Macgregor
Veterinarian, Wynyard Veterinary Clinic, Tasmania

James MacgregorI undertook the Master of Veterinary Science (Conservation Medicine) degree on a part-time, external basis. My electives for this degree were VET 641 (Epidemiology) and VET 649 (Disease Surveillance Research Project). For VET 649, I performed a field study investigating the prevalence of mucormycosis in platypuses in northwest Tasmania.

I am currently employed as a mixed practice veterinarian at Wynyard Veterinary Clinic in northwest Tasmania. I apply the knowledge and experience gained through the Masters Degree to both the care of sick and injured wildlife that is brought into the clinic and the investigation of conditions in wildlife species that are of importance from a conservation point of view or about which little is known. I have performed work with platypuses and other species on contract to the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment as part of their ongoing monitoring of wildlife disease.

Dr Jarunee Siengsanan-Lamont
Project Officer for OIE/AusAID Programme for Strengthening Veterinary Services (PSVS)

Dr Jarunee Siengsanan-LamontI received my Veterinary Degree from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2004. I then went to Western Australia to complete a Masters Degree in Conservation Medicine followed by a PhD at Murdoch University, and am now Project Officer for the OIE/AusAID Programme for Strengthening Veterinary Services (PSVS). My research is on the epidemiology and risk assessment of HPAI H5N1 virus in wild birds in Thailand. While enrolled as a PhD student, I also worked at the Surveillance Centre for Zoonotic Diseases, at the Monitoring and Surveillance Centre for Zoonotic Diseases in Wildlife and Exotic Animals (MoZWE) in the Faculty of Veterinary Science of Mahidol University, Nakornpratom, through the Murdoch-Mahidol collaboration. I have learned a lot from my roles as a field veterinarian and researcher at Mahidol. Working as part of Mahidol team has given me a broad experience in wildlife medicine and management, as well as zoonotic disease control and investigation. My work also gave me the opportunity to meet and work with people from various organizations through the Mahidol collaborations. I am now on board the OIE/AusAID PSVS team at the OIE Sub-Regional Representation Office based in Bangkok. It is a great opportunity to work in a world-recognized organisation like OIE; I enjoy exploring and learning new areas of veterinary aspects. It is also an exciting opportunity to contribute to strengthening veterinary services in South East Asia.

Rebecca Vaughan
Veterinary Officer, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London

Rebecca VaughanMy postgraduate programme of study was the combined Murdoch University and Perth Zoo John Howell Residency in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine and a Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. The title of my PhD was ‘Health and disease status of Australia’s most critically endangered mammal, the Gilbert’s potoroo (Potorous gilbertii)’ and my current job as a Veterinary Officer for the Species Recovery Programme, a collaborative project between the Zoological Society of London and Natural England, has really put all the skills I learnt at Murdoch into action. We are involved in disease risk analysis and wild animal health surveillance for Natural England’s Species Recovery Programme for a range of in-situ and ex-situ populations of species, and for sympatric species when necessary. We investigate the impact of interventions, for example reintroductions, on the health of populations and the welfare of individuals and prevent the importation of alien disease to the UK. Species we work with include the red-barbed ant (Formica rufibarbis), short-haired bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus), sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), smooth snake (Coronella austriaca), pool frog (Rana lessonae), corncrake (Crex crex), red kite (Milvus milvus), cirl bunting (Emberiza cirlus), white- tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), and the common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius). We also provide a similar service for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for the reintroduction of the Eurasian crane (Grus grus). We determine causes of morbidity and mortality through pathological investigation and also undertake and organise back-up studies as may be required for disease diagnosis. I also assist with teaching the Masters of Science Courses in Wild Animal Health and Wild Animal Biology in conjunction with the Royal Veterinary College. As you can see there is lots of variety and fieldwork with my job, and being able to continue working in conservation medicine is very rewarding!

Lucy Woolford
Lecturer in Anatomic Pathology, School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide.

Lucy WoolfordI graduated from Murdoch University’s Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery in 2002. Following some time in mixed practice, I returned to Murdoch University in 2005 to undertake a PhD under the supervision of Drs Mandy O’Hara, Kris Warren and Philip Nicholls, examining debilitating viral-associated skin disease in the endangered western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville). My scholarship was funded by the generous support of the Lorna Edith Murdoch University Veterinary Trust fund for molecular and pathological studies into wildlife diseases. Following the PhD, I ventured to the United Kingdom to continue my training in anatomic pathology at the Royal Veterinary College in London, and the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, and I became a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2010. In November of 2010, I will join the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Adelaide as Lecturer in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology. In this new role, I hope to combine the pathological, molecular, epidemiological and conservation skills developed at Murdoch University and abroad to further contribute to the knowledge and management of disease in our wildlife species.