Joanne Paul-Murphy Wins 2019 AVMA Animal Welfare Award

UC Davis veterinarian Joanne Paul-Murphy with kakapo parrot
Dr. Joanne Paul-Murphy with a kakapo parrot in New Zealand.

Dr. Joanne Paul-Murphy has been named the winner of the 2019 Animal Welfare Award by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The award is given annually to an AVMA member who has advanced animal well-being, shown exemplary dedication to animal care, and contributed to the community and society. Award winners must exhibit achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.

The award will be presented at the annual AVMA Convention, held this August in Washington, D.C.

Paul-Murphy is a 1982 graduate of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Following veterinary school, she completed a residency in zoological medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. After many years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, she returned to UC Davis and now serves as a professor in the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology and currently serves as chief of the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine & Surgery Service and director of the Richard M. Schubot Parrot Wellness and Welfare Program at the UC Davis veterinary hospital. She has previously served as chief of the Zoological Medicine Service at UC Davis.

Paul-Murphy is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine and the American College of Animal Welfare.

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 has previously served as a member of the Steering Committee for the American College of Animal Welfare, president of the American College of Zoological Medicine, and chair of a Zoo Animal Welfare Session at the 2019 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Annual Conference.

Since 2002, Paul-Murphy has aided a conservation group in New Zealand working to save the kakapo, a critically endangered parrot species. When she started volunteering with the Kakapo Recovery Group, the surviving kakapo population was made up of only 86 birds. Now, the species’ population is nearly 200.

In Paul-Murphy’s nomination, her colleagues commented on “her extensive research history which is focused on elucidating and improving analgesic options for avian patients, and her remarkable dedication to education of veterinary students, graduate students, and residents in the principles of avian welfare.” Throughout her career, Dr. Paul-Murphy has published more than 128 journal articles, 150 conference proceedings and scientific abstracts, and at least 39 book chapters. These publications have played a vital role in improving the quality of care that veterinarians can provide for their avian patients and were some of the first of their kind.

Previous UC Davis recipients of the Animal Welfare Award include Dr. John Madigan in 2006 and Dr. Murray Fowler in 2002.

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