CATHARINA VENDL

I am a vet from Germany with a profound interest in the biology of wild mammals, preferably those with flippers or a pouch. I am especially interested in pathogens and diseases in wildlife species and their interface with people. As the recent emergence of a number of zoonoses like SARS and Ebola revealed, public and wildlife health are increasingly linked, emphasizing the importance of the multidisciplinary “One Health” approach.

 

CURRENT WORK / RESEARCH

Preliminary PhD project title: “Investigations into the microbe community in the respiratory tract of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) by analysing exhaled breath condensate (EBC)”

 

Whales are considered as sentinels of the health status of our oceans. However, whales are hard to study. A relatively recent approach is to sample their blow. Hormones could already be detected in it. The potential of the new method is even more promising though: We aim to characterize the microbial communities, potential pathogens and immune parameters of their respiratory tract. Consequently, we hope to gain some insight into the health and immune status of the population of humpback whales migrating along the Australian east coast.

PAST EDUCATION & WORK

I received my degree in veterinary science at the Free University Berlin in Germany. Following this, I gained some wildlife medicine experience at several Wildlife hospitals in the US and Australia. Subsequently, I worked as a researcher at the clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. At the same time I received a postgraduate research degree on methane production and digestive physiology of non-ruminating foregut fermenting herbivores such as pygmy hippos, sloths, peccaries and kangaroos. For the research project on kangaroos I spent 10 months at the UNSW arid zone research station Fowlers Gap.

INTERESTS

  • Scuba diving

  • Escrima and Ju Jutsu

  • Science journalism

PUBLICATIONS

Vendl C, Frei S, Dittmann MT, Furrer S, Ortmann S, Lawrenz A, Lange B, Munn A, Kreuzer M, Clauss M (2016) Methane production by two non-ruminant foregut-fermenting herbivores: the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) and the pygmy hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon liberiensis). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A

 

Vendl C, Clauss M, Stewart M, Leggett K, Hummel J, Kreuzer M, Munn A (2015) Decreasing methane yield with increasing food intake keeps daily methane emissions constant in two foregut fermenting marsupials, the western grey (Macropus fuliginosus) and red kangaroos (Macropus rufus). Journal of Experimental Biology (online) doi 10.1242/jeb.128165

 

Vendl C, Frei S, Dittmann MT, Furrer S, Osmann C, Ortmann S, Munn A, Kreuzer M, Clauss M (2015) Digestive physiology, metabolism and methane production of captive Linné’s two-toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus). Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition (online) doi 10.1111/jpn.12356

 

Hagen KB, Besselmann D, Cyrus-Eulenberger U, Vendl C, Ortmann S, Zingg R, Kienzle E, Kreuzer M, Hatt J-M, Clauss M (2015) Digestive physiology of the plains viscacha (Lagostomus maximus), a large herbivorous hystricomorph rodent. Zoo Biology 34: 345-359

 

Vendl C, Beveridge, I (2014) Estimation of species richness in the complex communities of nematode parasites found in the stomach of kangaroos and wallabies (family Macropodidae). Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 138: 105-112

SCHOLARSHIPS / GRANTS / AWARDS

  • One-year postgraduate research scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

     

  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) of UNSW

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Find my Publications 

at ReseachGate