Darryn Knobel, BVSC, MSC, MRCVS, PhD arrived at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) in January 2015 to direct the Center for Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Health. Here’s what you need to know about...
His role at the university
As the Director for the Center for Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Health, Dr. Knobel oversees the center's focus on the role of wildlife and the broader ecosystem in the emergence of disease, and conversely, on the impact of infectious diseases from humans or domestic animals on wildlife.
His research interests
Conservation medicine and ecosystem health are emerging fields in the study of diseases in populations. They apply the principle of “One Health,” or the recognition that the health of humans, animals, and the ecosystems in which they live, are inextricably linked. Infectious diseases in particular can no longer be studied in isolation, as these diseases often affect multiple species, including humans, domestic animals and wildlife.
Identifying the factors that influence the spread of these diseases, and devising solutions for their control, is therefore best done through a holistic approach. For example, a disease such as Ebola, may circulate undetected in a wildlife population until man-made changes to the environment disturb this system, perhaps leading to more contact between the wildlife host and domestic animals or humans themselves, resulting in disease spillover that can have dramatic consequences. To eliminate such diseases demands an understanding of the ecological and socio-economic drivers of their emergence and spread in new populations or to new areas.
Engaging Students in Research
“I appreciate that, compared to most other vet schools, we have a really high proportion of DVM students who are engaged with research. I think that adds a new perspective for the students and also benefits faculty. I’ve been impressed with the caliber of students, and with the unique skills they bring with them from their undergraduate degrees or their own personal interests in particular topics.”