My name is Gemma and I am looking forward to starting my PhD at Queen’s University Belfast as part of QUADRAT cohort 5. My research will involve exploring how various species of lungworm move across and through different trophic levels. This area is particularly of interest to me as I have been a practicing companion animal vet for almost a decade. During this time I had the challenge of encountering a wide variety of parasitic diseases as well as the opportunity to treat various wildlife species. Prior to beginning my PhD I completed a Masters in Conservation Biology and Ecological Management also at Queen’s, and it was this that sparked my interest in the ecology of animal diseases. The importance of epidemiological research has been highlighted given the emergence of important infectious zoonotic diseases, and several species of lungworm are responsible for potentially fatal disease in people. This project will help identify areas of high parasite transmission risk, and better allow One health practitioners to protect both human and animal populations globally.

Pipistrelle bat being restrained for an x-ray. Photo credit: Gemma Crossan