Conservation and wildlife medicine leader to head University of Melbourne veterinary education and research

Professor Anna Meredith will assume the role of Head of the Melbourne Veterinary School in July 2018.

She is presently Professor and Chair of Zoological and Conservation Medicine and Associate Dean International at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Professor Anna Meredith

Professor Meredith is also Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, where she is responsible for the strategy, growth and development of 57 postgraduate courses with over 2,000 students.

She is a Fellow and Specialist in Zoological Medicine of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and a Specialist in Wildlife Population Health of the European College of Zoological Medicine. She chairs the UK Government’s Zoos Expert Committee and is a member of the Scottish Government’s Science Advisory Council.

Professor John Fazakerley, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne, said Professor Meredith will bring considerable knowledge, expertise, skill and experience to the role.

“As Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes across both medicine and veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Professor Meredith has overseen and managed the design and delivery of a wide variety of courses and associated staff and greatly increased postgraduate enrolments,” Professor Fazakerley said.

“She has also been a member of several university and national senior level committees including the university’s committee for veterinary accreditation, which was successfully gained in 2016, and Chair of the school’s Athena SWAN committee, which won a silver award for its work on staff diversity, opportunity and equality.”

Professor Meredith’s research in conservation medicine examines the interrelationship between ecosystems, animal and human health; her work includes a recent high-profile study published in Science that showed British red squirrels harbour two strains of the bacterium that causes leprosy.

Professor Fazakerley said her research aligned with the priorities of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences.

“Her principal research and teaching area, conservation medicine, strongly aligns with our Faculty’s One Health mission: to contribute to a healthier and more sustainable world through research, teaching and engagement that promotes healthy air, water, soil, plants, animals, food and humans,” he said.

Professor Meredith said she was honoured to accept the role.

“I am looking forward to working with the exceptional staff at the School and its vibrant student community to ensure it continues to deliver and lead excellence in veterinary education, research and clinical care, and to grow its international reputation as Australia’s finest veterinary school,” Professor Meredith said.

“Australia is one of the finest environments for conducting world-leading veterinary science and research, with Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the forefront.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the University as Head of the Melbourne Veterinary School, and will strive to continue to develop its strengths as a leader and innovator, delivering the highest quality research and evidence-based education to ensure the health of animals, humans and the environment.”