Ruth Cromie gained a PhD for vaccine development in wildfowl from University College, London, in 1991. Since then she has worked on various aspects of wildlife health from diagnostic technologies to environmental management in both wild and captive animals in the UK and overseas including the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Smithsonian Institution and Hong Kong University.

As the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s (WWT) Head of Ecosystem Health, Ruth is responsible for organisational health and welfare standards, plus WWT’s Ecosystem Health programme which includes surveillance, research, advocacy, contingency planning, capacity building and policy work. New areas of work include exploring the relationships between wetlands and human health and well-being. Ruth regularly teaches and examines wildlife health and conservation biology on a number of post-graduate programmes.

Integrating health into international environmental policy, Ruth undertakes a lot of work with the technical committees and working groups of a number of multi-lateral environmental agreements producing resolutions and guidance for Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, UN-Convention on Migratory Species (as part of their Preventing Poisoning Working Group, and Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds) and the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement. Much of this work has focused on avian influenza, lead poisoning and taking an ecosystem approach to health in wetlands