Professor Naomi Cogger appointed to key role on world animal health body

Monday 24 June 2024

Professor Naomi Cogger from Tāwharau Ora School of Veterinary Science has been voted in as Vice President of the World Organisation for Animal Health’s Scientific Commission.

Professor Naomi Cogger.

Founded in 1946 and composed of six members, the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (WOAH) Scientific Commission assists in identifying the most appropriate strategies and measures for disease prevention and control. The Commission is elected by the World Assembly of Delegates for a three-year term.

Professor Naomi Cogger is a Professor of Epidemiology and Risk Analysis at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University, where she directs the EpiCentre, one of Australasia's largest teaching and research groups in its field. Since joining the team in 2003, she has played a critical role in advancing the group's mission to improve the health and resilience of people, animals, and ecosystems.

Professor Cogger’s research has supported changes to welfare regulations in Aotearoa New Zealand, enhanced foodborne pathogen surveillance systems in the United Kingdom and bolstered preparedness for equine influenza outbreaks in New Zealand.

She has developed and delivered training programmes that empower professionals to make significant impacts on global human and animal health. She has supervised eight PhD students and over 40 master’s students to completion.

Professor Cogger is the Director of the WOAH Collaborating Centre in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health, which provides expertise in the Asia-Pacific region, and is also an invited member of the Expert Group to the WOAH Observatory. The Observatory provides an overview of the uptake of international standards on animal health and welfare and veterinary public health by its members.

She says her vice presidential appointment reflects the excellence for which the EpiCentre is known, and as such, it is built on several people.

“I must acknowledge that this achievement is deeply rooted in the collective effort and commitment of the EpiCentre team, both past and present.

“Personally, I am excited about an opportunity to contribute to animal health on a global scale and represent excellence that Massey and New Zealand are known for in this space.”

Head of Tāwharau Ora School of Veterinary Science Professor Jon Huxley says Aotearoa has a reputation for world-leading animal health and welfare assurance underpinning our primary production industries.

“As a nation exporting billions of dollars of high-quality produce, it is critical we maintain representation at the top tables of global animal disease control. Professor Cogger’s appointment is excellent news for Naomi and the university, but also for our world-class farmers and exporters.”

Professor Cogger will travel to Paris in February and September 2025 for week-long meetings in her role as Vice President.

Related news

2021 Professorial promotions announced

Thursday 25 November 2021

The latest promotion round has seen 20 Massey University staff promoted to Professor and 43 to Associate Professor. The promotions take effect from 1 January 2022.


PAWS – hazard response for people and animals

Thursday 5 April 2018

Two groups of Massey University researchers are teaming up to create PAWS, with the aim of helping protect both animals and humans from natural hazards.

PAWS – hazard response for people and animals - image1