Inaugural lecture: Pandemics in the Animal World
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May 24th, 2023, 10.15 a.m., lecture hall VIII, main building University of Bonn
Inaugural lecture as “Privatdozent” (Associate Professor)
Pandemics in the Animal World
Dr. Dennis Rödder
Since 2020 at the latest, the topic of pandemics has gained considerable public attention. In addition to diseases that can occur relatively quickly in humans across large regions, there are also a large number of diseases that can occur in animals. In addition to natural migration movements of the animals, human activities such as the wildlife trade or the globalization of the meat industry are increasingly playing a role in their spread. Infectious diseases can occur in a wide variety of organisms – from invertebrates to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals – and sometimes even jump between different groups. Their effects can be multidimensional and very complex. They range from changes at the population level to (local) extinction events, changes in food webs and sometimes serious medical and/or economic consequences for us humans. The lecture gives an exemplary overview of various epidemics / pandemics of the last decades, such as the amphibian fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans, fungal infections in snakes and bats, bird flu and African swine fever. Their discovery, propagation mechanisms, effects on biological systems and ways of limiting them are presented.