Dr Wendi Roe PhD, BVSc (Dist), Diplomate ACVP, BSc

Dr Wendi Roe staff profile picture

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Vet, Animal & Biomedical Sciences

Telephone: +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 85224

Other contact details

Room 7.19, Vet Tower, Turitea
Ph: +64 6 356 9099 X85224


Professional Biography

Wendi completed her veterinary degree at Massey University in 1989, and spent ten years in clinical practice in England and New Zealand, before returning to Massey to train in veterinary pathology. After a period teaching at Washington State University in 2003, and passing the anatomic pathology Boards exam in 2004, she took up a senior lecturer position in the Anatomic Pathology group at IVABS. Wendi teaches pathology to undergraduates, supervises residents training in anatomic pathology, and is active in research in the fields of infectious disease, marine mammal pathology and brain injury.

Roles and Responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Pathobiology

Marine Mammal Group, Wildbase

Group Leader, Pathobiology

Equipment Portfolio holder, IVABS

IVABS Executive member


  • PhD - Massey University (2012)
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science - Massey University (1990)
  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology - American College of Veterinary Pathology (2004)
  • Bachelor of Science - Waikato University (1984)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

- causes of mortality in small cetaceans

- toxoplasmosis in Hector's dolphins

- markers of hypoxia and head trauma in marine mammals

- causes of mortality in New Zealand sea lions

- mycobacterial disease in pinnipeds

- the role of brucellosis in Hector's and Maui dolphins

- hypermucoviscous Klebsiella pneumoniae

Research Opportunities

  • Seismic related damage in deep diving cetaceans  (01/01/2013)
  • Vitamin D metabolism in pinnipeds  (01/01/2012) In mammals, vitamin D is obtained either from the diet or from exposure of the skin to sunlight. Animals with heavily pigmented skin or dense fur, and those living at extreme latitudes, have a reduced ability for cutaneous production of vitamin D. Some species have entirely lost this ability, and have to rely entirely on dietary supply. If this is the case for New Zealand sea lions, the majority of which are found in sub-Antarcti latitudes, the vitamin D content of the diet would be critical. Any shifts in availability of prey species, for example due to climatic change or commercial fishing pressure, could result in vitamin D deficiency. This is of particular importance since cephalopods form part of the NZ sea lion diet, and are known to have low levels of vitamin D. This project will use HPLC techniques to assess the ability of sea lion skin to activate vitamin D and to quantify vitamin D intake under varying dietary scenarios.
  • Toxoplasmosis in Hector's and Maui dolphins  (01/01/2012) Hector's dolphins, including the critically endangered subspecies (Maui dolphins) have recently been found to have a high prevalence of toxoplasmosis. The source of infection is currently unknown, and factors that might precipitate disseminated disease require further investigation.
  • Hypermucoviscous Klebsiella pneumoniae  (01/01/2012) Septicaemia due to hypermucoviscous strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae is an emerging problem in human medicine. Since 2002 a similar strain of bacterium has caused significant mortality in NZ sea lion pups at Enderby Island in the sub-Antarctic. Affected pups have meningitis as well as septicaemia. This project aims to investigate the origin of this bacterial strain, and to characterise aspects of the pathogenesis of the resulting disease.


21st Century Citizenship, Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of Research Codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000): Veterinary Pathology (070709): Veterinary Sciences (070700)


anatomic pathology


marine mammal disease

infectious disease


Research Outputs


Bogers, SH., Rogers, CW., Bolwell, CF., Roe, WD., Gee, EK., & McIlwraith, CW. (2014). Impact of race training on volumetric bone mineral density and its spatial distribution in the distal epiphysis of the third metatarsal bone of 2-year-old horses. Veterinary Journal.
[Journal article]Authored by: Bolwell, C., Roe, W., Rogers, C.

Supervision and Teaching


General Pathology

Marine mammal disease

Urinary system

Central nervous system

Necropsy rotation

Papers Coordinated

  • 118.724 Veteterinary Diagnostic Pathology 2
  • 118.731 Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology 1

Current Postgraduate Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Hayley Hunt - PhD
    Biomarkers of cardiac and skeletal muscle injury in NZ wildlife
  • Komkiew Pinpimai - PhD
    Klebsiella pneumoniae in New Zealand sea lions

Completed Postgraduate Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

  • 2008 - Karen Stockin- PhD
    The New Zealand common dolphin (Delphinus sp.): Identity, ecology and conservation

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