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Wild Animals/disease ecology/wildlife



how are you?

I am interested in conservation/disease in in wildlife. I have completed a Bachelor degree in Wildlife science, I am currently doing my masters in environmental science, which I will also do honours with, hopefully researching disease in wildlife for example  tassie devils/facial cancer, koalas/chlamydia, frogs/chytrid fungus...I am currently doing a small research project on tularensis in possums.

I would like to get into researching disease in wildlife...and I would hope to persue phd after i complete the masters/phd. I will be heading to the USA mid year next year, (for my partners work, for 2 yeras) which may put a hold on my phd....

i guess what I would like to can I get into this sort of work? What subjects should I do? Do I need a good statistical background? Epidemiology? Molecular? Or will pregressing through my phd suffice?

Do you know any contacts in USA? How I could persue it there?(Boston). Or anywhere I could volunteer?



Dear Kate,

There are so many potential places you might pursue a degree in Wildlife Management and Conservation that it would not be possible to list them here.  But here's a start:

If you Google things like "undergraduate programs in conservation" or other key words, you will find a wealth of possibilities.

I don't have any personal contacts.  But the best way to get into a program like this is to find a program that suits your interests, and then contact the faculty member directly, via email.  Introduce yourself, tell him/her your interests and experience, and ask how you might be able to get involved in research.  

The person in that position will be able to tell you if you need any special courses to be able to matriculate into a Masters or Ph.D. program, but probably not.  Usually a B.S. in a natural science is all you will need to embark on this journey.

I wish you good luck!


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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.


I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

House Rabbit Society

Exotic DVM journal

I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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