Published: 19 Apr 2023 | Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023 19:07:47

Dylan Yaffy, a masters student at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), has been awarded the international Wildlife Disease Association’s (WDA) Graduate Student Scholarship Achievement Award.

The WDA’s scholarship award acknowledges an individual’s outstanding academic and research accomplishments, productivity and future potential in pursuit of new knowledge in wildlife health or disease.

Dylan, who is currently in the final year of his masters programme and residency in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at the RVC, is one of just two recipients of the prestigious scholarship award. He was presented with the award to recognise his contributions and commitment to wildlife conservation medicine throughout his academic career.

As part of his masters research project, Dylan used molecular techniques to investigate the occurrence of systemic isosporiasis, a potentially fatal parasitic infection, in British garden birds. Upon completion of his residency, Dylan hopes to apply his experience with wildlife pathology to urban wildlife disease surveillance and contribute more widely to the field of wildlife conservation medicine.

Prior to undertaking his graduate studies, Dylan received a BSc in Wildlife Biology from McGill University and a BVetMed from the RVC.

The scholarship recipients receive a grant with a minimum value of US$2,000 which can be used for fees, supplies and resources or any other educational expenses that they may incur in the pursuit of a graduate degree. The two winners also receive a one-year membership to the WDA.

The award is offered annually, and selected winners are recognised at the annual international WDA conference.

Dylan Yaffy, winner of the WDA’s Graduate Student Scholarship Achievement Award, said:

“It’s an honour to be acknowledged by the Wildlife Disease Association in the form of the 2023 SSA Award. A significant proportion of my academic and research work contributing to this recognition was completed at the RVC during my veterinary degree and residency in Anatomic Pathology, which would not have been possible without the ongoing collaborations between RVC and the Zoological Society of London.

“The award is validation of the time and energy I've dedicated to studying wildlife health and disease and will allow me to continue contributing to our understanding of urban wildlife health and conservation medicine."

Dr Henny Martineau, Head of Veterinary Forensic Pathology and Lecturer in Anatomic Pathology at the Royal Veterinary College, said:

“Dylan is a very dedicated and hard working student, and this award is thoroughly deserved. Supporting students to pursue areas of study which ignite their passion and interest is a core part of what we try and do at the RVC. Seeing Dylan further enabled to continue research in this area, will help to secure a future for wildlife conservation.”

Notes to Editors

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About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London.
  • It is one of the few veterinary schools in the world that hold accreditations from the RCVS in the UK (with reciprocal recognition from the AVBC for Australasia, the VCI for Ireland and the SAVC for South Africa), the EAEVE in the EU, and the AVMA in the USA and Canada.
  • The RVC is ranked as the top veterinary school in the world in the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2023.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.  
  • The RVC is a research led institution with 88% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.

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