Wild Tiger Health Centre

Martin Gilbert

Cornell University, Wildlife Health

Martin Gilbert is a wildlife veterinarian and epidemiologist who has worked for eighteen years in the non-governmental sector and academia, on international conservation projects in settings as diverse as Greenland, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar. Through his work with The Peregrine Fund in Pakistan, Dr Gilbert led the field investigation into the catastrophic declines that devastated vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent. This work ultimately led to the finding that veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac was responsible for the vulture declines, leading to strategies that are beginning to promote the recovery of the species involved.

In 2004, Dr Gilbert joined the Wildlife Conservation Society, where he oversaw the development of a regional wildlife health program in Southeast and Central Asia focused on threats to species conservation, and emerging infectious disease. Through PhD research at the University of Glasgow, Dr Gilbert focused on understanding the impact of canine distemper virus on the survival of Amur tigers in the Russian Far East. This work synthesized the findings of field-based disease ecology research, with computer modelling and laboratory techniques to design management strategies to mitigate the threat posed by CDV to wild tigers. He is now based at Cornell University, where he is developing projects to understand how health affects populations of tigers and other threatened carnivores, and use findings to identify practical measures to mitigate the conservation impact on species in the wild.