Diana Bell is Professor of Conservation Biology in the School of Biological Sciences at UEA. Her research covers the risks from the trade in wildlife and how this leads to human disease. She has worked on the origins of the COVID-19 virus, the SARS virus, and the H5N1 (Asian bird flu) virus. More broadly, she is a conservation biologist with an interest in projects affecting many different wildlife species including (currently) hares, turtles, pink pigeons, and pangolins. She is running a citizen science project to explore the spread of a virus that has jumped from rabbits to hares and that is significantly increasing deaths among the 45 species of hare across the planet. She has also been looking at sustainable management of watershed habitats in very large cities – using Mexico City as a testbed.
Diana’s interests expand into all sorts of strategic planetary priorities related to climate change, biodiversity, over-exploitation of land, forests and water, farming, and increases in animal parasites. She is a long-serving member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission, a Council Member of the World Land Trust, and a Director of Indo-Myanmar Conservation.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Cardiff University: B.Sc., Zoology and Psychology
Media Appearances (7)
New China virus has 'disastrous' potential and UK MUST be vigilant - symptoms explained
It's particularly worrying that this new virus appears to simply cause flu symptoms in humans, said Professor Diana Bell from the University of East Anglia, expert in emerging zoonotic diseases. But, to have more than one virus circulating among the public at the same time, that causes similar symptoms, would be "disastrous", Bell warned.
Prof Diana Bel (BIO) interviewed about COVID-19 cases in the US
ALLEN: Let's talk about that with our guest, Diana Bell, an expert on emerging infectious diseases with the University of East Anglia. She joins me now from Norwich. Your reaction to the new policy, we were told to wear a mask and before we were told not to. Why the change now? DIANA BELL, EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES EXPERT: Well, I think that's a sensible recommendation. I've been reading the literature, as it's been coming out on this. There was some compelling evidence yesterday. Interestingly, we haven't gotten the same recommendations in the U.K. But I've got masks. And I will be wearing them, when I go to visit the supermarket.
Coronavirus: don’t abandon your cat because of unproven scientific research, experts say
South China Morning Post
Diana Bell, a professor of conservation biology at the University of East Anglia in England, agreed with Cunningham that it was necessary for the method to be validated. “My concern would be the possibility of transmission from infected human cat owners to their pet cats rather than vice versa, and I would recommend precautionary mask-wearing/handwashing to prevent such cross-infection,” she said.
Coronavirus latest news: First case diagnosed in Northern Ireland as UK total rises to 16
Professor Diana Bell, an expert in emerging zoonotic diseases from the University of East Anglia, has raised concerns that China's new measures may be inefficient as wild animal trade for medicinal purposes, fur farms and pet farms may still be allowed. “This is a major first step in terms of efforts to prevent future spill-over of new viruses from animals to humans.
Coronavirus: The race to find the source in wildlife
While we may never know exactly how or where the disease responsible for many deaths made the leap into humans, Prof Diana Bell of the University of East Anglia says we can prevent another "perfect storm". "We are bringing together animals from different countries, different habitats, different lifestyles - in terms of aquatic animals, arboreal animals and so on - and mixing them together and it's a kind of melting pot - and we've got to stop doing it."
China's animal trade to bring more viral outbreaks: experts
"For the sake of these wild species' future, and for human health, we need to reduce consumption of these wild animals," said Diana Bell, a wildlife disease and conservation biologist at University of East Anglia who has studied SARS, Ebola and other pathogens.
Calls for global ban on wild animal markets amid coronavirus outbreak
But the markets are operating again and are widespread across China, Vietnam and other parts of south-east Asia, said Prof Diana Bell from the University of East Anglia’s School of Biological Sciences. “There has been a long discussion among many stakeholders highlighting this risk,” she told the Guardian.