Emerging Wildlife Diseases | Centre for Veterinary Education

Emerging Wildlife Diseases

Emerging Wildlife Diseases

Currently working with wildlife or simply interested in learning more?

In this course you will explore the diagnosis, pathology and epidemiology of the newest diseases of wildlife from around the globe while learning what defines a disease as emerging and the mechanisms by which this happens. 

This course will provide you with a solid grounding in how and why diseases emerge, in a manner applicable to domestic species and humans as well. Emphasis will be placed on the investigative path, developing skills that can be applied to any disease outbreak. Learning about key wildlife diseases that may have not yet hit your region will prepare you to recognise these if and when they emerge.

This course is suitable for veterinarians at all levels, pathologists, pathology residents and veterinary students. Veterinary technicians/nurses, wildlife biologists and other professionals working in the wildlife sector are very welcome. Please be aware some aspects of the material will be most suitable for those with veterinary training

Learning Objectives

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Be able to evaluate a disease entity and determine if it is emerging and by what mechanism
  • Be able to recognise the clinical signs/gross lesions of wildlife emerging diseases and suggest appropriate tests for confirmation
  • Gain a rudimentary understanding of the investigative process associated with emerging diseases of wildlife
  • Be able to critically evaluate proposed emerging diseases for evidence of emergence, evidence of causation and rationale of mechanism of emergence 


  1. Definition of emerging diseases - Part A
  2. Definition of emerging diseases – Part B
  3. Mechanisms of emerging diseases – Role of pathogen
  4. Mechanisms of emerging diseases – Role of host
  5. Mechanisms of emerging diseases – Role of environment


Monday 2 - Sunday 29 September 2019
Delivered Online


Cheryl grew up as a farm girl on the Canadian prairies where she developed a keen interest in wildlife and biology. She pursued these interests, first by completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her education culminated in Masters of Veterinary Science in Anatomic Pathology with a Wildlife Health Option, which uses the Canadian Wildlife Health Centre as a training ground for wildlife pathologists. Her research addressed the potential use of coyotes as sentinels for Mycobacterium bovis in populations of elk and deer.  During this time, other aspects of her program took her to the Canadian North to work with wood bison, the Atlantic coast to study aquatic pathology and the Canadian National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease where she assisted in foot and mouth virus infection trials in deer. 

Following completion of ACVP board certification in 2007, Cheryl moved to Australia to take up a position as Diagnostic Veterinary Pathologist at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. She spent over 7 years in this position, conducting diagnostics on captive and free-ranging wildlife from Taronga Zoo, Western Plains Zoo and the Sydney area. In 2015 she left the zoo to pursue a lifestyle change with her husband, splitting her time between Scotland and Australia.

Since 2015, Cheryl has continued to work in various aspects of the fields of pathology and wildlife disease. She has held short-term teaching and diagnostic positions at the Universities of Sydney and Glasgow and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St Kitts, Caribbean. She also has ongoing contract work in diagnostic pathology with the International Zoo Vet Group and in wildlife disease with Wildlife Health Australia. In 2017 she delivered the Australian Animal Pathology Standards Program annual “Pathology Roadshow” on the topic Emerging Wildlife Diseases.

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$303
Student Member$152
Non-member / eMember$607
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members