Keynote speakers

Kåre Mølbak, SSI, Denmark and Anders Tegnell, State Epidemiologist, Sweden will present their views on the COVID 19 pandemic in the session entitled "Breaking News in Epidemic Surveillance" on Wednesday afternoon. More information will follow.

Petra Muellner

Presentation title: Connecting surveillance data with people

Petra completed her veterinary degree at University of Munich in Germany and soon after graduating discovered her passion for epidemiology and all things population health. As postgraduate she completed a MSc in Medical Epidemiology at the School of Public Heath in Bielefeld (Germany) and a Dr. med. vet. in Veterinary Epidemiology at the University of Bern (Switzerland) before moving to New Zealand to embark on a PhD at Massey University. Petra now calls New Zealand home and since 2009 is Director of EPI-interactive, where she and her team provide consultancy as well as interdisciplinary IT and data visualisation services to clients in the One Health domain. Before making the leap to work for herself she has held senior positions both at the EpiCentre, Massey University, and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, and was the Editor-in-Chief of the New Zealand Veterinary Journal. Petra holds adjunct academic positions at Massey University’s School of Veterinary Science (New Zealand) and the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) of the University of Minnesota (USA). In an increasingly complex world Petra’s work drives to connect data and information with people by augmenting epidemiology with user experience design, new media and information technologies. 


Gregorio Torres

Presentation title: Translating surveillance outcomes into policy. How to deal with the uncertainty

Dr Gregorio Torres is Head of the Science Department of the Word Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), based in Paris. He oversees the OIE’s science system arising from the development and review of international standards on animal health and global animal disease control programmes. 

Gregorio supervises the technical secretariat of the OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases and Biological Standards Commission, being also actively involved in a range of activities that address swine diseases, including African swine fever. He is a member of the FAO-OIE foot and mouth disease (FMD) working group for the implementation of the FMD Global Control Strategy, and serves as the OIE Focal Point for the Global elimination of dog-mediated rabies under the auspices of the WHO/OIE//FAO Tripartite Secretariat.

Gregorio obtained his veterinary degree in Cordoba University (Spain) and continued his postgraduate education in the Universities of Glasgow and London where he specialised in veterinary epidemiology. After some years working as a large animal practitioner in the UK, he joined the Spanish Veterinary Services where he worked for the Epidemiology Department and was involved in the design and management of official disease control programmes with regular participation in technical working groups and field missions at the national and international levels. In 2013, he was commissioned to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as an Animal Health Officer with special focus on FMD. Since 2014 he has worked for the OIE. 

Dilys Morgan

Presentation title: Cross-sector surveillance – organization, collaboration and benefits

Dilys Morgan MBE has had an interesting career alternating between medical research in rural Africa and UK public health.

Dilys is currently working as a Consultant in Global Public Health at Public Health England having left her post as Head of Emerging Infections and Zoonoses at the end of August 2019. 

She was responsible for developing the Emerging Infections and Zoonoses portfolio of the Agency, including establishing horizon scanning activities and risk assessment processes for emerging infectious threats. Since the majority of new and emerging infections are zoonoses, she set-up the Human Animal Infections and Risk Surveillance group (HAIRS) in 2003. This multiagency, multidisciplinary group meets every month and acts as a forum to identify and discuss infections with potential for interspecies transfer.  

She is also an honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Barbara Haesler

Presentation title: Unlocking the value of animal health surveillance

Barbara Häsler is a researcher and senior lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College and the London Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health, London, United Kingdom, with expertise in animal health surveillance, economics applied to animal health, food systems, and evaluation. In her research she focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to better understand foodborne and zoonotic disease surveillance and control and to improve the wellbeing of people and animals through improved resource allocation. She has been working on the economics of surveillance and practical evaluation approaches that allow users to assess surveillance characteristics including functionality, performance, value, and One Health-ness

Stig Mellergaard

Presentation title: African swine fever - Putting up a wild boar fence between Germany and Denmark

Graduated as a veterinarian in 1980 and started a scientific career with research within the field of diseases in aquatic organisms both within the diagnostic area in relation to aquaculture and on epidemiology of diseases in wild fish stocks which was the theme for my PhD theses.


Changed career in 2002 and became deputy head of Division of Animal Health within the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. During this engagement, I have been responsible for the eradication of disease problems in livestock especially avian influenza. I have been responsible for the international work in the animal health area and is the Danish delegate in the EU Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, Section for Animal health and Welfare. Have participated actively in the work in EU in relation to preparation and negotiations of the legislative framework within this field. The most recent work has been in relation to the new Animal Health Law.


Jens Munk Ebbesen

Presentation title: African swine fever - Putting up a wild boar fence between Germany and Denmark

Present occupation: Employed at the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (2010 - )

Director for Food & Veterinary Issues, Chief Veterinarian

Former occupation:

  • Head of International Trade Division, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (2007-2010) (government official)
  • Head of Food Department, Danish Meat Association (2004-2007) (private organization)
  • Senior Veterinary Officer, Meat inspection, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (2000-2004) (government official)
  • Veterinary Officer, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (1997-2000) (government official)
  • Amanuensis at University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Veterinary and Food Microbiology (1995-1997)
  • Inspector at the common municipal food control unit, Copenhagen West, (1993-1995)


Fields of responsibility:

  • Zoonosis incl. surveillance-plans
  • Risk-assessments and evaluations
  • National and international animal health policy
  • Animal welfare policy
  • AMR
  • Contingency plans and preparedness regarding OIE listed infectious animal diseases
  • Food safety policy
  • Advice to businesses concerning meat inspection, food-legislation, HACCP
  • Inspections from importing countries authorities (e.g. China, USA, Russia, Japan)
  • Export related issues, including negotiations with third countries authorities (on location) on animal health and food safety requirements and veterinary health certificates.

Ute W. Sønksen

Presentation title: 20+ years of cross-sector surveillance in practice
Ute Wolff Sönksen, MD, Specialist in Clinical Microbiology, Senior Medical Officer, Reference Laboratory of Antibiotic Resistance, Statens Serum Institut. Ute has worked with bacterial taxonomy and phenotypic resistance testing since 2005 and did her specialization as a clinical microbiologist working with resistance testing of Grampositive and fastidious Gramnegatives evaluating the semi-automated system Vitek 2 (BioMerrieux).

Since 2008 she has worked with different aspects regarding principles and application of antibiotic stewardship at Danish hospitals, and particularly in surveillance as an important contributor to informed decision making in the treatment of patients.

Since 2015 she is co-editor of the DANMAP report, being responsible for the part concerning the monitoring of human antimicrobial consumption and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in human clinical isolates. Her special interest is use of antimicrobials and the human-animal interface and collaboration regarding use.

She has participated in several cross-sectoral collaborations in a One Health AMR aspect, is member of the National Antibiotic Council and the Nordic Expert group in questions regarding AMR. She is also the European focal point for antibiotic resistance and antibiotic consumption in humans. 

Birgitte Borck Høg

Presentation title: 20+ years of cross-sector surveillance in practice

DVM, PhD, Senior Academic Officer at the Division for Risk Assessment and Nutrition, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark. Since 1999, she has worked with different aspects of monitoring and surveillance of zoonoses including the national control programmes for Salmonella and Campylobacter. Since 2011, she has worked with the Danish integrated Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research Programme (DANMAP). She is project leader on the DANMAP report for the parts concerning antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in animals and food, as well as author of the chapter on antimicrobial use in animals and co-editor of the report. In her work, she has focus on data quality and assurance, multisectorial collaboration and communication of results to different audiences. She is driven by the belief that the best One Health solutions are reached through collection of good data, extensive collaboration between human and veterinary medicine, authorities and industry and through efficient communication of results. 

Peter Durr

Big data decision support systems for emergency animal disease surveillance – achieving utility, flexibility and sustainability

Peter Durr has worked as a veterinary epidemiologist for the past 20 years, initially at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (Weybridge) in the UK, and since 2006 with the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) based in Geelong, Victoria. At AAHL, his work has mostly been on the epidemiology of Transboundary animal diseases, particularly highly pathogenic avian influenza, bluetongue, foot and mouth disease and Newcastle disease. He has a specialist interest in the application of molecular data to animal health surveillance, as well as the use of Big data approaches integrating disparate datasets through web-based applications.