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Veterinary Awards Include Royal Fellowship

By Dateline Staff on May 14, 2019 in University

Quick Summary

  • American Veterinary Medical Association names Karen Vernau the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year
  • AVMA selects Joanne Paul-Murphy for Animal Welfare Award
  • Royal Veterinary College awards honorary fellowship to Dean Lairmore

The American Veterinary Medical Association recently presented its Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award and Animal Welfare Award to faculty members of the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Also, the Royal Veterinary College of the United Kingdom recently awarded an honorary fellowship to UC Davis Dean Michael Lairmore.

Here are the AVMA award recipients:

Veterinarian in lab coat, pictured with dog
Vernau and a patient named Bean.

●︎ Karen Vernau — Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year, given annually in recognition of the vital role veterinarians play in promoting, preserving and protecting human-animal relationships. The award is named after the late Leo K. Bustad, who was instrumental in furthering recognition and understanding of the important relationships between people and animals.

Vernau is a clinical professor of neurology/neurosurgery who previously served as chief of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s Neurology/Neurosurgery Service. She is a faculty mentor for the Fracture Club, a student organization that raises money to care for animals in the Fracture Program for Shelter Animals, and the Orphan Kitten Club. In addition, she volunteers to help animal burn victims that are hospitalized at UC Davis and has become an active member of the Hospital Disaster Relief Committee.

Veterinarian seated, holding parrot.
Paul-Murphy holds a kakapo, one of a species that benefits from the veterinarian’s animal welfare efforts.

●︎ Joanne Paul-Murphy — Animal Welfare Award, given annually to an association member who has advanced animal well-being, shown exemplary dedication to animal care, and contributed to the community and society. She is a professor in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, and serves as chief of the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service, and director of the Richard M. Schubot Parrot Wellness and Welfare Program.

Outside of her responsibilities at UC Davis, Paul-Murphy serves as an advisor to the Morris Animal Foundation Animal Welfare Board, a member of the Credentials Committee for the American College of Animal Welfare, and a member of the Animal Welfare Committee for the Association of Avian Veterinarians. She also assists the Kakapo Recovery Group in New Zealand, working to save a critically endangered parrot species (the kakapo population numbered 86 in 2002 when she started volunteering, and is up to nearly 200 today).

Lairmore’s fellowship

Dean Lairmore’s honorary fellowship from the Royal Veterinary College recognizes his outstanding leadership in veterinary medicine and One Health. He received the award during the college’s annual Principal’s Dinner in London.

“I am delighted to welcome him into the RVC community,” said Professor Stuart Reid, RVC principal. “His signal leadership and commitment to his discipline and the sector has been a benefit and stimulus to all of us who pursue excellence in advancing the health of animals, people and the environment.”


Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to dateline@ucdavis.edu.

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or dljones@ucdavis.edu. Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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