EAAV Board

Dominik Fischer, President

Dominik graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany in 2009. Previous to his studies he worked as falconer in different German birds of prey centers and wildlife parks. During his studies he was employed as student assistant in the Clinic for Poultry and in the Clinic for Pets, Reptiles, pet and feral Birds of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. In addition, he completed several international internships and practical courses in avian, zoo and medicine and surgery. Since April 2009 he is working as veterinarian in the Bird of Prey Center Hellenthal, Germany and at the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish of Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany. He holds the National specialist status in avian medicine. His current research focus is on assisted reproduction in birds and reptiles and infectious diseases in birds of prey. Since 2013 Dominik is Chair of the ICARE Steering Committee and member of the EAAV board, actually as EAAV secretary. Since 2015 Dominik is a Resident of the European College of Zoological Medicine subspecialty Wildlife Population Health.

John Chitty, Vice-President

BVetMedCertZooMedMRCVS and RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine. John Chitty qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1990 and gained RCVS Certificate in Zoological Medicine in 2000. He is Co-Director of a small animal / exotics practice in Andover, Hampshire with a 100% avian/ exotics/ small mammal caseload- referral and first opinion. He is consultant to seven zoological collections, a commercial laboratory and the Great Bustard Reintroduction project. Furthermore he is Co-editor of three texts on avian medicine, one on rabbit surgery and co-author of a textbook of tortoise medicine, as well as author of various book chapters and papers on a range of species. He is President of European Association of Avian Veterinarians and on editorial board of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. He is President of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Kayatoon Ghaffari, Treasurer


Gunther Antonissen, Secretary

Gunther Antonissen graduated as Master in Veterinary Medicine from Ghent University in Belgium in 2011. He received a PhD in Veterinary Sciences at Ghent University in 2015, studying the predisposing effect of the mycotoxins deoxynivalenol and fumonisins on necrotic enteritis in broiler chickens. Currently he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Biochemistry, and the Department of Bacteriology, Pathology and Avian Diseases at Ghent University investigating the impact of mycotoxins, lipopolysaccharide and phytogenics on the intestinal physiology and microbiota. 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 a frequent speaker at scientific conferences and technical meetings.

Luisa Ziegler, Officer for Newsletter & Journal

Luisa Ziegler graduated from the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Leipzig, Germany in 2012. During her studies she worked at the Clinic for Birds and Reptiles in Leipzig, Germany as student assistant for two years. After graduation she started her doctoral thesis about mycoplasma in birds of prey at the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish of Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany.   Luisa recently won the Helga Gerlach Student Grant 2015 of the European Association of Avian Veterinarians (EAAV) at ICARE Conference in Paris, France in recognition and support of her research activities. Her research focus is on mycoplasma  in different species of wild birds. Since 2015 Luisa is a Resident of the European College of Zoological Medicine subspecialty Wildlife Population Health. She is main editor of the EAAV Newsletter (since 2013) and in charge of the EAAV Journal.

Alberto Gonzales, Officer for Student Affairs


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.