DARRELL ABERNETHY

BVSc MSSc PGDip (Epi) PhD MRCVS

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ABOUT ME

People, Penguins, Programmes

I am passionate about the 3Ps: People - from students in the vet school I lead at Aberystwyth University, through researching people factors in disease control, to exploring how wildlife can alleviate poverty in rural Africa. Then African Penguins - representative of the avian research platform that I lead and Programmes - understanding how health programmes - in both animals and humans - can be improved and optimised. 

I am married to René, who makes life worth living, and we are blessed with 3 wonderful children, their partners and a growing bevy of grandchildren. 


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PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

HEAD & CHAIR ABERYSTWYTH SCHOOL OF VETERINARY SCIENCE, ABERYSTWYTH, WALES

April 2020 - Present

This is a new degree programme at Aberystwyth University, commencing in September 2021, in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College. Students will spend their first two years at Aberystwyth before moving to the RVC for the following three years. See https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/vet-sci/ for more details

FACULTY OF VETERINARY SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

May 2012 - March 2020

I was appointed as Head of the Department of Vet. Tropical Diseases before serving as Dean of the faculty from 2014 - 2018. I then moved to the Centre for Vet. Wildlife Studies where I developed research programmes in avian, human and animal health. I developed an avian research platform, focusing on endangered birds, and commenced researching the role of wildlife in poverty alleviation.

DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE, NORTHERN IRELAND (DAERA)

June 1994 - April 2012

Epidemiologist, then head of the Epidemiology Unit, Veterinary Service. Responsible for disease investigation, study design and advice to government officials. Diseases included endemic diseases such bovine tuberculosis and bovine brucellosis (now eradicated) as well as exotic disease incursions (FMD, BSE).

VETERINARY SERVICES, BOTSWANA

June 1991 - June 1994

Public health post under the auspices of the then Overseas Development Administration (now DIFD), UK. Based in export abattoir, Lobatse; responsible for all aspects including animal welfare, meat inspection, health monitoring and staff management.

DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE, NORTHERN IRELAND (DAERA)

July 1985 - May 1991

Veterinary Office, responsible for animal and public health duties, including zoonotic disease investigation and control, exotic disease prevention, meat inspection and movement controls.

 
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EDUCATION

PHD. ROYAL VETERINARY COLLEGE (RVC), UK.

June 2008

POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN EPIDEMIOLOGY, RVC, UK.

June 2002

MASTER OF SOCIAL SCIENCE (MSSC). QUEENS UNIVERSITY, BELFAST, N. IRELAND.

June 1990

BACHELOR OF VETERINARY SCIENCE (BVSC). UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

May 1985

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS

 
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AFRICAN PENGUIN HEALTH

The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is endangered and I lead an international group of experts to determine the health challenges they encounter. Sub-projects include: 

(1) Survey of highly pathogenic avian influenza

(2) Evaluation of noxious chemicals

(3) Role of citizen science and drones in population monitoring

(4) Computer modelling of health-related factors

(5) Analysis of stakeholder views

CONTACT

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