Maureen Wanjiku Kamau, B.V.M
Dr. Kamau is a veterinary research fellow in One Health with the Global Health Program, which takes a One Health approach to improve the lives of wildlife, people and domestic animals. In partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, Mpala Research Centre and Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy, she is based in Laikipia, Kenya, to increase regional wildlife veterinary capacity, conduct research, and contribute to outreach and training. She is passionate about applying her acquired professional and practical skills to positively impact society. In particular, she hopes to contribute to wildlife conservation and help subsistence farmers and policy makers make better informed decisions from evidence-based scientific findings.
Dr. Kamau's projects include:
- Providing increased wildlife veterinary capacity throughout Kenya, particularly Laikipia County
- Investigating the underlying cause of emerging skin disease in black rhinos
- Organizing and implementing an advanced rhinoceros medicine workshop
- Studying anesthetic methods and outcomes in giraffes
Her profound love for animals guided her choice to pursue a Bachelors of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nairobi, known for its strong One Health program, from which she graduated in 2016. She then underwent a one-year internship at the Kenya Wildlife Service where her responsibilities included treatment of various wildlife species, capture and translocations, wildlife monitoring and disease surveillance, rehabilitation and management of wildlife in captive facilities, and opportunistic sample collection from immobilized wildlife.
In the advent of anthropogenic-driven ecological change and the rise in wildlife involvement in emerging infectious diseases, it is ever more apparent that wildlife health is inextricably linked to human and livestock health. The Veterinary Research Fellowship in One Health provides Dr. Kamau with a unique opportunity to leverage her skills in carrying out regionally relevant research geared toward wildlife health and conservation, human health, and livestock health. With the understanding that One Health is a collaborative effort, she looks forward to working with and learning from her Smithsonian colleagues and other partners to achieve impactful and sustainable conservation and public health outcomes and advance her career as a veterinary researcher.