Equine parasite specialist takes on national leadership role

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Martin Nielsen accepts the handoff of the AAVP presidency cowbell from predecessor Doug Carithers, DVM, director of applied research and publications at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Martin Nielsen accepts the handoff of the AAVP presidency cowbell from predecessor Doug Carithers, DVM, director of applied research and publications at Boehringer Ingelheim. © University of Kentucky

Equine parasitologist Professor Martin Nielsen has been elected president of the American Association for Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP).

His appointment was announced at the organisation’s annual meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, which was held in a hybrid format of both in-person and virtual components from June 19 to 22.

Nielsen served as program chair for the conference.

Danish-born Nielsen, the Schlaikjer Professor of Equine Infectious Disease at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals. He has co-authored a handbook on parasites and written numerous articles for magazines. He is co-editor in chief of the journal Veterinary Parasitology.

Nielsen, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVM, has been with the University of Kentucky since 2011. There, he has oversight of the university’s now-famous parasitology herd, set up by Gene Lyons and Harold Drudge.

The AAEP conference heard from several experts in the field, including Dr Jocelyn Poissant from the University of Calgary, who gave a presentation about the unique feral equine population on Sable Island in Canada, Dr Matthew Denwood from the University of Copenhagen, who explored statistical challenges with parasitology data, Dr Erik Andersen from Northwestern University, who gave a summary on his work unravelling genetic mechanisms behind drug resistance in nematodes, and Dr Yoko Nagamori, who gave a presentation about a novel parasite fecal egg counting technology.

The AAEP conference also celebrated three award winners who each gave a 30-minute presentation: Jeffrey Gruntmeier, the recipient of this year’s AAVP-Merck Animal Health Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Ontario Veterinary College’s Dr Andrew Peregrine, the 2021 recipient of the AAVP-Boehringer-Ingelheim Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist Award, and Dr Michael Yabsley, who received the AAVP-William C. Campbell One-Health Award.

The American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) was founded in 1956 and is a scientific and educational organization. Members of AAVP study parasites of companion, food-producing, domesticated animals, and wildlife to find new or better ways to diagnose, prevent, treat, or reduce infections in animals and in humans.

Article courtesy University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

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