29th November – 3rd December 2011, Veterinary Science Conference Centre, The University of Sydney
The Farm Animal & Veterinary Public Health group hosted GEOVET at the Sydney Campus in November/December. The concept for this conference was born when discussions led by Michael Ward resulted in the idea of presenting a conference that focused on spatial analytical methods in animal health. Although previous meetings had been held, such as the GISVET series and the OIE meeting on GIS in Animal Health, it was felt that a forum was needed to bring together like-minded people working in animal health, who have a passion for applying spatial methods.
GEOVET consisted of two pre-conference short courses (Introduction to GIS Using Quantum GIS Ben Madin and Jenny Hutchinson from Murdoch University and AusVet and Application of Molecular Methods in Spatial Analysis (Petra Müllner from Massey University and Andres Perez and Fernando Mardones from the University of California-Davis), a 3-day conference, and one post-conference short course (Introduction to Bayesian Disease Mapping, led by Andrew Lawson from the medical University of South Carolina).
A total of 75 colleagues attended the conference, and there were a total 57 registrations for the 3 short courses. Participants came from 18 countries, representing all continents.
The conference was opened by Andy Carroll, Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer. Dean, Professor Rosanne Taylor, welcomed conference delegates to our Faculty.
During the conference, 53 papers were presented. Our group was well represented in the scientific program: Brendan Cowled, Katherine Negus, Sharon Roche (2 presentations), Edwina Leslie, Richard Whittington and Tenzin presented regular papers, Simon Firestone presented a senior paper, and Michael Ward presented a keynote paper. Keynote and senior presentations will be published in two special issues in the journals Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology and Preventive Veterinary Medicine.
The social program commenced with an informal barbeque on Tuesday evening on the lawn adjacent to the Veterinary Science Conference Centre, a reception was held at the Nicholson Museum in the Quadrangle and the conference dinner took place at the Forum Restaurant. At the dinner, Ben Madin gave a very entertaining speech titled ‘Up the Mekong Without GPS’. A future GEOVET is likely to be held at the University of California, Davis.