About DSWH

The Dutch Society for Wildlife Health (Vereniging Gezondheid en Welzijn Wilde Fauna) was founded on 3 October 2001 by Dr. Lumeij and Prof.dr. Osterhaus.


The mission of the Dutch Society for Wildlife Health is to acquire, disseminate and apply knowledge of the health and welfare of wild and feral animals in relation to their ecosystem, biology, conservation and interaction with humans and domestic animals, with an emphasis on the Netherlands.

The DSWH organizes annually a symposium for all interested and a meeting for all members.

Objectives of the DSWH

  • To stimulate wildlife health related research and develop specific funding.
  • To encourage an increased emphasis on wildlife health and welfare in the participating graduate school curricula and continuing education.
  • To enhance the contribution of veterinary medicine to the health and welfare of wildlife
  • To encourage the concept of ecosystem health
  • To stress the importance of the interrelationships of humans, domestic animals and wildlife as reservoirs of disease
  • To encourage a philosophy of animal management and preventive medicine as it relates to health and welfare of free-ranging animals.
  • To stimulate wildlife health surveillance programmes and coordination of national veterinary activities in relation to wildlife
  • To stimulate national and international coorporation between both persons and organizations in the field of wildlife health.


The board of the DSWH consists of 5-7 members from different organizations that are working in the field of wildlife health.

The board currently consists of the following members:

Chair: Prof. Wim H.M. van der Poel DVM, PhD, is a senior scientist at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) in Lelystad, concerned with research on emerging and zoonotic viruses. He is a Visiting Professor of National Centre of Zoonoses Research of University of Liverpool. His main research interests include Hepatitis E Virus, Rabies, Caliciviruses and Foodborne viruses and Emerging Viruses in general. Professor Van der Poel is also coordinator of EPIZONE the EU Network / European Research Group on epizootic animal diseases.

Secretary: Miriam Maas DVM PhD, works as a scientist at the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven. After completing her PhD on tuberculosis in African lions, she continued working on infectious diseases at the RIVM, where she mainly works on zoonoses from wildlife, such as Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes, and several rodent-borne diseases.

Treasurer: Judith M.A. van den Brand DVM, PhD, Dipl. ECVP, is a veterinary pathologist at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University. She completed her PhD in 2013 on the pathology and pathogenesis of influenza virus and SARS coronavirus infections in animal models. Her topics of interest include zoonotic viral infections (such as influenza A virus, coronavirus and lyssavirus) and other diseases of wildlife and exotic animals.

Vice chair: Marjolein Poen DVM, is a PhD student working at the Department of Viroscience of the ErasmusMC in Rotterdam. Her research project focuses on avian influenza A viruses in wild birds.

Board member: Erik Kleyheeg, PhD works as a scientist at Sovon Vogelonderzoek Nederland in Nijmegen.

Board member (website coordinator): Rogier Bodewes, DVM PhD, works as a scientist at the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven.


Miriam Maas, PhD, DVM

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
Centre for Infectious Disease Control (CIb)
Centre for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology (Z&O)
Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9, P.O. Box 1
3720 BA Bilthoven
The Netherlands


Emailaddress: info@dutchwildlife.nl