Conservation Science

Conservation Science

The Conservation Science group is an inter-disciplinary collaboration between wildlife veterinarians and geneticists, operating from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, at the University of Edinburgh.  Our focus is on the transfer and application of science and clinical practice to wildlife conservation, both here in Scotland and internationally.   As a founding member of Edinburgh Conservation Science (ECOS), we are committed to promoting world class research and training that benefit global biodiversity.

Pine Marten

We work to understand, investigate and mitigate health concerns in wildlife populations and their wider ecosystems. Conservation Medicine is an interdisciplinary field, recognizing the interrelationships between the health of wildlife, domestic animals, humans and the wider environment, and may be regarded as the application of One Health to biodiversity conservation.

Our team includes vets and scientists with experience and expertise in the fields of wildlife population health, ecosystem health, epidemiology and clinical wildlife medicine.

Our work includes: providing scientific and clinical veterinary expertise to wildlife conservation programmes; conducting research into infectious and non-infectious diseases of relevance to endangered wildlife populations; performing wildlife health surveillance, and investigating how the results can be used in ecosystem health assessment; conducting research into wildlife diseases relevant to domestic animal and/or human health; and investigating links between disease susceptibility and population genetics, in collaboration with the Conservation Genetics group.

We also provide external training through our online Conservation Medicine MVetSci and One Health MSc programmes, and our CPD courses in Interventions in Wild Animal Health and Managing and Leading Conservation Projects.

We are involved in a wide variety of projects, both nationally and internationally, and our work concerns a broad range of wildlife taxa. Our team has links to a number of professional wildlife health and conservation networks, such as the Wildlife Health Bridge, which aims to increase the expertise and knowledge of wildlife health professionals in biodiverse low- and middle-income countries, the European College of Zoological Medicine, and the IUCN/SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group. We provide veterinary consultancy services for conservation or research projects and are always happy to provide advice or discuss potential collaborations.

For more information, please contact Katie Beckmann or Dr Neil Anderson.

Image copyrights: Glen Cousquer

We generate and apply genetic data for the conservation of endangered species and populations throughout the world.   We support captive breeding, reintroduction projects and natural population management through the delivery of DNA analysis to inform practical decision-making and broader conservation policy.

Our group includes experienced applied conservation geneticists with expertise in traditional DNA marker approaches, next-generation sequencing and whole genome bioinformatics.  We work across a broad range of taxa including plants, all major invertebrate groups and invertebrates.

The Conservation Genetics Group also hosts the IUCN SSC Conservation Genetics Specialist Group secretariat and the coordinator of Edinburgh Conservation Science (ECOS).

We also provide training through our MSc/Dip/Cert & Short Courses on Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Conservation by online learning. 

Alongside our core research, we provide genetic analysis services to the wildlife conservation community and are always happy to provide advice and discuss potential collaborative projects.  For more information, please contact either Dr Rob Ogden or Dr Silvia Perez-Espona.