Revealing the unseen: the amazing world of wildlife pathology

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 will demonstrate 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. ZSL's wildlife veterinary pathologist will discuss 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 will be able to follow the process from the pathologist’s perspective. The evening will then shift to the vets and scientists working in pathology at ZSL's Institute of Zoology, who will describe 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 finish with the forensic work used to protect Britain's most endangered species.

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

Speakers:

  • 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"
  • Dr Tammy Shadbolt, Wildlife Veterinarian and Research Associate, Institute of Zoology, ZSL: "Protecting Britain's endangered species"

To find out how a wildlife veterinary pathologist works through a case in detail, read an extended blog post by Dr Simon Spiro here.

To read more about the speakers and their talks, PDF icon download the Agenda and Abstract Book here (284.02 KB).

 

If you watched the event live, please give us your feedback afterwards: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZSLEvent4

This should only take 5 minutes and will help us improve our future live event experience, thank you.

 

Watch the live event here or visit: https://youtu.be/aiucydgX1H8

Subscribe to our ZSL Science and Conservation YouTube Channel here.

 

Science and Conservation Event Details:

  • This interactive online event was livestreamed to our YouTube channel, which can be found here: zsl.org/IoZYouTube, alongside recordings of all our previous online events.
  • Subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you don't miss any future events!
  • Each event will comprise of 3-4 presentations from experts in the topic, similar to our previous event series.
  • Thank you to everyone who submitted a question - we encourage you to watch our events live so you can take part!
  • There was no charge for this event, and no need to register in advance to watch the livestream.

 

ZSL Wild Science Podcast

We will be creating a fascinating podcast episode featuring some of the speakers from this event, so keep an ear out in the following months! Listen to previous episodes from our award winning ZSL Wild Science podcast episodes produced by Dr Monika Böhm, and Eleanor Darbey here

 

Further Information

  • For more information about how to join the ZSL Fellowship programme and engage with a network of thousands who are shaping the future of conservation, please click here.
  • Sign up here to receive email updates about forthcoming ZSL and Conservation Events.
  • Read the latest blog posts from our scientists and conservationists here.
  • Follow us on Twitter @ZSLScience to hear about new publications from our researchers, upcoming events and podcast episode releases. 
  • To catch up on all our previous online events, you can find them on our YouTube channel, or here.