Two of the UK's most respected vets - Dr. Simon Doherty and Prof. Eric Morgan - are set to join the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University.
The pair will take on the roles of senior lecturer in animal health and professor of veterinary parasitology, respectively, at the faculty.
At a time when the world’s population is growing at its fastest ever rate, food security is a major global challenge.
The Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University plays a major role in delivering safe, sustainable and authentic food to the world’s population, and has become globally recognised for its excellence in research.
The institute was founded by Prof. Chris Elliott, who conducted the UK Government’s inquiry into the horsemeat scandal of 2013.
Animal health is vitally important for food security, and challenges in this area are increasing as a result of climate change, drug resistance and environmental concerns.
Veterinary science is delivering solutions, including tools to better predict disease threats and to detect and manage them before they become a global food security issue.
Both veterinary surgeons by background, Dr. Doherty and Prof. Morgan’s appointments will help to expand the portfolio of world-class undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by the university.
Dr. Doherty and Prof. Morgan will lead on the development of innovative curricula in parasitology and veterinary biosciences; drawing on existing expertise within the Institute and building capacity through strategic alliances with other world-leading universities, research institutes, and stakeholders, both in the local industry and in the global agri-tech sector.
Doherty, who is currently vice president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), brings global animal health industry experience.
He has carried out a three-year consultancy as the animal science and aquaculture specialist for the UK Government Department for International Trade.
He has also worked in production animal veterinary practice in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and gained experience in the research environment through his previous role at the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute in Northern Ireland.
As well as holding the position of past-president of the North of Ireland Veterinary Association, he is also a trustee of the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation and is a certified aquaculture veterinarian with the World Aquaculture Veterinary Medical Association.
Doherty said: “I very much look forward to committing my energy, drive and enthusiasm to leading the further development of Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security as a world-class Global Research Institute with real regional impact.
“I am excited to explore the collaborative One Health opportunities afforded through the research institutes at Queen’s and developing new relationships with academic and industry collaborators in the animal health sector.”
Prof. Eric Morgan joins Queen’s University from Bristol Veterinary School, where he spent years teaching 15 parasitology on the veterinary curriculum and developing world-leading research on the epidemiology of parasitic infections in livestock, companion and wild animals.
Morgan said: “The top class research conducted at the Institute for Global Food Security already helps livestock farmers in Northern Ireland to maintain healthy, productive animals in the face of multiple threats.
Diseases such as parasitic infections also impact agriculture worldwide, especially in subsistence systems where animals are so important for food and power.
"The growing research capabilities at Queen’s University have a key role to play in improving livelihoods locally as well as in the world’s poorest regions.”
Director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University, Prof. Nigel Scollan added: “Both Simon and Eric have an international reputation of academic excellence and have both held major strategic and leadership roles in the field of veterinary science."