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Welcome to the ILS Conference 2017

On behalf of Organising Committee, I have the great pleasure to welcome you all to Palmerston North, New Zealand, for the 10th Scientific Meeting of the International Leptospirosis Society ILS2017! It is exciting and we are honoured to host such a distinguished audience of specialists who all share a common interest, that of reducing the burden of leptospirosis through international exchange and collaboration!


Our world is changing. Human population growth is predicted to increase nearly 50% to 11 billion by 2050, and climate change and changing land use will have an impact on local and global food systems, and the way humans interact with wildlife and domestic animals. We have to find new approaches to deal with local, regional, and global public health alerts. The impact of leptospirosis on people and animals depends on all of these factors. How can we reduce the risk, how can we interact with communities, media and politicians to achieve more effective disease control at the frontline? These are questions that we want to address at this conference in sessions about one-health, extension and population health. 

For the first time, ILS is offering three practical 3-day workshops designed to provide training and hands-on experience in the epidemiology, microbiology and genomics of leptospirosis research. The response of 38 participants who already signed up for them demonstrates the interest and need for such extra events around the conference.

Over 200 delegates from 34 countries have signed up for this event. While we as hosts are extremely pleased about this response, it demonstrates a strong global concern about this disease and that this concern is being met with a keen and probably growing research interest.

This event is for you to meet, exchange ideas, refine your scientific approach and develop new concepts. I therefore wish that you will enjoy this week at the conference and further on in New Zealand if you have any more travel plans – so again to everyone a warm welcome to Palmerston North!

November, 2017
Cord Heuer
Chair Organising and Scientific Committees ILS2017
Massey University

Our Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Ben Adler
  • Doctor Colleen Lau
  • Renee Galloway
  • Dr Mathieu Picardeau
  • Kathryn Alan
  • Professor Michael Baker
  • Jackie Benschop
  • Dr Julie Collins Emerson


Farm Visit and Workshop 

You will be visiting a typical New Zealand sheep and beef farm in the Horowhenua district. You will enjoy a BBQ on farm, take part in a workshop using farm data that has been collected to develop a leptospirosis management program and discover some of the typical New Zealand farm activities!

ILS2017 Conference workshops

In 2017, for the first time, the ILS conference “Science for People” will be offering practical workshops to delegates which are designed to provide training and hands-on experience in many of the different aspects of leptospirosis research.

International students, technicians, researchers, human health workers and veterinarians will participate in practical workshops which are designed to set gold-standard methodologies for leptospirosis research and application of research findings. Workshops will cover a broad range of topics, designed to achieve excellence in this multidisciplinary field of science.

Three day crash courses in the disciplines of leptospirosis research ...



Courses are designed to rapidly familiarise researchers of any skill level with the techniques they will need to carry out cutting edge, high quality science that will stand up to the scrutiny of peer review.  Our experts will assist with individual participants research questions and analyses in scheduled break-out sessions.



  • EpiCentre : The EpiCentre at Massey University, New Zealand, is the largest veterinary epidemiology training and research centre in Australasia, and is widely considered to be one of the leading groups in the world. It is lead by Professor Cord Heuer.
  • mEpiLab : Massey University’s Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health Laboratory (mEpiLab) is located within the Hopkirk Research Institute on the Palmerston North campus and is jointly led by Associate Professor David Hayman and Dr. Jackie Benschop. Professor Nigel French is the executive director. 
  • Massey University : For more than 80 years, Massey University has helped shape the lives and communities of people in New Zealand and around the world. Its forward-thinking spirit, research-led teaching, and cutting-edge discoveries make Massey New Zealand’s defining university.




Conference Organising Committee


  • Cord Heuer


Members :

  • David Haake
  • Roger Marchant
  • Peter Wilson
  • Jackie Benschop
  • Julie‐Collins‐Emerson
  • David Wilkinson
  • Emilie Vallee
  • Supatsak Subharat
  • Christine Cunningham
  • Simon Verschaffelt
  • Yuni Yupiana
  • Marie Moinet
  • Ahmed Fayaz
  • Nicky Vallender


Scientific Committee

  • Cord Heuer (New Zealand)
  • David Haake (Us)
  • Colleen Lau (Australia)
  • Professor Michael Reichel (Hong Kong)
  • Claudia Munoz‐Zanzi (Chile)
  • Peter Wilson (New Zealand)
  • Roderick Chappel (Australia)
  • Ben Adler (Australia)
  • David Wilkinson (New Zealand)
  • Julie Collins‐Emerson (New Zealand)
  • Bibiana Brihuega (Argen􀆟Na)
  • Mathieu Picardeau (France)
  • Kathryn Allan (Scotland)
  • Supatsak Subharat (New Zealand)

Workshop Committee

  • David Wilkinson
  • Julie Collins Emerson
  • Emilie Vallee
  • Cord Heuer
  • Shahista Nisa
  • Neville Haack