As a veterinary pathologist, my interests are in diseases / infections of wildlife and non-domesticated species both on individuals but also at a population level. I am particularly interested in applying my results to wild populations to indicate reasons behind fluctuations in population size. I work with a variety of species and their infections, with emphasis on those that jump between host species. Some of my research has been in collaboration with colleagues in the Veterinary School and the School of Biological Sciences, such as projects on squirrelpox in UK squirrels; investigating the reservoir host of monkeypox virus and the immuno-pathogenesis of infectious bronchitis virus in poultry. I also have research collaberations with other institutions for example the Moredun Research Institute (Edinburgh) and the Institute of Zoology (London) concerning squirrel infections, song bird disease surveillance and the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme.
At the University of Liverpool, I am the main academic lead for squirrelpox virus research, as we work on the epidemiology and transmission route for the poxvirus which will enable us to identify a means of disease control. I supervise four PhD students’ research on: zoonotic diseases of wild rodents; infectious bronchitis virus in poultry; avian malaria in zoological collections.
I am interested in wildlife conservation and work as the sole diagnostic veterinary pathologist for Chester Zoo (the single largest UK zoo) covering all their diverse range of species. My input into their cases leads to more effective captive population management and pre-release screeing of animals for reintroduction.