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Student Workshops and Summer Schools
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2019 Workshop - Münich, Germany: "Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates"


Preliminary Programme

This year's EAZWV Student Workshop will take 20 under and post-graduate students to Münich, Germany, and its Reptile Recovery Centre, to expand their knowledge and skill on the Medicine of Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates!

Students will be able to learn from lectures and practicals run by established veterinarians, but will also be able to participate in the programme with a 10 min presentation of their own! This presentation will be based on a previously assigned scientific peer-reviewed article, and as in previous years, this successful type of Workshop allows students to practice their scientific presentation skills in a small and supportive environment that will give them constructive criticism for when they need to do it in a conference.

Applications to participate are now open, and the link will be available on this page. You will need to submit a short CV (max 2 pages) and a cover letter. Priority will be given to EAZWV Student Members, and we will aim to have a wide representation of under and post-graduate students from different European countries.



The cost will be 260€ for student members and 330€ for non members, which will include meals, accommodation and public transport for the duration of the Workshop.

And finally, for the first time this year, you will be able to apply for a Student Grant that will cover the cost of registration! Applications for this grant will be open at the same time as for the Workshop, and you can find all the details right here.

We look forward to welcoming you into Münich, and for any questions feel free to contact the Student Board!

Sara, Alex, Jojo and Natascha


2018 Summer School - Zürich, Switzerland: "Elephants" 


The end of August was on sight when 20 under and post-graduate students from 12 different European countries made their way to Zürich, to join this year’s EAZWV Student Summer School. Sitting in a balcony with a view to the beautiful Zürich lake, we all got to know each other over some pizza and got ready for the 5 intense days of learning that laid ahead. This year’s captivating topic? Elephants.

The Student Board was fortunate to get the support from Prof. Dr Marcus Clauss and Dr. Maya Kummrow in organising this Summer School. Not only did we have an amazing scientific programme lined up with 19 incredibly experienced speakers, we were wonderfully hosted by Zürich Zoo – included in the programme was a guided tour from the people that helped envision and build the massive Masoala Rainforest enclosure and the Kaeng Krachan Elephant House, a backstage demonstration of the elephant training  that is performed on a daily basis,  and even the opportunity to watch the elephants test the underwater viewing pool! Every Zürich Zoo keeper, curator, vet and staff that crossed our path happily shared the knowledge and passion they have for their job and the Zoo’s concept, and very patiently answered the million questions we had. We couldn’t be more thankful for their hospitality!

The scientific programme was also excellent and broad. We were taught about elephant conservation and how elephants are kept in all its different forms, reproduction, immobilisation, histopathology, nutrition and body condition scoring, and several aspects of clinical care covering common afflictions, therapeutics, infectious diseases with a focus on EEHV, tooth care, foot care and medical training. We got to hear first-hand about very interesting research that’s being done on elephant sleep and foot health assessment and had a good discussion on the ethics of keeping elephants and the socio-political challenges that arise from that, and mainly how to assure that the standards of welfare are above par and constantly being improved.

Another feature of this Summer School that made it such a valuable experience is the very different essential skills that were taught and discussed: how to read and write a scientific paper, all we need to know about zoo residencies, what are the different paths we can take to become a zoo vet/specialist, and how to build an application for one of these jobs.

We could also enjoy a mid-week barbecue at the Zoo, and of course, no student event would be complete without the typical student’s night out, that not even the thundering rain could ruin!

We would like to thank every participant and every speaker for coming to Zürich to share this experience! It was an amazing week and we hope you all enjoyed this opportunity to learn and network as much as we did.




See you in Prague!

Sara and the Student Board

2017 Workshop - Budapest, Hungary: "Avian Medicine" 


The EAZWV Student Workshop 2017 happened in Budapest, Hungary this past August. It allowed students to come together and exchange experiences, alongside the very much appreciated education in avian medicine.

We’re really happy to tell you all about our great experience, with 4 days of high quality student presentations, lectures from our speakers, some practical demonstrations and also great social activities.

So let’s talk about the first day: we arrived and discovered the lecture room of the Budapest Zoo. Endre Sós, the head veterinarian of the Zoo welcomed us, and he was accompanied by János Gál, a wildlife pathologist and by Michael Lierz, the director of the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish in the University of Giessen, Germany. The first lectures were more general, covering avian taxonomy and nutrition, followed by more medical topics with anesthesia and the first student presentations. All the students had the chance to prepare a 10 min presentation about a subject of interest inside avian medicine and expose it to the group. After that there was time for some discussion and constructive feedback by the whole group, so everyone could improve their future presentations, which was a very important experience to take home.

The first day was already very intense so we quickly ate something before going to the most famous activity of Budapest: the Thermal Baths! Probably the best way to relax after this busy day!

The second day had the same structure, we explored avian radiology with Michael Lierz and avian necropsy, complemented with a necropsy practical where we had the opportunity to see in real life how some of the most common avian pathologies look on various avian species. In the afternoon, some of the students and Michael Lierz presented and discussed very interesting clinical cases, which was a great way to learn from each other and to see new practical things. After yet another full day we went to the famous Szimpla Bar to enjoy some beers, burgers and very good live music!

Our (already) last day at the zoo began with a practical session: anaesthesia and endoscopy. We learned some basics like how to recognise the kidneys, the spleen, the liver, to differentiate male and female, and some students did a full endoscopic exam themselves. The afternoon lectures were focused on articifial insemination in parrots and the management in recovery centers. After lunch we visited the zoo with Endre Sós who explained to us the Zoo’s secrets and history.

One of the best moments, without any hesitation, was the last day! We went to a field trip in the deep and typical hungarian countryside to visit the Hortobágy reserve with Endre Sós. We had the chance to admire one of the biggest population of Przewalski horses but also aurochs or wolves and, of course, lots of birds! One of the most famous gastronomical speciality of this reserve is the auroch saucisson, wich a lot of us tried! After this, we had a typical lunch in a traditional hungarian restaurant where we ate catfish. We finally finished the day and the workshop with bird watching all the afternoon in the reserve.

So we can say that after these 4 days all of us went home with new memories of a high quality workshop but, not only that, they were also 4 days of a lot of fun between students from many different countries (14!), and that’s also why this experience was so enriching and awesome. On behalf of the students attending the Workshop we want to thank the organisers: Sara Abreu, Alex Haake and Johanna Kasberg for having prepared such an event! Thank you to the Budapest Zoo and to Endre Sos for the lectures and for being so welcoming, thank you to János Gál and Michael Lierz for teaching us so much and thank you to the EAZWV!



Marianthi Ioannidis (Belgium) and Paula López-Jurado (Spain)


2016 Summer School - Paris, France: "Diagnostics"


It had finally arrived! The day we, as wildlife and zoo minded veterinary students, were waiting for throughout the year: the start of the EAZWV Student Summer School. Five days of valuable experiences, learning and discussing together, making new friends and lots of fun and laughter in France… 25 students from 8 different countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland) travelled independently by train and plane to Paris for the Student Summer School from August 22nd – 26th 2016!

With most students arriving on Sunday, we seized the opportunity to do a bit of sightseeing on the first day as well as having a tasty ice cream on the Île Saint-Louis and concluding the day in a restaurant in Saint-Michel together. An early start to each day included breakfast in the hotel room and a morning walk to Paris Zoo, except for Wednesday, when we were hosted at the Ménagerie. Lectures started exactly at 8.00, but with so many enthusiastic students, it was never so easy to be on time for class! Each day was filled with theory and practical sessions, as well as coffee breaks and lunch and dinner at the Paris Zoo café, except for Wednesday, when we enjoyed baked goods on the banks of the Seine for lunch and sat outside a restaurant in the bustling heart of Paris for dinner. We even discovered our dancing queens and kings in a Salsa café!

Our main topic this week was ‘Diagnostics’, one of the main competences a good zoo and wildlife vet needs to have. As such, a diverse range of topics was covered through lectures and practical exercises held by qualified and renowned lecturers:

  • Avian and reptile hematology & cytology – what do you see on a slide and how to interpret it?
  • Radiography – is 3D a helpful technique or not?
  • Immobilization – which gun and equipment to use in different situations, and of course, the chance to try out different ones on different stationary targets!
  • Endoscopy - where every student was able to peek into a pigeon with some of the best endoscopy equipment on the market;
  • Pathology & histology – a complete necropsy of an ostrich with a Mycobacterium avium infection;
  • Ultrasound – a very clear introduction to the theory and then practicing on big tubs of gelatin filled with items and, of course, on our own bodies… (who could resist?);
  • Animal training with the Paris Zoo sea lions;
  • Studbook keeping;
  • Standing sedation in an Addax;
  • And many others… 

The in-depth insights about the diagnostic methods available to zoo vets, behind-the-scenes tours of the zoos, and exotic species-specific information made this Summer School unique from a university education point of view. The chance to talk with students (younger and older) and the mentors about the choices one can make in the interesting career of zoological medicine, not only is an excellent way to get to know the pros and cons of each route available but may open doors later in one’s life.

Next to talks about career choices, discussions arose about the management of a zoological animal population and how best to deal with the (growing) skepticism of anti-zoo groups which zoo vets face every day.

The days were very hot (ca. 40°C) – but hey, it’s called the “Summer” School for a reason. Although most days ended later than 9 p.m., the students still found the time to get together in the hotel rooms and share a beer and chat or go out.

We would wholeheartedly like to thank Sara Abreu, Rafaela Fiúza and Maya Kummrow for organizing this great event within a cost limit agreeable with a student life. The invested lecturers and teachers – Carsten Grøndahl, Helene Pendl, Romain Pizzi, Gerry Dorrestein, Wencke du Plessis, Aude Bourgeois – deserve a special recognition and warm hugs. The mentors’ openness and willingness to student questions is invaluable and certainly helps guide the students’ thoughts to which route(s) to take to achieve the best possible position. The organizers – Alexis Lécu and the staff of the Parc Zoologique de Paris, Norin Chai and the staff of the Ménagerie le Zoo du Jardin des Plants – were wonderful hosts, and we were so glad to be your guests!

THANK YOU, we will all fondly remember these 5 days, and can highly recommend and encourage any student to take part in one of the future Summer Schools or Workshops! And we hope to see everyone again at the Conference in Berlin next year!



Alexander Haake (Germany/Canada) and Maaike de Schepper (Netherlands/Belgium)


2015 Workshop - Lisbon, Portugal: "Conservation Strategies: Ex-situ Population Management and Reintroduction"

September brought the EAZWV Student Workshop to sunny Lisbon, Portugal. Fourteen students from seven different nationalities came together to learn about the role of ex-situ collections in conservation, namely trough captive breeding and reintroduction.

Main speakers present were Eng. José Dias Ferreira, curator of mammals at Lisbon Zoo and coordinator of the Persian-leopard EEP; Dr. Rui Bernardino and Dr. Teresa Lobo Fernandes, veterinarians at Lisbon Zoo; Dr. Rodrigo Serra, director of the Iberian Lynx Reproduction Centre in Portugal; and our very own Kim Gruetzmacher (PhD student at the Robert Koch Institute) and Javier Martinez.

In the afternoon sessions all participants presented a programme or scientific paper of interest to the main topic, and a group exercise of evaluation and constructive criticism was conducted. Results were very positive as all students learnt ways of improving their scientific presentations and provided constructive opinions on their colleagues’ efforts. After all this work, there was still time for a typical dinner and fun night out in the city!

On Saturday and Sunday the participants had the chance to visit the Lisbon Zoo and the Lisbon Oceanarium. On Sunday an exclusive opportunity was also provided to the students: a visit to the Iberian Lynx Reproduction Centre in Silves, south of Portugal. This centre is closed to the public and has a high level of security, but the director opened it to a small group of students that got to know all the different phases in the process of breeding one of the most endangered felids in the world.  

We would like to thank the Lisbon Zoo for hosting the Student Workshop 2015, the Iberian Lynx Reproduction Centre for receiving the students, and all the lecturers and participants for making it a great event.


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