Associate professor in the Department of Production Animal Studies in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria. She holds the Southern African Poultry Association’s Poultry Research Chair since joining the Faculty in August 2012. The purpose of the Chair is to conduct applied research into production-related issues, specifically diseases that affect South Africa’s poultry industry.
Prof Abolnik is recognised as the sub-regional expert in avian influenza on which much of her research has focused for over a decade, primarily in linking ostrich influenza viruses with the wild duck reservoir. She remains active in international and local collaborations focused on clarifying dynamics and drivers of avian influenza in the wild reservoir and the risks posed to poultry.
Prof Abolnik has authored or co-authored more than 35 peer-reviewed papers, mainly on epidemiological and molecular studies of avian influenza and Newcastle disease, but has also led or participated in studies of infectious bronchitis virus, poultry mycoplasmas and West Nile virus. She was a recipient of the University of Pretoria’s Exceptional Young Researcher of the Year award in 2014.
Previous Work Experience
December 2000- September 2003: Junior Research Scientist, Agricultural Research Council- Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute
September 2003-July 2012: Senior Research Scientist, Agricultural Research Council- Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute