Technical Working Group Members
James O’Shaughnessy - Research Officer, DAFM (Chairperson)
James is a native of Co. Limerick and he graduated as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin (UCD) in 2000. After graduation, James spent eight years working as a farm animal vet in veterinary practices based in Limerick and in Tipperary. In 2008, he moved to the UK to work in farm animal practice for two years on the Cheshire/Wrexham border. In late 2010, he returned to Ireland to enroll as a postgraduate student in UCD and was subsequently awarded a PhD. Much of the focus of his PhD was on targeted selective anthelmintic treatments in cattle. After working in the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine as a Teaching Fellow in 2015, he joined the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2016 as a Research Officer. At present, he is also enrolled as a resident with the European Veterinary Parasitology College.
Natascha Meunier - Beef HealthCheck Programme Manager
Natascha graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in 2005. She worked there for several years in mixed practice and as a government vet. In 2011, she moved to the Netherlands to complete a MSc in epidemiology, where she also worked in private practice as a veterinary practitioner. With a keen interest in infectious diseases, Natascha undertook a project studying bovine tuberculosis in cattle and wildlife in Uganda, obtaining her PhD in epidemiology through the Royal Veterinary College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2016. She has since worked on research projects based at the University of Edinburgh. Natascha joined AHI in 2019 and is currently training as a resident in Veterinary Public Health and Population Medicine.
Bosco Cowley - Technical Manager MSD Animal Health
Bosco is originally from Naas, Co. Kildare and is currently based there. He is currently the Technical Manager for Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health. He has a MVB degree from UCD and a MRCVS. In 2011 he completed a MVM in “Aspects of Bovine Herpesvirus 1 and Bovine Virus Diarrhoea Virus infection in beef and dairy herds in the Republic of Ireland”. He worked for two and a half years in general veterinary practice before joining Intervet Ireland Ltd. as technical advisor. Recently he has been involved in a nationwide seroprevalence study on BVD and IBR which will yield interesting results on these diseases through peer reviewed publications. Bosco is happy to be involved with AHI because he has been trained extensively on disease management and this experience has been further enhanced with 15 years technical support for veterinary practices throughout Ireland.
Charles Chavasse - Area Veterinary Manager, Liverstock Team, Zoetis
Charles Chavasse is from Dungarvan, Co Waterford, and he currently works with Zoetis as an Area Veterinary Manager. He qualified from Glasgow University Veterinary College in 1985. After graduation he worked for thirteen years in mixed practices in the North of Scotland, North Wales and Northern Ireland with a brief interlude leading expeditions through Africa. In 1998 he returned to Dungarvan, and was a partner in a four person practice focusing on farm practice, principally dairy, but with an expanding companion animal practice. His main interests are mastitis control and peventative medicine. In March 2010 he joined Pfizer Animal Health as an Area Veterinary Manager providing technical back up on Pfizer products and their practical use in disease prevention and control, to veterinary practitioners and farmers. Charles has always had an interest in herd health and feels that AHI can now “help develop and promote practices that will reduce disease in Irish herds and increase production and sustainability”.
Ian Hogan - DAFM, Veterinary Laboratory Services
Ian is originally from Clare. He works in the Limerick Regional Veterinary Laboratory. He qualified as a MVB from UCD in 1995, and spent eleven years in private practice dealing with both large and small animals. Ian’s current role in the Limerick RVL comprises of pathological examinations, diagnostic support and disease surveillance. He is happy to be involved with AHI because he sees it as a “way for individuals, involved in the health of farm animals in Ireland to cooperate across the industry”.
John Gilmore - Veterinary Practitioner
John is originally from a farming background in Co. Roscommon, where he now has his own veterinary practise. He qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon in 1997 from UCD and in 2001 he qualified with a MSc in Risk Management from DIT. Initially after graduation he worked in dairy practice in Kerry, before setting up his own practice in Elphin Co. Roscommon in 1998. He has a particular interest in preventative medicine on cattle and sheep farms. John believes “that AHI is a very positive initiative in the Irish livestock industry, as improvements in animal health will lead to increased marketability of Irish produce and improve overall profitability on Irish farms”.
Fintan Graham - Veterinary Practitioner
Fintan is originally from Portlaoise and is now based in Mountrath. He graduated from UCD in 1967 with a MVB MRCVS. He has been in general practice since 1967 in Co Laois. He is a former President and an active member of Veterinary Ireland and is a CAVI member. He currently writes in the “Vets corner "in the Irish Farmers Journal. Fintan is happy to be involved with AHI because he is deeply interested in Veterinary Medicine with a particular interest in farm animals
Maresa Sheehan - Veterinary Research Officer DAFM RVL Kilkenny
Maresa is currently working in Kilkenny Regional Veterinary Laboratory as a Senior Research Officer. After qualifying as a Veterinary Surgeon in 1997 from UCD, she worked for eight years in large animal practice. She started working Eyrecourt Co. Galway with primarily sucklers/beef and sheep and smaller numbers of dairy herds. A move to large animal practice in Thurles Co. Tipperary meant an increased emphasis on dairy work. She completed her research Masters in Veterinary Medicine, with her thesis entitled ‘Clinicopathological Investigation of Infectious Respiratory Disease of Sheep in Ireland’ in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, University College Dublin. Since joining the Veterinary Laboratory Service she has provided a post mortem service to vets and their clients and carried out collaborative research with Teagasc, UCD, local PVPs, HSE, DAFM colleagues in other Regional Veterinary Laboratories and AHI. Projects included anthelmintic resistance in sheep and first season dairy calves, the prevalence of Haemonchus contortus in sheep, seroconversion to liver fluke in slaughtered lambs, sheep and dairy calf mortality studies, udder health in cull cows, zoonosis and hypocalcaemia. She was awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in February 2019.
Martin Danaher - Senior Research Officer, Teagasc
Martin is currently a Senior Research Officer with Teagasc at Ashtown in Dublin. He graduated with a BSc in Industrial Chemistry from University of Limerick in 1997. He later completed a Walsh Fellowship PhD through Teagasc registered with the Analytical Chemistry Department at UCC. His current role is as a Senior Research Officer with Teagasc Food Research and is the lead scientist in the area of chemical contaminants in food. He is also the head of one of the four National Reference Laboratories for veterinary drug residue analysis. In this role he is responsible for nitrofuran and anti-parasitic drugs in food of animal origin, providing analytical testing services and expert advice for the various agencies operating in this area. His main areas interest veterinary residue analysis, particularly anti-parasitic and anticoccidial drugs. He is working with Animal Health Ireland to support the Irish Agrifood sector by providing expert advice in the area of food safety.
Theo deWaal - Lecturer in Veterinary Parasitology UCD
Theo is originally from South Africa. In 2002 he moved to Ireland. He is currently a lecturer in Veterinary Parasitology at University College Dublin. In 1981 he graduated from University of Pretoria with a B.V.Sc. In 2002 he was awarded the Elsdon-Dew medal by the Parasitological Society of Southern Africa for achievements in the field of Parasitology in Africa. He is an active member of a number of international professional bodies and Diplomat European Veterinary Parasitology College. His qualifications include BVSc, PhD, Dip. DatMet, HDip UTL, Dip. EVPC, MRCVS. His general research interest is in the field of veterinary parasitology and epidemiology with specific expertise in the diagnosis, vaccine production, epidemiology and integrated control of animal parasites. Current research projects include; toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis, anthelmintic resistance and the development of alternative helminth control strategies. He has a keen interest in teaching and learning and in developing novel approaches to teaching veterinary parasitology. He is happy to be involved with AHI because “it provides a direct link to the farming community ensuring that producers are kept up to date with latest developments and international best practice in animal health”.
Mark McGee - Senior Research Scientist
Mark is originally from Mayo. He is currently a senior research scientist in the Livestock Systems Department at the Teagasc beef research centre, Grange, Co. Meath. He has an honours degree in Agricultural Science from University College Dublin (UCD). The research focus for his PhD was suckler beef cow (& calf) nutrition, immunology and physiology. After finalising his PhD in 1997 he subsequently spent five years working in the agri-food industry, in a technical capacity. During this time he also successfully completed a Diploma in Advanced Management and an Executive MBA from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business. At the end of 2002 he returned to research in Grange, on a contract basis, leading a new programme on the feeding and nutrition of beef cattle. In 2005 he took on a permanent position there, initially working in the area of feed efficiency within grass-based suckler beef production systems. His main research interests include feed efficiency, beef cattle nutrition and suckler beef production systems. He has published extensively on various aspects relating to beef cattle production.
Orla Keane - Senior Researcher in the Animal & Bioscience Department in Teagasc, Grange
Orla Keane is originally from Co. Kildare and is currently a Senior Researcher in the Animal & Bioscience Department in Teagasc, Grange. She qualified with a BA (mod), and PhD (2003) in Microbiology from Trinity College Dublin. During this time she also completed a post-graduate diploma in Statistics. She subsequently spent 4 years (2003-2006) at AgResearch, New Zealand researching the genetics of resistance to gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep. Orla’s current research interests are in the area of infection biology, particularly ruminant-nematode interactions, the development of resistance to gastrointestinal nematode infection in sheep and strategies to mitigate the risks of anthelmintic resistance in sheep and cattle. She was a partner in a number of national and international veterinary parasitology projects including Sustainable Solutions for Small Ruminants (3SR) and Coping with Anthelmintic Resistance in Ruminants (CARES). Orla has published extensively on various aspects of the host response to gastrointestinal nematode infection and the prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in Ireland. Currently, Orla is a member of the Irish Society for Parasitology and engages in knowledge transfer and has authored a number of technical publications for the agriculture industry.
Mark Robinson - Senior Lecturer in Parasitology, Queens University, Belfast
Mark is a Senior Lecturer in Parasitology at Queens University Belfast. He received a BSc (Hons) in Zoology and a PhD in Molecular Parasitology from Queens University Belfast prior to taking up research fellowship positions at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Technology, Sydney. His research focuses on how parasitic flatworms (liver fluke and rumen fluke) interact with their hosts. The ultimate goal of this research is the discovery of new ways to protect animals from parasite infections or to improve diagnosis. Mark is current secretary of the Irish Society for Parasitology.