Research projects in South Africa, the Galápagos and Senegal are recipients of 2019 travel awards from the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s global health program.
The awards fund projects from CVM faculty advancing research in global health, including wildlife conservation and infectious disease.
For a project based in northern Pretoria, South Africa, Anthony Blikslager, professor equine surgery, and Mathew Gerard, professor of anatomy, are working to increase survival rates of injured southern white rhinoceros poached for their horns.
The project builds on Blikslager and Gerard’s previous work studying the anatomy of rhinos, particularly the sinus area, to refine treatment interventions. The Class of 2021’s Dina Ibrahim and Kelsie Dougherty, and the Class of 2022’s Haley Dodson are working with the two this summer.
Greg Lewbart, professor of aquatic animal medicine, is studying tourist-induced stress in seabirds on Genovesa Island in the Galápagos. Lewbart’s project compares stress hormones in red-footed boobies nestling close to popular tourist areas with those living in quieter parts of the island. The findings could help guide wildlife conservation efforts.
Lewbart has led numerous studies on wildlife health across the Galápagos, which sit 850 miles west of Ecuador. He also leads annual trips to the area for CVM students to conduct wildlife studies.
Research assistant professor Shivaramu Keelara Veerappa’s investigation in Dakar, Senegal, aims to stem the devastating tide of infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. Mosquito-borne diseases, including malaria, Zika and yellow fever, cause millions of deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization.
He will be a part of a research team capturing mosquitoes, identifying bacteria they contain and then looking into how the bacteria help mosquitoes survive and spread. The information may lead to new ways to curtail mosquito survival. The project is part of a new partnership between the CVM and the Institut Pasteur Dakar to advance infectious disease research in West Africa.