Event type
Previous Event
Event status
12 January 2021 6:00pm - 7:30pm
1h 30m

Pathology is the science of diagnosing and characterising diseases by observing the physical changes they induce in animal cells and tissues, either in living (biopsies) or, more commonly in the veterinary world, dead animals (post mortems).

During this event, ZSL's experienced pathologists and scientists demonstrated how they use these techniques to peer into this unseen, internal world where the immune system fights wars of attrition against hordes of invading bacteria, viruses hide with the body's own cells and environmental pollutants corrupt vital chemical reactions.

*Please be aware that this event features some graphic images and video of post mortem examinations, viewer discretion is advised.*

ZSL's wildlife veterinary pathologist discussed the practicalities of performing post mortem examinations on zoo animals, from massive elephants down to the tiniest invertebrates.

Using video footage and live microscopy, the audience were able to follow the process from the pathologist’s perspective.

The evening then shifted to the vets and scientists working in pathology at ZSL's Institute of Zoology, who described how they discovered a fungal skin disease affecting wild snakes in Europe; how they investigate the deaths of whales, dolphins and sharks that wash up on British coasts; and finished with the forensic work used to protect Britain's most endangered species.


  • Dr Simon Spiro, Wildlife Veterinary Pathologist, Wildlife Health Services, ZSL: "From echinoderms to elephants - an introduction to zoo and wildlife pathology"
  • Dr Becki Lawson, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, ZSL: "How pathological investigations helped us detect snake fungal disease in Europe"
  • Rob DeavilleCetacean Strandings Investigation Programme Project Manager, Institute of Zoology, ZSL: "Investigating giants of the sea - what happened to 'Hessy' the humpback whale?"
  • Dr Tammy Shadbolt, Wildlife Veterinarian and Research Associate, Institute of Zoology, ZSL: "Protecting Britain's endangered species"

Watch the event

Event details
  • This interactive online event was livestreamed to our YouTube channel
  • Each online event comprises 3-4 presentations from experts on the chosen topic
  • There was no charge for this event, and no need to register in advance to watch the livestream
  • This event was facilitated and coordinated by Eleanor Darbey, hosted by Charlotte Coales and facilitated by Tendai Pottinger and Linda DaVolls
Contact details
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