The One Health Research Group led by Lee Skerratt, second from left.
The Tom Thorne and Beth Williams Memorial Award is presented in acknowledgement for an exemplary achievement combining wildlife disease research with wildlife management policy implementation and elucidating particularly significant problems in wildlife health.
This is the first time the award has gone to an Australian group.
One Health Research Group at JCU focuses on issues involving wildlife, and investigates the causes and control of infectious diseases in wildlife that impact biodiversity, human health and domestic animal health.
Infectious diseases of wildlife are becoming increasingly important as globalisation and environmental change are causing them to emerge and re-emerge.
The One Health Research Group uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide holistic solutions to mitigate their impact.
They use methods from veterinary science, ecology and public health.
The definition of One Health is "The interdisciplinary collaboration to improve health for people, domestic animals and biodiversity”.
This approach is needed for health issues that involve human and animals, or for complex health issues that require broad expertise to solve.
The group's work over the past 20 years includes the discovery and control of one of the major causes of global amphibian decline, the frog chytrid fungus.
Other current research includes determining ways to improve the control of transmission of Hendra virus from flying foxes into horses and humans, assessing the risk of spill over of wild dog parasites, and infections of tree kangaroos that can impact humans on the Atherton Tablelands.
The award is a sculpture of endangered black footed ferrets plus US$1000.
For information on the group see -
JCU PhD graduate Laura Brannelly accepting the award from WDA president Dave Jessup, in New York.
PhD student Gerardo Martin works on risk of Hendra virus spreading from flying foxes to horses.
Research assistant Rebecca Webb working on risk of Hendra virus spreading from flying foxes to horses.