The Veterinary Perspective on Climate Change Threats and Solutions
In September, Penn students, faculty, staff, and guests spent a week looking at climate change from all angles during the University’s second annual Climate Week at Penn. At the nexus of humans, animals, and the environment, Penn Vet had a lot to say.
Penn Vet faculty discussed the zoonotic consequences of extreme heat in the panel The Wet and Sweltering Spillover: Happy Mosquitoes, Miserable Humans, Dangerous Disease.
Presented by the School’s Bellwether Sessions virtual event series and hosted by De’Broski Herbert, PhD, presidential associate professor and associate professor of Pathobiology, the webinar featured Julie Ellis, PhD, co-director, Wildlife Futures Program; Lisa Murphy, VMD, resident director of the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at New Bolton Center; and Michael Povelones, PhD, assistant professor of Pathobiology.
The group shared insights on the impact of rising heat and precipitation on disease transmission; mosquitoes, insects, and animal hosts for disease; and the very real risk of major spillover events that could compromise the health of wildlife, livestock, and humans.
The same week, which coincided with the 2021 Penn Annual Conference, Penn Vet alumna Dr. Angela Frimberger, V’90, presented a PAC keynote entitled Climate Change — A Veterinary Problem. Her keynote explored the realities of climate change, its impact on animals, and veterinary-focused solutions.
A veterinary oncologist who lives and practices in Australia, Frimberger has immersed herself in the science, policy, education, and organization around climate change. She is a founder and board chair of Veterinarians for Climate Action, a global network of animal health professionals concerned about climate change.