Darrell Abernethy

Darrell Abernethy

Darrell Abernethy


[email protected]

Professor and Head of Veterinary School, Aberystwyth University, UK.


Research Themes
  • Avian and Ecosystem Health


The African continent has among the highest avian diversity in the world. We have established a multidisciplinary platform to explore factors affecting the health of selected avian species and to utilize cutting-edge methodologies to understand pathogen diversity and their significance. We are also exploring the role of birds as monitors of ecosystem health and how avian demography can be used to monitor the effects of climate change or anthropogenic impacts.

Current projects include:

  • African penguin health:
    • Epidemiology & management of HPAI in seabirds (PhD: Dr Laura Roberts)
    • Survey of stakeholders’ views on African penguin conservation (MSc: Ms Takdeera Lewis)
  • Epidemiology of haemoparasitism in African passerines
  • Framework for evaluation of health of African raptors
  • Survey of raptor rehabilitation centres in southern Africa
  • Links between wildlife and poverty

Africa is rich in wildlife but many of the rural communities living in such areas are chronically poor and do not benefit from this resource. They might be prevented from utilizing their local wildlife, perceive them as a threat to personal safety and crops, or have their cattle trade constrained due to diseases that local wildlife carry. We seek to explore how local people perceive and utilize wildlife, how they can benefit optimally from wildlife and how younger generations can be influenced to preserve their heritage.

Current projects include:

  • Role of wildlife in poverty alleviation (Post doctoral researcher: Dr Bosco Kalule)
  • Bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis

Bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis are global zoonotic diseases that significantly impact human and animal health. We are exploring how these diseases can be better managed and eradicated.

Current projects include:

  • Case control study assessing risk factors for bovine brucellosis Development of framework to evaluate bovine brucellosis control schemes
  • Characterisation of B. melitensis in South Africa (Co-supervisor; PhD student: Baraba Glover)
Published by Linda Poggenpoel

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2022. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

To contact the University during the COVID-19 lockdown, please send an email to [email protected]

Click here for frequently asked questions for first year UP students

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences