A new approach to wildlife health research with a focus on solutions

Andrew Peters, Anna Meredith, Scott Carver, Rupert Woods, Lee Skerratt

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstract


Scientific research falls broadly into two categories: discovery or applied. The majority of funded and published wildlife health research is applied, yet relatively little progress has been made in the deployment of effective solutions for those problems. The field of wildlife health is not alone in the challenge of translating basic scientific research into real-world solutions, and a growing chasm between research activity and improvements in human health has driven the development of translational research over the past 15 years. Translational frameworks are essentially a fundamental restructuring of the research enterprise, demanding the formation of highly multidisciplinary research groups, the creation of interdisciplinary translational expertise, and a shift in the emphasis of funding and publication towards later phases of research focused on the efficacy and real world effectiveness of solutions.
Translational theory in human health is drawn upon to create a translational framework for wildlife health research, synthesising commonalities and addressing features unique to wildlife health. This framework introduces four broad translational phases situated on a bidirectional continuum of research activity stretching from problem identification to the deployment of effective solutions. These phases are: problem definition (T0); and the development of potential solutions (T1), efficacious solutions (T2), and effective solutions (T3). A systematic review of recent literature on wildlife health demonstrates a dramatic bias towards early T1 phase research.
We argue that the roadblocks to solving problems of wildlife health lie not only in the development of potential biomedical solutions to wildlife disease (phase T1), but also in the earliest (problem definition) and the latter (developing efficacious and effective solutions) translational phases, and that solution-finding in wildlife health has neglected the challenges and opportunities lying in the field of human sociology across all translational phases. We propose a fundamental restructuring of applied wildlife health research to overcome these roadblocks.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Event2019 Wildlife Disease Association Australasia (WDA-A) Conference - Gumleaves Bush Holidays, Little Swanport, Australia
Duration: 29 Sep 201904 Oct 2019
https://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/admin/files/37391151/2019_WDAA_Program_Abstract.pdf (abstracts)


Conference2019 Wildlife Disease Association Australasia (WDA-A) Conference
CityLittle Swanport
OtherFull papers only made available to conference registrants. Abstracts (pub avail) in link below.
Internet address


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