Media Experts on Avian Influenza

News
UC Davis poultry veterinarian Rodrigo Gallardo examines a chicken. Bird flu has been detected on commercial chicken farms in California and other parts of the U.S. (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine)
UC Davis poultry veterinarian Rodrigo Gallardo examines a chicken. Bird flu has been detected on commercial farms in California and other parts of the U.S. (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine)

Highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, has been detected on commercial farms in California and other parts of the U.S. The most recent outbreak of the highly transmissible strain of bird flu began in early 2022 and has resulted in the deaths of millions of chickens and turkeys. The following University of California, Davis, sources are available to share their expertise on the topic.

Maurice Pitesky, associate professor in cooperative extension at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Pitesky’s research focus is on highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, disease modeling. He examines how the disease moves from waterfowl, such as ducks and geese, to domestic poultry. He can also speak in general terms about the economic, environmental and animal welfare impact of HPAI. Contact: mepitesky@ucdavis.edu, office: 530-752-3215, cell: 530-219-1407

Rodrigo Gallardo, professor in poultry medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a veterinarian board-certified by the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and holds a Ph.D. in molecular poultry virology. He provides technical advice to the poultry industry in California and across the U.S. His research focuses on poultry RNA viruses including reoviruses, coronaviruses and influenza viruses. He has been the head of the poultry medicine program at the School of Veterinary Medicine for more than 10 years. Bilingual in Spanish and English. Contact: ragallardo@ucdavis.edu, cell: 530-219-4963

Beate Crossley, professor of clinical diagnostic virology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She has over 20 years of experience diagnosing viral disease in livestock and poultry at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory. She can answer questions about avian influenza test diagnostic interpretation and test validation. Since 2009, she has been engaged with the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Crossley is also involved in foreign animal disease investigations, working closely with the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, the USDA and state authorities. Contact: bcrossley@ucdavis.edu

Michael Payne, a food animal veterinarian working within the UC Davis Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, or WIFSS. Payne is a nationally recognized expert in biosecurity, protective measures that can be implemented preventing disease entry onto the farm. Outreach has included online and printed materials for livestock and poultry producers. Contact: mpayne@ucdavis.edu, cell: 530-304-9306

Richard Blatchford, an associate specialist of Cooperative Extension at the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He focuses on husbandry, behavior and welfare of small- to large-scale poultry production. He can answer general questions about avian influenza. Contact: rablatchford@ucdavis.edu

Huaijun Zhou, professor of animal science at the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and director of the USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry. Zhou’s lab has done research on genetic resistance to avian flu infection using genetic, genomic and bioinformatics approaches. Contact: hzhou@ucdavis.edu, office: 530-752-1034

Marcela Uhart, director of the Argentina-based Latin America Program with the UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Uhart can discuss impacts of avian influenza to sea birds and marine mammals, including sea lions and elephant seals. In Dec. 2023, she coauthored a report of extreme mortality in southern elephant seal and sea lion populations in South America from the H5N1 virus.  Contact: muhart@ucdavis.edu

Media Resources

Media Contact:

Learn more about the current avian influenza outbreak in California from the UC Davis Western Institute for Food Safety and Security and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

 

Primary Category

Secondary Categories

Human & Animal Health

Tags