Prof Brett Gartrell staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 85203

Prof Brett Gartrell BVSc(Hons)

Professor in Wildlife Health

School of Veterinary Science

Brett Gartrell has focused on leading research at Massey University primarily supporting conservation of New Zealand fauna biodiversity and with an emphasis on wildlife health and ecotoxicology. Brett has built collaborations with national institutions such as the Department of Conservation, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington Zoo, Auckland Zoo, Shell NZ, and Maritime New Zealand. Brett collaborates with individuals and institutions with strong credentials in the fields of wildlife conservation and wildlife health research. These include research partnerships with the Allan Wilson Centre, Australian Wildlife Health Network, Adelaide Zoo, Massey Ecology group, School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine (Auckland Zoo), United States Geological Survey and AsureQuality.

In 2010, Brett was awarded the Barry Munday Recognition Award from the Wildlife Disease Association (Australasian Section) - "in recognition of significant contribution to wildlife health in the preceding 5 years".

I am an avian and wildlife veterinarian with research interests in wildlife health issues, particularly as they affect the conservation of New Zealand native species. In particular my research has focussed on wildlife disease ecology and ecotoxicology at population levels and the physiological impacts of conservation management on individual animal health. I am a Director of the Wildbase Research Centre at Massey University.

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Contact details

  • Ph: +64 6 356 9099 ext 85203
    Location: 6.21, Vet Tower
    Campus: Turitea


  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Second Class Honours) - University of Sydney (1992)

Prizes and Awards

  • 2012 Conservation Achievement Award to Wildbase. Department of Conservation Manawatu-Rangitikei The award was in recognition of “Wildbase’s outstanding contribution to conservation”, in particular our long-term commitment to caring for injured wildlife, and the quick and comprehensive response to the wildlife crisis created by the grounding of the ship Rena. - Department of Conservation (2012)
  • The Barry Munday Recognition Award 2010 from the Wildlife Disease Association - Australasian Section. Dr Brett Gartrell was the 2010 recipient of the Barry Munday Recognition Award. This award was presented at our annual dinner in Dover, Tasmania in December 2010. This award has been established in honour of the late Barry Munday who contributed substantially to the study of wildlife disease in Australia and was instrumental in the founding of the WDA-A. The award aims to recognise the significant contributions to wildlife health made by a member of the WDA-A in the preceding 5 years. Significant contributions to wildlife health include research and the study of wildlife disease, but importantly, also include communication, education, training and mentoring. Dr Gartrell excels in all of these areas and is a worthy recipient of this award. - (2010)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Brett is a keen supervisor of postgraduate students in veterinary science, conservation biology and zoology.

Current students

  • PhD Suman Sran: Anticoagulant resistance in rats
  • PhD Hayley Hunt: Comparative pathology of myopathy
  • PhD Clio Reid: Factors involved in Kea strike on sheep on high country farms
  • PhD Gillian Dennis: Diphacinone toxicity in Short tail bats
  • Masters of Veterinary Science, Aditi Sriram: Lead toxicity in kaka
  • Masters of Veterinary Science, Soon Xue Qi: Avian chlamydiosis in NZ waterfowl
  • Masters of Science, Zoology, Katie Gibb: Lead exposure in NZ waterfowl
  • Masters of Veterinary Science, Rebecca Webster: Mycoflora and host parasite systems in tuatara
  • Masters of Veterinary Science, Emily Kay: Host-parasite systems in yellow eyed penguins
  • Masters of Conservation Biology: Jessica Flamy, Personality, innovation and problem solving in kea
  • Masters of Science, Zoology: Rebekah Ingram: Sensory perception in NZ parrots
  • Masters of Veterinary Science, Baukje Lenting: Mortality of adult NZ sealions
  • Masters of Veterinary Science, Micah Jensen: Nutrition of hand-rearing seabirds


Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000):
Animal Physiological Ecology (060806): Biological Sciences (060000): Ecological Physiology (060203): Ecology (060200):
Veterinary Sciences (070700):
Zoology (060800)


Wildlife health and disease

Avian medicine and surgery

Reptile medicine and surgery

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 24
Team Member 0 3

Research Outputs

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 4 3
Co-supervisor 0 3

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Xue Soon - Doctor of Philosophy
    Molecular epidemiology and potential zoonotic transmission of Chlamydia psittaci in wild birds in New Zealand
  • Manjula Meda Gedara - Doctor of Philosophy
    Reservoirs of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae on islands used for biodiversity conservation
  • Adrienne French - Doctor of Philosophy
    Nematode parasitism in kiwi (Apteryx spp.)
  • Gillian Dennis - Doctor of Philosophy
    Minimising non-target impacts of anticoagulant rodenticide use for a highly susceptible species, the New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat (Mystacina tu

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Clio Reid - Doctor of Philosophy
    Understanding attacks by kea (Nestor notabilis), an endemic parrot, on sheep (Ovis aries) in the South Island high country
  • 2015 - Zoe Grange - Doctor of Philosophy
    Ecology, epidemiology and evolution of enteric microbes in fragmented populations of the endangered takahe (Porphyrio hochstetteri)
  • 2013 - Hye Ha - Doctor of Philosophy
    The biology of Avipoxvirus in New Zealand Avifauna

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Suman Sran - Doctor of Philosophy
    Assessing the sustainability of anticoagulant-based rodent control for wildlife conservation in New Zealand
  • 2018 - Hayley Hunt - Doctor of Philosophy
    Epidemiological, pathological and metabolomic characterisation an unexplained myopathy of dogs in New Zealand
  • 2012 - Preet Mohinder Singh - Doctor of Philosophy
    Pharmacology of Analgesic Drugs in Birds

Media and Links

Other Links

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