Revealing the unseen: the amazing world of wildlife pathology

12 Jan 2021 18:00 - 19:30

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 to track an invasive fungus that is killing snakes; 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 evening will feature images and video of post mortem examinations.


We are excited to bring back our Science and Conservation Events series in a new online format, please read the following information carefully:

  • This interactive online event will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel – we will provide a link here, along with tips and a Code of Conduct in due course, so please check back again soon.
  • The event will run from 6:00pm until 7:30pm, and will be recorded and available to watch on our YouTube channel afterwards. 
  • Each event will comprise of 3-4 presentations from experts in the topic, similar to our previous event series. 
  • There will be opportunities for questions from the audience to be answered after each presentation. We will ask audience members to submit their questions during the event via the comments section below the livestream on YouTube, and via email to
  • There is no charge for this event, and you do not need to enter any personal information or register in advance to watch the livestream (but please be aware you will need to log in to YouTube if you would like to ask a question in the comments section there).
  • If you would like to submit a question to the speakers before the event, please email it to with the event title in the Subject line.


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 Bohm and Eleanor Darbey here


Further Information

  • For more information about ZSL Fellowship, 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.