Dominik Fischer, President

Dominik graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany in 2009. Prior to his studies, he worked in different German bird of prey centres and wildlife parks. During his studies, he worked as student assistant in the Clinic for Pets, Reptiles, pet and feral Birds of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. Since April 2009, he is the head veterinarian of the Bird of Prey Center and Wildlife Zoo Hellenthal and since December 2020 the Curator for Science and for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish at Zoo Wupertal, Germany.

2009 – 2020 he worked as veterinarian and researcher at the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish of Justus Liebig University Giessen. There he completed his doctoral thesis (Dr. med. vet.) about aspergillosis in falcons and worked parallel on an international PhD and scientific projects about assisted reproduction in birds and reptiles. By completing three 4 years specialization trainings and examination he earned the national veterinary specialist status in avian, in reptilian and in zoo and wildlife medicine in Germany. Moreover, he completed a 3-years residency training of the European College of Zoological Medicine and earned the ECZM and EVBS® Specialsist staus as Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Wildlife Population Health) by examination.  In April 2019, after being EAAV secretary for 6 years, Dominik was elected as EAAV President and as Chairman of the ICARE Steering Committee.

John Chitty, Vice-president

John Chitty is RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine. Qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1990 and gained RCVS Certificate in Zoological Medicine in 2000. Co-Director of a small animal/ exotics practice in Andover, Hampshire with a 100% avian/ exotics/ small mammal caseload- referral and first opinion. Consultant to seven zoological collections, a commercial laboratory and the Great Bustard Reintroduction project. 

Co-editor of three texts on avian medicine, one on rabbit surgery and co-author of a textbook of tortoise medicine.  Author of various book chapters and papers on a range of species. President of European Association of Avian Veterinarians 2015-17 and on editorial board of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. President of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association 2017-18.

Katayoon Ghaffari, Treasurer

Katayoon is a qualified bank business manager & veterinarian. For 14 years, she worked as a financial credit analyst and account manager for the corporate banking divisions of international large banks.

She received her veterinary degree in Munich in 2016. She works as a scientific assistant in avian and reptile medicine & surgery as well clinic manager at the Clinic of Birds, Small mammals, Reptiles and Ornamental Fish of Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich / Germany. She is performing research in the field of avian ophthalmology for her doctorate.

Gunther Antonissen, Secretary

Gunther Antonissen graduated from Ghent University, Belgium in 2011. He received a PhD in Veterinary Sciences at Ghent University in 2015, having studied the predisposing effect of the mycotoxins deoxynivalenol and fumonisins on necrotic enteritis in broiler chickens. Gunther Antonissen is appointed as chairholder of the Chair Poultry Health Sciences at Ghent University. The poultry research of the group of prof. Antonissen is multidisciplinary, focusing on a better understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious and non-infectious diseases, improving diagnostics, and demonstrating the efficacy and safety of prevention and treatment strategies.

Gunther also works as avian and poultry veterinarian at the clinic for birds and exotic animals of Ghent University. Together with his undergraduate and PhD students he is also investigating the renal physiology in different avian species, and the usage of NSAIDs in psittacines. Gunther is currently the secretary of EAAV.

Luisa Fischer, Officer for the Newsletter & Journal

Dr. Luisa Fischer, neé Ziegler (DVM, DipECZM(WPH), FTÄ Zier-, Zoo, und Wildvögel) graduated at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University Leipzig, Germany in 2012. Between 2012 and 2019 she worked at the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. During her time at university she got head of the laboratory department (pathology, parasitology, microbiology), successfully finished her doctoral thesis on Mycoplasma spp. in falcons and completed her training as German specialist for birds.

Recently she successfully completed a 3-years residency training of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Wildlife Population Health) and earned the EVBS® Specialsist staus as Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Wildlife Population Health) by examination. Luisa currently works at the Wildlife Research Institute (State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection North Rhine- Westphalia) as head of the department for wildlife diseases.

Alberto Casado Gómez, Officer for Student Affairs

Alberto graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, in 2014 and completed the MSc in Wild Animal Health at the Royal Veterinary College and the Zoological Society of London in 2017. Currently, he is working towards a Certificate in Advance Veterinary Practice in Zoological Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

Over the years, he has seen practice in several exotic animal clinics, rehabilitation centres and zoological collections in different countries. At the moment, he works as a veterinary surgeon at West Midland Safari Park and Drayton Manor Park, in the UK. In 2017, he became the first president of the EAAV Student Section and in 2019 he became Officer of Student Affairs of the association. Alongside zoological medicine, Alberto has a passion for conservation and education.

Michael Lierz, Officer for Conferences

Michael Lierz graduated in Hanover, Germany and earned his doctorate title by thesis from the University of Berlin (“Freie Universität Berlin”), Germany, working on diseases and rehabilitation of raptors. After being 4 years the director of the Abu Dhabi Falcon Research Hospital in the United Arab Emirates he returned to the Free University of Berlin in 2001, working as a scientific assistant.

In 2009 he moved to the University of Giessen as the director of the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish. He holds the European Diplomate status of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Wildlife Population Health), the European College of Poultry Veterinary Science, and the RCVS Diplomate status in Zoological Medicine (Avian). In Germany he holds the specialist status in Poultry- and Avian Medicine, in Zoo- and Wildlife Medicine, in Microbiology, and in Species Conservation.