EQAsce has spoken to triple-award-winner Dr. Beate Conrady. She does research and teaching in the field of Animal Health Economics and Epidemiology as well as perform e.g. vulnerability analyses at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna and the University of Bonn.
EQAsce: Which projects of yours have been awarded with the three prices you won?
Dr. Conrady: Well, I got three awards. The Society of Friends of the Vetmeduni Vienna awarded me with the Armin Tschermak von Seysenegg Prize 2020 for my epidemiological and economical assessments of the Bovine Virusdiarrhoe eradication programme in Austria. The Kardinal Innitzer Study Fund awarded my postdoctoral thesis with the Kardinal-Innitzer-Promotion Prize 2020 as well as the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover also awarded me with the Konrad Bögel Prize 2021 for Veterinary Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health.
EQAsce: How did the corona crisis affect research and teaching and at which points does the current crisis work as an accelerator for innovation?
Dr. Conrady: The Corona pandemic has shown the need to fulfill the One Health approach and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In the past decades, infectious diseases have increased in the population such as Ebola, SARS, Swine Flu, Avian influenza, MERS and most recent – COVID-19. One reason could be that the contacts between wild animals (pathogen reservoirs) and humans have increased. Different animal species and humans come closer to each other, which enables a transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans and vice versa. Further, the corona crisis shows that close cooperation between the human and veterinary medicine is needed to learn from each other and to manage such pandemic effectively.
In particular, the lack of epidemiological data and bias in reported data was shown during the Covid-19 pandemic. That means for the future, we need a better process to collect and standardize data in order to provide policy makers with decision-relevant information. Our scientific results are highly depending from the data quality. The latter includes also improvements in the digitalization.
For instance, for the teaching activities at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, we could use our e-learning-tools that we have developed beforehand. This allowed us to switch very fast from presence to online teaching and to guarantee a high-quality education of our students.
EQAsce: EQAsce supports the network WHATS-UB that was started in the beginning of the year. Could you imagine to become part of the Bonn networks? What advantages do you see?
Dr. Conrady: For EQAsce I’m teaching students regarding to resilience, crises, risks and quality management in food supply chains. I am not yet a member of the career network “WHATS-UB” at the University of Bonn. But I consider a professional exchange, cooperation and new ideas in such scientists’ networks as essential. Maybe such networks could be a good chance to connect high potential scientists and to increase chances for young scientists to reach professorships and leading positions. I will follow such networks closely.