We want to hear from our alumni!
For links to publications/news/announcements about Envirovet alumni, click here.
Dr. Idrissa Chuma graduated from Sokoine University of Agriculture with a BVM (equivalent to DVM) in 2002, and a MVM (in public health) in 2009. From 2003 to 2008, he worked for the Tanzanian Government as a Veterinary Officer in the Morogoro and Kyela Districts, and as the District Veterinary Officer of Mvomero District. Since 2008, Dr. Chuma has worked as a wildlife veterinarian for Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA). Shortly after completing the Envirovet Summer Institute, Dr. Chuma was transferred from Tarangire to Serengeti National Park, where he became Head Veterinarian. In addition, Dr. Chuma continues in his responsibilities for animal health monitoring, disease control, immobilization, rescue, and translocation for five additional National Parks in the northern zone of Tanzania (Tarangire, Manyara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Mkomazi).
Dr. Kemi Iji graduated with a DVM in 2001, and completed a Masters degree in Pharmacology in 2009, both at the University of Ibadan. She is a member of faculty of the Federal College of Animal Health & Production Technology, in the Institute of Agriculture, Research and Training at the Moor Plantation in Apata, Ibadan, Nigeria. Currently Dr. Iji is enrolled in a PhD program in environmental toxicology in the Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Her thesis project there focuses on aquatic pollution. Specifically, she is working on acid mine drainage contaminants with former Envirovet student and Co-Director, Dr. Jan Myburgh, as her co-supervisor. Through Envirovet, Dr. Iji came to appreciate important links among environmental health, wildlife and human health. She plans to devote her career to expanding essential knowledge on risk factors associated with environmental degradation in order to enable deliberate steps that improve ecosystem health and services. She will help her community through research on the dynamics of ecotoxicology to achieve diagnoses and apply effective remediation.
Dr. Ayoteju Ogun graduated from University of Ibadan with a DVM in 2004. She also has a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Health and she is currently on a PhD program in environmental epidemiology from the same university. Ayoteju is also a Fellow of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) and presently works as a Senior Research Officer at the National Universities Commission in Nigeria. She attended the Envirovet Summer Institute in 2010, and found it to be both highly inspirational and informative. Through the training sessions she was able to identify several challenging global environmental issues. One of the unforgettable experiences she had during the course of program was learning about management of petroleum pollution using the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as a case study. She was able to draw comparisons with petroleum contamination in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. Envirovet inspired and challenged her to be a leader who will make a positive difference. At her organization, she started an environmental friendly club and she also serves as a resource person on environmental issues. She is presently working on the influence of the environment on some zoonotic viral endemics in Nigeria. She is concerned about environmental issues, especially as they relate to planning, toxicology, pollution management, epidemiology, and ecosystem health as a whole. She believes that global environmental issues must be addressed through global collective efforts. Her view is that the zeal for development should be tempered by potential environmental impacts of all our activities and should not jeopardize ecosystem health for generations to come.
During summer holidays, as young as six, Dr. Michael Viyof Kuwong would follow his uncle to guide cattle and sheep on the mountains in his village in northwest Cameroon. Michael thus developed a strong interest in both animals and the beauty of the savannah landscapes around his region. His interest in animals and nature expanded until, at age sixteen, he was admitted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nigeria. He obtained a DVM degree there six years later. A few years thereafter, Michael enrolled in the Southern African Wildlife College, where he graduated with a Diploma in natural resource management. He worked for several years as the field veterinarian of World Wildlife Fund’s Central Africa Program, assisting in conservation and protection of relic populations of the black western rhinos, endangered African wild dogs, and African elephants. He also monitored diseases of great apes in Cameroon. In 2007, he was awarded a Wildlife Conservation Society Field Veterinary Program research grant as well as several travel grants in recognition of his research focused on diseases of human and animals at the wildlife/livestock interface in the west region of the Congo Basin Forest. Michael completed the Envirovet Summer Institute of 2009 and is currently pursuing a PhD in Wildlife Environmental Medicine in the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa. His dream is to become a leading researcher in environmental medicine and ecosystem health management, as well as a supporter of conservation efforts through enlightened advocacy.
Dr. Murali Pai completed his Envirovet training in 2008 and 2009. He is a graduate of Madras Veterinary College and earned his Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University, South Carolina in 2009. As postdoc at Clemson, Murali works with local communities in Assam, India, to reduce human-elephant conflicts. He also assists with turberculosis surveillance in captive elephants at Kaziranga National Park, Assam. He was recently hired as Research Biologist/Wildlife Veterinarian at the Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough, Alaska. The Borough is local governance of the Inupiat, and they have lived in harmony with nature from time immemorial. Murali's brief is to provide programmatic support for several wildlife projects and to work with the local communities and assist with health assessment of annual harvests, mainly bowhead whales. Murali believes that his Envirovet experience led him on to his chosen career path.
Dr. Adebowale Saba obtained his DVM degree from the University of Ibadan in 1991 and has been teaching at the university for more than 15 years. The focus of his research was on phytotoxicology and ethnopharmacology. He learned about Envirovet from a colleague who had attended the Summer Institute of 2007, applied to the course and was in the Envirovet class of 2009. The various presentations during the training deepened his understanding of the concept of “One Health” and its value in solving the many health issues facing human beings, animals, and the planetary ecosystem. During the Summer Institute, he also looked problems caused by abuse of pesticides in Nigeria. In Nigeria, pesticides are imported and used indiscriminately, with very little being done to control their uses or determine the impacts on human and animal populations. Currently, Dr. Saba is involved in a survey of different types of pesticides imported into Nigeria, their distributions and uses. The study also includes evaluation of the level of contamination of farm products and water bodies used for drinking. He will take relevant data to appropriate authorities in Nigeria in an effort to prevent indiscriminate use of pesticides with the serious harm that it causes.
Dr. Harrison Sadiki completed the Envirovet Summer Institute training in 2008 and 2009. He graduated from Sokoine University of Agriculture, with a BVM (equivalent to DVM) in 2003, and a MVM, with a thesis on bovine tuberculosis in abattoirs and pastoralists in 2009. After completing the BVM he was a small animal clinician in Dar es Salaam, and a resident in clinical medicine at Sokoine University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, dealing with all species of livestock. Since 2007, he has worked with the HALI (Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement) project, as field coordinator and veterinarian. Currently, he is the PREDICT Country Coordinator for Tanzania. PREDICT is a project funded by USAID on Emerging Pandemic Threats, which investigates emerging zoonotic diseases of wildlife. For the past three years, Dr. Sadiki has also served as the Envirovet logistics coordinator in the developing country session (Tanzania). In addition, he works with local communities near Iringa, Tanzania, to create awareness and build capacity on: good hygiene, improving livelihoods through good animal husbandry, protecting the environment, and reducing human-wildlife conflicts. He also works intensively in surveillance of bovine tuberculosis at the human-livestock- wildlife interface of the region.
Dr. Ayebazibwe Chrisostom graduated with Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Makerere University in 1999. He attended Envirovet 2008 during the second year of his PhD programme. He is undertaking research on a project entitled, the “Risk Factors and the Role of African Buffalos (Syncerus caffer) in the Persistence of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Uganda”. He previously served as a veterinary officer at grass roots, in different localities in Uganda, for 10 years. Currently he serves as a Senior Veterinary Officer (Diagnostics and Epidemiology), in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries of Uganda. He hopes to continue working on cross-cutting areas of research, epidemiology, diagnostics and livestock-wildlife-community interactions.
Dr. Robinson Hammerthon Mdegela had completed a BVM prior to Envirovet 2008, at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Sokoine University of Agriculture (FVM-SUA), a MVSc at the Royal Veterinary and Agaircultural University (RVAU) in Copenhagen, Denmark, and a PhD in fish toxicology at Norwegian School of Veterinary Science (NVH) in Oslo, Norway. His current title at FVM-SUA is senior lecturer in fish and wildlife diseases, animal behavior, risk analysis, and environmental toxicology. Robinson describes his Summer Institute experience as a relevant eye-opener that has facilitated his success as a researcher, mentor, and extension agent at the individual, community, national and international levels. In particular, Envirovet helped him understand the language and requirements of various donors, increasing his success in grantsmanship. During the Summer Institute, he applied for research grant from the Field Veterinary Program of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and was funded to screen wildlife and domestic animals for bovine tuberculosis in Tanzania. After Envirovet, he applied for and received funding from the Norwegian Universities’ Committee for Development of Research Education for state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation. In addition, he partnered with researchers of Uganda (Makerere University) and Kenya (University of Nairobi) and was generously funded by the Carnegie Foundation to train ten PhD and 8 MSc students in ecotoxicology and natural products pharmacology. He and his graduate students are investigating threats of cyanobacterial toxins to lesser flamingos, conservation of roan antelopes, management and utilization of domestic wastewater in urbanizing areas of Tanzania, and impacts of endocrine disruptors and diseases on fish in Lake Victoria.
Dr. Epaphras Alex Muse was a member of Envirovet Summer Institute class of 2008. He earned his Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Degree (equivalent to a DVM) in 2002 from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA). He then practiced mixed animal medicine and farm management for two years in Dar es Salaam, and completed a one-year residency at the SUA animal referral hospital. In 2005, Alex joined Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) where he continues to work as a wildlife veterinarian. He is a member of Tanzania Veterinary Council. Apart from his routine work, conducting disease surveillance in wildlife and providing care in support of animal welfare, he is studying a novel skin disease affecting giraffes in Ruaha and Tarangire National Parks. In addition, he is concerned with risk factors related to a decline in cape buffalo numbers in the Great Ruaha ecosystem. Envirovet was a relevant life-altering experience that opened many opportunities for Alex. It exposed him to global concepts and provided connections with professional colleagues. It facilitated his success as a wildlife veterinarian at the individual, park, national and international levels. Currently, Alex is pursuing a Master’s of Science (MSc) in Applied Microbiology at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, in a project related to his studies of the skin problems of giraffes. His commitment to a future career focuses on contributions to wildlife conservation and ecosystem health, including efforts to help local people, livestock and wildlife at the livestock-wildlife interface areas. He remains especially interested in the investigation of diseases in free-ranging wildlife.
Dr. Adedeji Olufemi obtained his DVM from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Ibadan Nigeria, in 1994. He obtained a Master in Veterinary Public Health degree in 1997 from the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine from the same University. In 2006, he completed a PhD. Dr. Adedeji is currently a senior lecturer/consultant in fish and wildlife diseases and environmental toxicology. The knowledge from Envirovet 2008 helped him to sharpen his clinical skills especially in the area of aquatic and wildlife medicine. Much of the materials obtained during his training are now being used for teaching at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As part of recognition accorded him following his training, he now serves as an Associate Lecturer in some other veterinary schools. He was also nominated as a guest lecturer to handle special topics in aquatic and wildlife medicine in the joint Masters’ Programme in Field Epidemiology for Medical Doctors, Veterinarians and Technologists organized by the CDC Atlanta, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, University of Ibadan and Ahmadu Bello University of Zaria, Nigeria. From December 2010 to August 2011, Dr. Adedeji was a visiting scientist at the United States EPA laboratory in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. He greatly appreciates the assistance of Dr. Val Beasley in securing that opportunity. His future plans are to work with biomarkers of water pollution in Nigeria.
Dr. Erika Alandia Robles is a veterinarian and coordinator of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Global Health and PREDICT programs in Bolivia. She works with indigenous people supporting the health management of their domestic animals, while reducing risks of disease transmission to the nearby wildlife in Madidi National Park, Apolobamba Natural Area and Pilon Lajas Biosphere Reserve. She also monitors the health of wild animals hunted for subsistence, including those taken in sustainable management plans developed within territories of hunting cultures. Recently, as part of an Emerging Pandemic Threats Program, Erika and the WCS veterinary team led the efforts in Bolivia to monitor zoonotic diseases in wildlife in order to minimize disease risks to people and other species.
Ms. Samantha Haskins attended Envirovet in 2007 following her first year at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Inspired by the program, Samantha worked with students and faculty at the Illinois CVM to establish the Student Alliance of Veterinarians for the Environment (SAVE), linking veterinary medicine and ecosystem health and building ecologic awareness in the local veterinary community. In 2008, Samantha was elected by the ISCAVMA executive board to attend the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience. There, she refined skills she later employed to develop the 2008 Illinois Veterinary Leadership Experience (iVLE), which fosters community and leadership skills among incoming veterinary classes to the University of Illinois. Samantha also dedicated her time to the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic as a team leader and to the Non Traditional Species club as president, where she worked to provide her fellow students with opportunities and resources in these fields. In 2009, Samantha won first place in the Morris Animal Foundation’s Veterinary Student Scholar Poster Competition for her research done in concert with her mentor, Dr. Karen Terio, characterizing the immune response of wild-caught Namibian cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). While in her clinical year of veterinary school, Samantha is focusing her time on wildlife, zoo, and conservation medicine through a variety of externship opportunities across the country. She is also involved in research to define normal hematologic values in captive bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) and participated in the 2009 poster session at the annual American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) conference where she will present a novel treatment for pododermatitis in a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Her goals include becoming a Diplomat of the American College of Zoological Medicine and using her experiences and expertise to improve conservation efforts worldwide. Envirovet opened many doors for Samantha and helped her to identify her place in the veterinary community. For her, the experience was both life altering and eye opening as it exposed her to concepts and colleagues of great value both personally and professionally.
Dr. Angela Lahuerta Marin graduated as a Veterinarian from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) in 1997. Just after graduation, she worked as an official veterinarian and veterinary inspector for a few years, undertaking control and eradication of notifiable and zoonotic diseases in animal populations. Between 2004 and 2008, she completed a MSc in veterinary Epidemiology at the University of London, and a PhD at the University of Liverpool, investigating the role of wildlife in the epidemiology of zoonotic enteric bacterial infections of cattle. After working as a field epidemiologist for the Veterinary Laboratories Agency-Centre for Epidemiology and Risk Analysis (VLA-CERA) in the UK, Angela moved to Stockholm where she serves as a junior expert in food- and water-borne diseases and zoonoses in the Surveillance Unit of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European equivalent of the American CDC. Her interests include ecosystem health, wildlife biodiversity, and the disease interface between humans-domestic animals-wildlife. During her PhD program, she capitalized on opportunities to train in ecosystem health, both at the Envirovet Summer Institute of 2007, and the Summer School in Ecology and Biodiversity of 2008.
Dr. Tayo Omobowale obtained his DVM from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1995. After a brief stint at a general veterinary private practice in Lagos, Nigeria, he joined the University of Ibadan in 2001 where his work included clinical services to the Zoological Garden of the University of Ibadan. He attended Envirovet Summer Institute in 2007 where he was exposed to various aspects of wildlife management, conservation and ecosystem health. The practical knowledge he obtained from Envirovet was immediately useful upon his return to Nigeria. He has been training veterinary medical students and zookeepers since his return on various aspects of wildlife management. Among other things, he is presently involved in a collaborative research work which strives to identify wildlife reservoirs of rabies in Nigeria.
Dr. Andrés Rojas attended Envirovet Summer Institute in 2007 after completing his veterinary education at the National University of Costa Rica in 2006. Included was a thesis research project that classified and quantified ectoparasites of vampire bats in Costa Rica. Currently, Andrés is an Assistant Professor of Toxicology and Pharmacology at the National University of Costa Rica. In 2004, he participated in a wildlife disease workshop, organized by his veterinary school and the Pathology Department of the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center at the University of Saskatchewan. In September-October 2006, he completed an externship in zoological medicine at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC. In October 2007, he attended the Latin American Avian Flu Monitoring Workshop at Palo Verde National Park in Costa Rica, offered by the Organization for Tropical Studies, Wildlife Trust and Wildlife Conservation Society. In 2008 he did a research internship in the USA under the Department of Reproductive Sciences of the University of Florida, with projects at White Oak Conservation Center. The internship focused on semen collection, cryopreservation, semen quality, hormonal assays, and gamete evaluations of wild carnivores and ungulates. He plans to obtain an advanced degree in reproductive sciences, and to sustain reproduction in threatened species through applied work, research, and education.
Dr. Will Sander graduated with the DVM degree in 2009 from the University of Wisconsin. He chose to apply to Envirovet after speaking with a classmate, a previous course participant. Will contends that his hopes were surpassed as Envirovet changed his life, germinating and growing to provide a broad base from which he can tackle large conservation medicine problems. Of all that was assembled in the whirlwind summer experience of 2007, Will felt that the most valuable aspect of the Summer Institute was the immersion of a group of dedicated veterinarians and veterinary students with expert leaders in zoo medicine, aquaculture, endangered species reproduction, toxicology, wildlife disease, conservation NGOs, environmental law, and policy. Will’s career interest is in wildlife and zoo medicine, with the broader goal of conservation of free ranging wildlife in the context of improved public health. Accordingly, he will soon pursue a Masters of Public Health degree. Because of the connections developed during Envirovet, Will spent time at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Seattle, a zoo in Indianapolis, and a wild animal park in San Diego. In addition, as his final externship during veterinary school, he spent six weeks in Kenya working with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on avian influenza, undertaking projects with wild shorebirds, poultry and children. This synergistic study—with wildlife, livestock and human health all under one umbrella—is how Will plans to focus his career in the coming years. Will is proud to have two parents in the medical field, to be an Envirovet alumnus, and to have a fellow Envirovet alum as his girlfriend. His career is just beginning and Envirovet is continuing to play a role in his next steps.
Dr. Jeewan Thapa is a son of farmers, who was always sensitive to the plight of animals, including those that were part of his family's livelihood. He completed his veterinary degree in Nepal, including a successful project and thesis focused on Chitwan National Park funded by the Oregon Zoo. He then served as a consultant in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve from Terai Arc Landscape, which is a joint project of WWF Nepal and the nation's Department of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves. After completing the consultancy, he worked for a non-governmental organization as the Training Officer for community livestock. He attended Envirovet in the USA in 2007 with support from the Envirovet Program and WWF. Subsequently, he returned to Nepal with additional enthusiasm, commitment, insight, information, and a network of new colleagues to draw upon in his conservation work. Soon, WWF employed him as a research associate in the multi-institutional Elephant Health Care and Tuberculosis project. During that time, he worked in various national parks gaining from first-hand field experience in many aspects of veterinary intervention to support conservation. The elephant tuberculosis project is now managed by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC). At present Jeewan is the sole veterinary officer for the only zoo (NTNC-Central Zoo, Kathmandu) of Nepal. As such, he is responsible for all aspects of animal management for the entire zoo. He also continues his involvement in the elephant tuberculosis program, the Vulture Conservation Breeding Center, and provides veterinary expertise to field conservation projects. Jeewan feels that wildlife health management is a pressing challenge in conservation in Nepal because such skills, knowledge and information at the field level are extremely limited. Also, he is concerned that climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and stress are frequently encountered factors that are undermining species sustainability in the wild. He is determined to increase his academic background and to further his professional career in ecosystem health.
Dr. Michelle Verant attended Envirovet 2007 after her second year of veterinary school at the University of Minnesota. She first discovered a love for wildlife and ecological research during undergraduate studies at the University of St. Thomas working on shallow lakes ecology projects. Her interest in wildlife disease ecology and ecosystem health continued through veterinary school with employment at the Raptor Center, leading the Ecosystem Health student club, and completing externships at the Wilds and USDA's National Wildlife Research Center in Colorado. During her senior year of veterinary school she was awarded a Morris Animal Foundation grant to study the transmission and epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii between feral cats and endemic avifauna. The analysis stage of this project is ongoing in partnership with the WildCare Center at St Louis Zoo, MO and the University of California, Davis. Currently Michelle is employed as a post-doctoral researcher through the University of Wisconsin, Madison working at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center. Her primary research activities are investigating white-nose syndrome in bats. She is also working towards a Master's of Public Health through the University of Minnesota. During her Envirovet experience, Michelle was deeply inspired by the magnitude of impact the veterinarians and professionals she worked with had not only in their profession, but on the health of the world around them. The most valuable assets she received from Envirovet, are the relationships with future colleagues and the inspiration that results from working with individuals who are motivated by passion.
Dr. Sarah Churgin graduated from Texas A&M University with a DVM in 2009. She attended the Envirovet Summer Institute in 2006, and counts it as one of the most influential, unique experiences she's ever had. She made 25 lifelong friends there and still speaks to several of them on a weekly basis. She was able to use the training that she gained from Envirovet to lead a program at her own school the following year entitled "Conservation Horizons," a 2-day seminar focusing on many aspects of conservation medicine. Dr. Val Beasley of Envirovet flew in and was the keynote speaker for this special event. Sarah is also proud to have co-founded the Council on Diversity and Professionalism and formed a medical Spanish course while at Texas A&M. She completed a small animal rotating internship at the Coral Springs Animal Hospital in 2009-2010, followed by a veterinary internship at the Phoenix Zoo. In July 2011, she went to Wisconsin for a Zoological Medicine Residency at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Zoo, and the International Crane Foundation. She was especially excited to participate in conservation efforts at the Milwaukee Zoo and continuing to work toward being an integral part of a global network of wildlife conservationists. Sarah has a lifelong passion for writing and hopes to use the charismatic field of zoo medicine to capture readers' interest, authoring books with messages of conservation and other important veterinary topics. She is so thankful for her Envirovet experience and especially for the many friends and mentors she has a direct result of it.
Ms. Joanna Fishback attended the Envirovet Institute in 2006 and completed the DVM program at Colorado State University in 2009. Joanna received her undergraduate degrees in biology and French at Virginia Tech in 2003 and continued her education to complete a Master’s in Public Health at Kansas State University in 2005. For her MPH preceptorship project, Joanna summarized epidemiologic data at the Rabies Section at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Other research experience includes working for the Reproduction & Development Research Group in Aubière, France, the Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology Department at the Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, and the National Bison Range in Moiese, MT. In her first year of veterinary school, she was accepted into the Health Professions Scholarship Program offered by the US Army and upon graduation will serve as an officer in the Veterinary Corps. During Summer, 2007, her interests in foreign animal disease and pathology took her to Plum Island, to assist with the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosticians course, and she participated in externships with the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab and the USDA’s Veterinary Services branch. Joanna continues to work at the United States Department of Agriculture, Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health on an assignment involving the Offshore Pest Information System which she began her first year of veterinary school.
Dr. Stephen Maina Chege is a veterinarian who works for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). He completed his veterinary medical education at the University of Nairobi in 2000. He also earned a diploma in business administration, which provides increased capabilities in administrative issues. He worked for a poultry breeding company as a technical manager before joining KWS as a field veterinarian. At KWS, he has been involved in various activities, including disease surveillance (e.g rinderpest, Rift Valley fever, and avian influenza), as well as both health care for, and translocations of, wild animals. In early 2007, he and his colleagues successfully darted and translocated 32 black rhinos. The rhinos were initially stalked on foot. Dr. Chege indicated that his approach to problems or challenges has changed a great deal since he attended Envirovet Summer Institute in 2006, in that he now looks at issues holistically. He plans to attain a postgraduate degree course in epidemiology. His interest will be to understand the mass mortalities of flamingos and laughing doves in Kenya. He is already involved and is gathering data to better understand the health and underlying threats to these avian populations. He also attended a short course in comparative pathology in July 2007.
Dr. Merryn McIninch was a third-year veterinary student at Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph when she attended the Envirovet Summer Institute of 2006. She had worked in research on conservation of Asian rhinoceros species and with endangered maned wolves, clouded leopards, and red pandas as well. After Envirovet, she completed two Marvet courses, one in Mexico and the other in Grand Cayman, and spent a week at Louisiana State University working with Dr. Thomas Tully in the wildlife clinic. Since completing her DVM in 2008, Merryn has been working in a small animal, avian and exotics practice in Toronto. After completing pre-requisite experience in clinical veterinary (domestic animal) practide, Merryn hopes to do an internship at the Calgary Zoo.
Dr. Claudia del C. Rengifo Herrera graduated from the DVM curriculum of the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of the University of Panama in 2003. Claudia always had wanted to work with wildlife and in early 2006, while serving as a young faculty member in pathology at the University, she was able to take part in a wildlife health workshop taught in Panama by Envirovet faculty member, Dr. Terry Norton. Dr. Norton recommended that Claudia apply to the Envirovet Summer Institute and she was able to participate in the program from June to August that year. Subsequently, in 2007, Claudia went to the Facultad de Veterinaria Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and started a PhD thesis project entitled Infectious Diseases in Antarctic Pinnipeds. Her project included obtaining samples from elephant seals, fur seals and Weddell seals in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Dr. Miranda Sadar graduated from Colorado State University with a DVM in 2009. She was a first year veterinary student when she attended Envirovet in 2006. After graduation from veterinary school she completed an internship in zoological, exotics, and wildlife medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan, Canada. After completion of her internship she was accepted into a veterinary fellowship program at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. She is excited to be able to continue educating the veterinarians of tomorrow as well as the public on issues pertaining to wildlife.
Dr. Johanna S. Salzer graduated from University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Following receipt of the DVM degree, she entered into graduate studies with a focus on disease ecology. She and her mentor for the PhD degree, Dr. Thomas Gillespie, work in the Program for Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution of Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Johanna expects to finish her PhD within the next few years. While pursuing her graduate work, Dr. Salzer is also a fellow in the Division of High Consequence Pathogens at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she investigates the ecology of poxviruses and their wildlife hosts under the supervision of Drs. Inger Damon and Darin Carroll. Johanna’s strong passion for understanding the effects of habitat disturbance on pathogen-host interactions stimulates her to generate new questions and to seek vital answers with potential for broad application in the area of wildlife disease ecology.
Dr. Gabby Schrader had just finished her first year of vet school at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine when she attended Envirovet during the summer of 2006. Gabby considers Envirovet 2006 to be one of the best experiences of her life. She used the skills taught in the E-vet course to co-found UT’s student green committee, teach conservation at UT’s annual open house and co-direct a symposium dedicated to non-traditional species. She graduated from UTCVM in 2009 with her DVM. Gabby then completed a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship with the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and went on to an internship at the Calgary Zoo.
Dr. Benard Jasper Ssebide, a 2006 Envirovet alumnus, received his Veterinary Degree in 2001 and Masters of Science in Wildlife Health and Management in 2008 from Makerere University in Uganda. For six years, he worked for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) as a veterinarian and national park warden, based in the Bwindi/Mgahinga Conservation Area. His work included monitoring and managing the health of the critically endangered mountain gorillas in addition to the park administrative functions. His master’s research involved implementation and evaluation of ranger-based daily syndromic observations as a tool for non-invasive monitoring of the health of mountain gorillas. During his time in UWA, he became a collaborator and friend of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP). He joined this project early in 2007 to concentrate on field veterinary work rather than protected area administration and served as the MGVP Uganda Field Veterinarian. Benard has a keen interest in wildlife disease surveillance and was transferred in 2010 to coordinate the PREDICT Project in Uganda. The PREDICT Project aims at building an early warning system for emerging diseases that move between wildlife and people and it is part of the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats Program.
Ms. Nadia Stegeman earned a DVM/MPH from Tufts University. Since Envirovet, Nadia extended her research into New England wildlife mass mortalities and has presented her findings at the EcoHealth, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine annual conferences. She completed an internship in zoological medicine at Texas A&M and subsequently worked at Houston Zoo as a relief veterinarian
Dr. Jennifer Burton, prior to earning her DVM at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, worked for ten years in human healthcare including rural emergency response, farm rescue and hospital care. Her medical training builds on a Bachelor's degree in Ecology to create a focus on sustainable medicine and food systems. Dr. Burton's veterinary interests lie at the intersection of food animal medicine and public health, and include alternative livestock systems, integrative medicine, occupational health for producers and production animals, and ecosystem health. In addition to private veterinary practice, she works with the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct ecological research using agent-based modeling. She also teaches undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students and community members in topic areas relating to sustainable food systems and integrative medicine. Dr. Burton founded and currently advises the student branch of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, and serves this organization as a committee chair.
Dr. Lara Cusack graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College just prior to attending Envirovet in 2005. Following Envirovet, Lara stayed on in South Africa to participate in a research project on the nutritional ecology of the black rhino. On her return to Canada, she spent a brief period of time in small animal and exotics practice before completing an internship in Wildlife, Zoological, and Exotic Animal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Lara then accepted a position in China where she worked with Asiatic black bears rescued from the bear bile trade. After returning to North America, Lara acted as field veterinarian for large scale neglect and abuse cases in Canada and the US. Most recently, Lara has completed a second internship in Aquatic Animal Medicine at St. Matthew’s University in the Cayman Islands, where she worked primarily with rescued birds and sea turtles. Lara’s interests include internationalconservation medicine, emerging wildlife diseases, and the interface between animal and human health and interactions. She will continue to pursue a career in this exciting field of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Katherine Fogelberg graduated with a DVM from Texas A&M in Spring 2008. Before Envirovet, Kathy was very interested in combining her Masters training and experience in education with a veterinary degree to help educate the general public about the importance of conservation and living in harmony with healthy ecosystems. Envirovet 2005 provided contacts with people with similar aims and needed expertise. After practicing small animal emergency medicine and working in day practice for two years, she decided to pursue an academic doctoral degree. She is currently attending the University of North Texas Health Science Center, where she is pursuing a Doctor of Public Health with an eye on increasing public awareness of the importance of veterinarians in public and environmental health. She hopes to start with the university, as she looks to add a veterinary public health course to the class schedule at UNT-HSC. Kathy still works as a full-time companion animal clinician, but hopes to transition to a full-time teaching position when the time and opportunity are right.
Dr. Laurie Harris attended Envirovet after completing her first year of veterinary school at Purdue University. Envirovet opened many doors and gave Laurie a renewed passion for her studies. Subsequently, while in veterinary school, she conducted research with Envirovet faculty member Dr. William Swanson at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, evaluating an assay for feline pregnancy diagnosis in conservation breeding programs, and her work was published in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. During her clinical year, Laurie conducted externships at White Oak Conservation Center and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, as well as in Kenya at the wildlife-livestock interface, and in the Galapagos Islands evaluating avian health and epidemiology. Since graduating in 2008, Laurie has begun a Ph.D. in Wildlife Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis. She will be traveling to Rwanda to conduct research with mountain gorillas at the wildlife/human/livestock interface as part of the new Mountain Gorilla One Health Program, in conjunction with the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. After completing her graduate degree, she hopes to continue with wildlife epidemiology research, particularly concerning zoonoses linked to alterations in wildlife habitat and imbalanced ecosystems, turning results into positive changes in wildlife conservation management programs and policy both domestically and abroad.
Dr. Megan Jones completed her DVM at Atlantic Veterinary College (Prince Edward Island, Canada) shortly before attending Envirovet in 2005. In 2006, she started a three-year wildlife and zoo pathology residency program at University of California, Davis. The residency consisted of two years in the anatomic pathology service at the William H Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, UC Davis, followed by a year of diagnostic service with the Wildlife Disease Laboratories at the San Diego Zoo. In the fall of 2009, following completion of the ACVP board-certifying examination, she will be starting a postdoctoral fellowship in amphibian pathology and molecular diagnostics at the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research. The fellowship was in support of an Institute of Museum and Library Services funded project that will develop and refine tools necessary to control population-limiting infectious diseases (e.g. chytridiomycosis and Ranavirus infection) in amphibian survival assurance colonies maintained in zoological collections worldwide.
Dr. Emi Knafo graduated in May 2008 from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Emi attended Envirovet in 2005, and the following summer traveled to Samburu, Kenya to study the distribution of gastrointestinal parasites in Grevy's zebra, plains zebra, and livestock. This research project aimed to describe one aspect of the human-domestic animal-wildlife interface in northern Kenya. Funded by the Morris Animal Foundation and the Tufts Institute for the Environment, Emi's paper won the Ballard Award for Wildlife Research at the Morris Animal Foundation Annual Conference in 2007. She then went on to spend two months of her clinical year as a preceptor at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo. After graduating, Emi did a large animal surgery and critical care internship at the University of Pennsylvania, in the New Bolton Center, specializing in large exotics. She also did an internship in zoologial medicine at the University of Georgia, during which she travelled to the Galapagos as one of four veterinarians who endoscopically sterilized hybrid Galapagos tortoises as part in an island restoration project (http://www.galapagos.org/2008/index.php?id=238). Emi is currently a resident in zoological medicine at Cornell University.
Dr. Karn Lekagul completed his DVM at Chulalongkorn Universtiy in Bangkok in 2002 and a MSc in environmental and natural resource economics in 2004. Since attending Envirovet 2005, he served on two Thai National Committees-on Natural Resource Use and Alien Species. He also organized the 2nd Asian Zoo and Wildlife Medicine and Pathology Conference, which attracted 200 participants from 15 nations. Karn completed a $400,000 Children's Zoo renovation and served as Director of the 5th, 6th, and 7th Intensive Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarian Training Workshops, that trained 20 new DVM graduates in exotic pet and wildlife medicine. Karn works as a veterinarian at the Dusit Zoo in Thailand, where he has helped plan and implement a preventive medicine strategy to address risks of avian influenza. He co-founded "Love Wildlife" as a non-profit organization, dedicated to the rescue of abandoned wildlife and education of the public about needs of wildlife. Karn was also a guest lecturer on wildlife medicine at Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Veterinary Science in Bangkok.
Dr. Isaac Lekolool attended Envirovet 2005 and is now the Capture Warden in charge of Wildlife Captures and Translocation conducted by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Isaac graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Degree (equivalent to a DVM) in 1999 from the University of Nairobi. He joined KWS as a volunteer veterinarian in 2000 after working in northern parts of Kenya. In addition to participating in Envirovet, he has attended various courses in South Africa on capture techniques and others on Bush Meat identification in Kenya. In 2006, he coordinated the successful capture and translocation of 1060 Impalas and 771 zebras to restock Meru National Park. Currently, Isaac is pursuing a Master of Science (MSc) Degree in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics at the University of Nairobi.
Dr. Juliana Marigo started her marine mammal career before graduating from veterinary school. After graduation, she focused on a priority concern facing small cetaceans in South America: bycatch in fishing nets. This was part of her role as Vice President of the nongovernmental organization (NGO), BioPesca, which monitors incidental captures of franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei, in artisanal fisheries in São Paulo State since 1999. This dolphin is among the world’s most severely threatened small cetaceans and it is endemic to the western South Atlantic. The habitat of this species is restricted to shallow waters, which are particularly vulnerable to damage from anthropogenic activities, especially incidental captures in fishing nets. In 2001, Juliana earned the “Best Pre-doctoral Student Poster Presentation” award at the Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, in Canada. Her Masters research addressed how parasites of the cetaceans can be used to trace their habitat use. In 2005, after she began her PhD training, Juliana received a WWF EFN grant which made it possible for her to participate in the Envirovet Summer Institute in the US and South Africa. Envirovet 2005 provided additional training, links to established leaders in marine mammal health and increased confidence that small initiatives like her NGO can yield important benefits. In 2009, Juliana completed her PhD thesis on the morphology and genetics of an intestinal trematode (parasitic fluke worm) that infects only P. blainvillei. Late that year, she was hired by the Aquatic Mammals and Bioindicators Laboratory (MAQUA) of the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, where she continues her work with parasites, undertaking postmortem examinations of cetaceans, collecting thorough data sets, writing reports, and educating local communities of fisherman and the general public. MAQUA studies the endangered population of Sotalia guianensis (marine tucuxi) in the highly polluted Guanabara Bay at Rio de Janeiro. This includes photo-identification and studies of bioacoustics and the effects of chemical contaminants.
Dr. Iga Stasiak attended Envirovet 2005 after completing her second year in the DVM program at the Ontario Veterinary College. Following Envirovet, Iga completed externships at Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom, the Toronto Zoo, and the Detroit Zoo, as well as the Marvet course in marine animal medicine in Sarasota, Florida. After obtaining her veterinary degree, she completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Michigan Veterinary Specialists. She then served as a field assistant in a research study investigating mortality and conducting health assessments on a juvenile population of loggerhead sea turtles in Baja California, Mexico, in collaboration with Dr. Alonso Aguirre of the Wildlife Trust (an Envirovet alumnus from the class of 1992). Iga recently began a residency in zoo medicine and pathology at the Ontario Veterinary College and the Toronto Zoo. She plans to contribute to wildlife conservation and ecosystem health efforts at home and abroad, and remains especially interested in the investigation of disease in free-ranging wildife of developing regions of the world.
Dr. Carlos Abrahão started his career with wildlife in 1999. He graduated as a veterinarian from Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL) Brazil in 2002. In 2003, he assisted with the developing country component of Envirovet Summer Institute in Brazil. Carlos stated that Envirovet gave him the courage and tools needed to keep pursuing conservation goals at a fragile moment in his young career. Through Envirovet, he met professionals with deep expertise related to multiple aspects of conservation. He was inspired in part because the students and young veterinarians in his class shared similar life histories, thoughts, concerns and goals: Envirovet showed him that he was not alone. In 2004, his participation in the entire Summer Institute in Florida and South Africa provided an opportunity to know new places and learn as much as his "brain could hold." After Envirovet, to prepare for a career in conservation medicine, he completed a MS degree in snake ecology based on studies at the globally renowned National Institution for Amazon Research (INPA). From 2007 to 2009, he worked for the Brazilian Environment Institute (IBAMA) in Manaus (similar to the US Fish and Wildlife service), integrating veterinary sciences and ecology, devoting time to conservation of Amazonian fauna and being responsible for Amazonas State´s wildlife management, including work ranging from clinics to illegal wildlife traffic. In 2009, he took a job in another Brazilian Government agency, ICMBio, helping manage Federal Parks of southern Brazil. In 2010, he joined the ICMBio/National Center for Conservation and Research of Reptiles and Amphibians and now deals with herpetofaunal conservancy and endangered species all over Brazil.
Dr. Ganzorig Bekh-Ochir, a young veterinarian in Mongolia, works with equine practitioners at the annual Naadam, the traditional Mongolian horse races. He is a member of a team of vets who tour rural Mongolia conducting veterinary seminars that train rural veterinarians and herd managers in order to improve the health of Mongolian herds and the environment that supports them. He is introducing a course for the rural seminar program that addresses overgrazing - a direct result of his work with South African wildlife managers during Envirovet 2004.
Dr. Cristina (Nina) Hansen graduated with a B.S. in animal sciences from the University of Illinois in 2003, and a DVM in 2007. Throughout veterinary school, she was a volunteer at the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic where she gained experience in hands-on work with wildlife. She was a student in the Envirovet Summer Institute of 2004, then, for the summer of 2005, she was awarded a grant by the University of Illinois Summer Program in Conservation, Wildlife Population Medicine, and Ecosystem Health, which enabled her to work with Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen, the State Wildlife Veterinarian for Alaska. Together and with other collaborators, Nina performed a health assessment and helped diagnose a widespread outbreak of meningoencephalitis due to Sarcocystis infection in a herd of caribou. Nina continued her work in Alaska during a fourth-year externship block with a project funded by the Morris Animal Foundation. Her paper on the project, titled “Effect of field anesthesia and cold storage on blood cholinesterase activity in Alaskan Caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti)”, won the 2007 ABVT student manuscript competition. She also completed externships at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, WI and the Wildlife Center of Virginia. After receiving the DVM degree, Nina worked in private practice in Fairbanks, Alaska (Mt. McKinley Animal Hospital) for 3 years, gaining valuable clinical and interpersonal skills. She also volunteered as a race veterinarian for several dog sled races, and is excited to volunteer for the 2010 Yukon Quest, where she will go out on the trail of the 1000 mile race. In December, 2009, Nina was awarded a doctoral fellowship by the Alaska Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), which is funded by the NIH. Her project is titled: “Modulation of cytokine activity and macrophage function by the Francisella pathogenicity island genes pdpC and pdpD”, and will be done under the guidance of Dr. Karsten Hueffer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Nina plans to stay in Alaska permanently, and hopes ultimately to work full time with wildlife.
Dr. Maya Kummrow is a Swiss veterinarian who attended Envirovet in 2004 and earned her Dr. Med. Vet. degree the same year. In 2005, she spent two months at the Dubai Falcon Hospital in the Middle East. Most of that time involved work with private wildlife collections of Sheiks, including translocations of oryx, blood sampling and hoof trims, taking care of open metacarpal fractures in a Nyala, horn injuries in black bucks, dermatophytosis in kudus, Candida infections in stone curlews, and trichomoniasis in kori bustards. She subsequently completed an internship in wildlife medicine at Tufts University. Since late 2006, Maya has been working at the Toronto Zoo and the University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College to complete a dual residency in zoo medicine and a DVSc graduate program. Her special interest is technologies for assisted reproduction in endangered species breeding programs. Her thesis research focuses on developing methods to prevent health problems in important breeding females of endangered reptile species.
Dr. Donna Mensching obtained her veterinary medical degree from Cornell University in 1995 and practiced small animal medicine for nine years. She attended the Envirovet Institute in 2004 to set out on a path of promoting environmental health by promoting the health of animals within those environments. Envirovet led her to a residency and Master’s degree in veterinary toxicology at the University of Illinois where she completed an epidemiology study investigating the potential role of the ubiquitous flame retardants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, in the development of feline hyperthyroidism. Following this training, she was certified as a diplomate of both the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and the American Board of Toxicology. She is currently the assistant director/supervisory field veterinarian for the Wildlife Health Assessment Program of the BioDiversity Research Institute.
Dr. Lawrence Mugisha was an Envirovet student in the Summer Institute of 2004. In 2000, he had completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) degree at Makerere University in his home country of Uganda. He completed his Masters of Science in Wildlife Health and Management at the same institution in 2004. Through a collaborative program between Makerere University and Robert Koch Institute of Berlin, Germany, in 2011, Lawrence completed a PhD, with his research project focused on molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases in great apes. Dr. Mugisha is an expert in Wildlife and Livestock research, disease management and conservation. He worked as a veterinary extension worker for the Ntungamo Local Government (2000-2003) undertaking livestock programs including the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture. He then worked as Operations Director (2008-2010) and Sanctuary Manager/Veterinarian (2003-2008) for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) that manages Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. He is currently involved in ecosystem health research with major emphasis on infectious diseases, especially those caused by viral pathogens, at the wildlife-human-livestock interface (One Health Concept) and has published scientific papers in this field. In recognition of his scientific accomplishments, in 2010, Dr. Mugisha was awarded the prestigious Rudolph Ippen Young Scientist Award. Dr. Mugisha is a Honorary Lecturer in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and in Animal Resources and Biosecurity, at Makerere University, a team leader for AHHESConsult (Animal-Human Health and Ecosystem Services Consulting), an expert consultant for the Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance (PASA), the current President of the Uganda Wildlife Veterinary Network Limited (UWVN), and Founder and Executive Director of the Non-Governmental Organization, Conservation & Ecosystem Health Alliance (CEHA), which undertakes projects in ecosystem health research, training and conservation.
Dr. Irene Naigaga of the Envirovet Summer Institute class of 2004 is an Instructor in the Department of Wildlife and Animal Resources Management (WARM), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Makere University, in Kampala, Uganda. She is also a research associate at the Uganda National Fisheries Resources Research Institute, where she is leading a research project on mercury pollution of urban wetlands in the Lake Victoria basin of Uganda and Kenya, funded by SIDA-SAREC under the Lake Fisheries Research Institute at Makerere University in Uganda. She is leading the Ugandan chapter of a joint research project involving Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania on chemical pollution of urban wetlands in the Lake Victoria basin. She is also focusing on gender and social analysis as a part of the project. She recently received funding with Dr. Olanike Adeyemo of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in collaboration with the Head of Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Illinois Dr. Donald Wuebbles to study the impacts of global warming and changes in atmospheric gases on African water bodies and fish communities. In addition, in 2005, Dr. Naigaga spent time in Israel studying aquaculture production and management at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, acquiring knowledge needed to support farmers who seek aquaculture advice from her department. In that program, she trained under Dr. Ra'annan, a 1992 Envirovet alumnus from Israel.
Dr. Matt O'Connor was an Envirovet student in 2004 and graduated from the DVM program at the University of Illinois in 2007. In summer 2002, Matt assessed mortality rates of red-eyed tree frog embryos in Costa Rica. In summer 2003, he assisted a PhD student in Australia comparing trapping and sampling techniques for native wildlife. While in veterinary school, Matt was a team leader in the wildlife medical clinic and helped in training new students, orphan feedings, emergency duty, and managing a host of cases. Just before Envirovet, Matt worked at an outdoor swine and beef cattle operation where he assessed environmental protection provided by the farm's system of tiles and filter strips. After Envirovet, Matt was awarded a grant from the University of Illinois Program in Conservation, Wildlife Population Medicine, and Ecosystem Health and ventured to St. Catherine's Island in Georgia to complete a summer project with Dr. Terry Norton. He assessed disease incidence in the island's amphibian populations, and assayed his specimens for viruses at the University of Florida with Dr. April Johnson. During his clinical year of veterinary school, Matt completed externships at the Southeastern Cooperative of Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia, the Bird, Zoo, and Exotic Animal Medicine Rotation at Louisiana State University, and Brookfield Zoo, as well as returning to St. Catherine's Island for a month to assist with clinical duties ranging from management of hit-by-car diamondback terrapins to annual exams of the island's ring-tailed lemur collection. Matt is now an associate veterinarian at the Animal House of Chicago, a veterinary clinic, where he sees small animal and exotic animal patients and is helping set up a clinical year externship and internship for future exotic animal veterinarians. His goals include obtaining a PhD in infectious diseases of wildlife and pursuing a career in wildlife films and television documentaries to spread the message of conservation medicine to future generations.
Dr. Joanna Proszowska is originally from Poland and graduated from the DVM program of the University of Illinois in 2006. She participated in Envirovet 2004 after two years of the veterinary curriculum. Joanna has a strong interest in wildlife, conservation, and exotic animal medicine. She has been involved in wildlife medicine since her undergraduate studies by volunteering at the Wildlife Medical Clinic, where she provided care to injured and orphaned wildlife. In the final year of her DVM program, Joanna also studied at The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota where she was able to work with endangered species such as Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles; and Louisiana State University where she worked with non-traditional companion animals, including birds, reptiles, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, as well as native wildlife and zoo animals. In addition, she visited Kansas State University to work in zoo, exotic and native wildlife medicine, as well completed the Brookfield Zoo Externship in zoo medicine. Joanna completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at VCA Aurora and VCA Berwyn Animal Hospitals in Illinois in June 2007. She has recently accepted a position at small animal and exotic hospital in south central Wisconsin seeing small animals, exotics and some wildlife (especially bald eagles in the winter months). In the future she is planning to pursue a residency in conservation medicine after gaining experiencing in private practice medicine.
Dr. Eva Restis participated in Envirovet Summer Institute immediately after graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine of Kansas State University in 2004. After Envirovet, she was employed as an associate veterinarian in a mixed animal practice while also working as a relief worker in emergency medicine. After 6 months of private practice, she went to South Africa for a three-month internship in wildlife and conservation medicine. Following her internship in South Africa, she accepted a year-long position as the veterinary intern at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Currently, she is finishing her PhD in infectious diseases at Virginia Tech where her thesis is focused on developing a drug delivery model to treat mycobacterial infections with antibiotic-loaded nanoparticles in cell cultures and mice. After completing the PhD she will continue to pursue her interests in conservation medicine with an emphasis on the disease triad among humans, wildlife and domestic animals. Eva commented that "With each step, I remind myself of the goals and lessons learned during Envirovet."
Mr. Gonzalo Barquero was completing a MS in reproductive biology in the University of Illinois, Department of Animal Sciences when he attended a lecture given by Envirovet Director, Dr. Val Beasley. At that time, Gonzalo and the company he worked for and helped lead in Brazil, Pro-fauna, had organized an educational program for veterinary students from Iowa State University that involved visits to a number of sites of wildlife production. Pro-fauna uses these sites and activities to earn a living, helping sustain rural economies, indigenous cultures, natural habitats, and biodiversity. Believing that experience and contacts gained through Envirovet would be of value to Pro-fauna in its educational and conservation efforts, Gonzalo was encouraged to apply to the Envirovet Summer Institute 2003, with the intent that he would participate not only in the US portions but also the Kenya program we had scheduled. However, work in Kenya became impossible that year due to precautionary statements from the US State Department. Therefore, Envirovet teamed with Gonzalo, Pro-fauna, and Tropical Nature to assemble a highly successful Envirovet Developing Country session for 2003 in Brazil. In late 2003, Gonzalo completed his MS focused on the reproductive biology of Brazilian wildlife. In 2004 Gonzalo created a sister branch of Pro-fauna, Pro-fauna Cerrado, to develop conservation projects in the Cerrado biome. Cerrado is regarded as the most biologically rich savannah on Earth, yet it is also the second most endangered biome and the one that is being most rapidly deforested in Brazil. The company’s objectives are to create economic incentives for rural producers to use sustainable production practices in their lands instead of the traditional methods that are severely damaging the environment. At present, he is president/director of Pro-fauna Cerrado and the Tropical Sustainability Institute (TSI), a Brazilian NGO that he created in 2005. TSI works with conservation programs throughout Brazil. Its mission is to conserve tropical biodiversity and demonstrate that human societies can prosper culturally and economically in peace with the environment. In addition to its work with stakeholders in Brazil, TSI has hosted four summer programs for pre-veterinary and veterinary students in Brazil in partnership with University of Illinois Professor Darrel Kesler.
Dr. Pablo Beldomenico, an Argentinean wildlife veterinarian completed his Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine at UC-Davis one year before taking part in Envirovet Summer Institute 2003. A year later, he received a Dorothy Hodgkin award to enable his PhD studies on wildlife disease ecology at the University of Liverpool. Pablo joined a group lead by Professor Mike Begon that has been in the international vanguard of examining host-pathogen dynamics in natural wildlife populations. Pablo was granted his PhD degree in August 2007. He has published on the parasitic infections of wild felids of Argentina. In addition, he has studied inflammatory cells of voles involved in parasitic infections and how they are influenced by, and may also influence the success of reproduction. Currently Pablo works in Argentina, where he was appointed by Wildlife Conservation Society as wildlife epidemiologist for South America. Among other activities, he was a speaker at the One Medicine Symposium entitled, Earth, Wind, and Fire: a One Medicine Approach to Climate Change in Durham, North Carolina, USA, in December, 2008.
Dr. Sara (Rybolt) Caruso, Envirovet 2003, received her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. The summer after completing Envirovet she received a fellowship from the Dodge Foundation's Frontiers for Veterinary Medicine to conduct a study on the use of Meloxicam in rehabilation birds at the Tristate Bird Rescue and Research Center in Delaware. Sara plans to spend a month externship at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin to learn more about infectious disease transmission in wildlife.
Dr. Mindaugas Malakauskas (DVM, PhD) attended the Aquatic Session of Envirovet Summer Institute 2003. He is a member of the faculty of the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy, where he conducts research, teaches veterinary students, and provides lectures to hunters related to wildlife health. From 2002 to 2006, Mindaugas served as Coordinator of the Envirovet Baltic Network, which is patterned on the Envirovet Program in Wildlife and Ecosystem Health (US). The Envirovet Baltic Network provides high quality education to veterinarians, agricultural/animal scientists and related professionals on how to diagnose and solve environmental problems that affect humans and animals. Envirovet Baltic links environmental problem solving to current social and economic trends in the Baltic Sea Region. Mindaugas gained insight and skills from the Summer Institute’s lectures, laboratories, and field experiences. In addition, he established contacts with American wildlife health scientists, who later participated with European scientists in Envirovet Baltic programs that he organized and hosted in Lithuania. Also, in 2005, Mindaugas hosted a workshop that set the stage for a major new collaboration between Envirovet Baltic and the Baltic University Programme in the area of sustainable agriculture and ecosystem health.
Innocent B. Rwego was an Envirovet student in 2003. At that time, he was working as a Field Veterinarian for Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project in southeast Uganda. He finished his DVM in 1999 and a Msc in Wildlife Health and Management in 2004, both at Makerere University. In 2008, he graduated with a PhD from Makerere University and his research examined the ecology of bacterial transmission among humans, livestock and apes from Bwindi Impenetrable and Kibale National Parks in Uganda and their surroundings. His PhD project involved work with Dr. Tony Goldberg, currently of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Veterinary Medicine. As of this writing, Innocent is a lecturer in the Department of Zoology, Makerere University and a member of the scientific committee of the UNESCO DIVERSITAS ecoHEALTH cross-cutting network. His ongoing, multi-investigator research projects under the umbrella of the Kibale Ecohealth Project examine how and why anthropogenic changes to tropical forests place people and non-human primates living in such ecosystems at increased risk of pathogen exchange. The effort entails a combination of epidemiology, molecular ecology, behavioral ecology, social and clinical surveys, and spatially explicit modeling. He described his findings as a keynote speaker at the EcoHealth Symposium in Merída, Mexico in December, 2008.
Dr. Kathrine Ryeng Participated in the Envirovet Summer Institute 2003, after having completed a PhD in the field of chemical immobilization of wildlife, with emphasis on reindeer, at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science (NVH) in 1999. She worked as an associate professor at the NVH, Artic Veterinary Medicine Group in the town of Tomoso, northern Norway from 2000 through 2006. From 2000 to 2003 she was Head of the Department of Arctic Veterinary Medicine and participated in Envirovet to broaden her horizons and learn more about ecosystem health and the integration of veterinary medicine into ecosystem health and wildlife research. TO quote Dr. Ryeng, "I was not disappointed! Today, the Envirovet idea of joining interdisciplinary forces for ecosystem problem solving is even more important. Besides being a great course of high quality, the Envirovet is also about building networks. After Envirovet, you know where the different expertise is located, and the Envirovet faculty staff have been very helpful in giving me advice who to contact in different situations." Dr. Ryeng's latest activity at the NVH was to develop and search funding for an Envirovet Artic educational program in close cooperation with colleagues in Norway, Russia, Canada and other professionals associated with Envirovet. In 2007, Dr. Ryeng undertook a new position in animal welfare management and legislation at the head office of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority in Oslo, a governmental body.
Dr. Nina Schoch is working as a Conservation Scientist for the The Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program, which conducts research to determine the status and trends in the Adirondack breeding loon population, and the effect of mercury contamination on this population's reproductive success. This work is coordinated with similar research throughout northeastern North America to determine the effect of environmental mercury contamination on the breeding loon population throughout the region.
Dr. Erica Tramuta-Drobnis attended Envirovet 2003 and graduated from the VMD program of the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. After Envirovet, Erica completed number of externships, including 6 weeks at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4 weeks at a zoo in Brazil, 4 weeks at the Wildlife Safari/Great Adventure and 4 weeks at White Oak Conservation Center. In 2005, she undertook an unofficial internship at VCA small animal practice and then worked at a small animal practice in Delaware for one year. She currently works at a 24-hour veterinary practice as a general practitioner focusing on internal medicine and surgery with small mammals and reptiles. In addition, Erica is an active emergency medical technician (for human beings) with the local fire department and is a member of the federal veterinary response teams [VMAT until recently and now federally we are known as the NVRT (National Veterinary Response Team)]. There are five teams that respond to different situations, some of which have been involved in 9/11 response, and many have contributed to hurricane relief efforts, especially Katrina. Erica is also completing a certificate program in Veterinary Homeland Security through Purdue University. Her husband is in medical school. She plans to do a residency in wildlife/zoo medicine and hopes to get a Masters in Public Health in the near future.
Dr. Guha Dharmarajan received the BVSc (equivalent to DVM) degree in 1997 from Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and the MVSc in Wildlife Science in 2000 from the same institution. He then worked on elephant ecology at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, until 2002 when he left to participate in Envirovet. After completing the Envirovet, Guha joined the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University for his doctoral post-doctoral research which mainly focused on theoretical and empirical aspects of parasite genetics. He is currently a Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow at the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and is working on the evolution of resistance and tolerance to dog heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in natural populations of the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus).
Ms. Joan Embery has served as a spokesperson on wildlife issues for the Zoological Society of San Diego since 1968. She owns and operates a wildlife facility and horse ranch, is a Trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation, a Professional Fellow of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, a member of the Advisory Board of the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center, and Founder and Life Member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. Her ongoing major career goal is to educate the public about conservation issues. She participated in the Envirovet Summer Institute to broaden her understanding of health as it relates to ecology and ecological restoration issues.
Dr. Robert Fyumagwa participated in the Envirovet Summer Institute of 2002. In November, 2007, he was appointed by the Board of Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) to the position of the Director of Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre (SWRC) situated in Serengeti National Park, which is one of the five research centres under TAWIRI which supervises, coordinates, and carries out wildlife research all over Tanzania. His main duties as the centre director is to provide administrative back up to researchers, develop research proposals, and conduct research in his area of specialization. Robert coordinates surveillance of trans-boundary diseases in wildlife on behalf of the government and provides quarterly performance reports to the Director General. His goal is to continue focusing his work on wildlife diseases and environmental toxicology. Apart from his routine work of conducting disease surveillance in wildlife, he has also been closely monitoring the mortality of lesser flamingos in soda lakes of northern Tanzania since 2000 when they started dying from suspected algal toxin poisonings and possibly secondary bacterial infections. He received the BVM (equivalent to DVM) degree from Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania in 1990, and the MVM (equivalent to MS) degree in parasitology from the same institution in 2000. He was in a mixed animal veterinary practice until 1998, when he began graduate school. In 2005, he registered for PhD studies at the Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he is undertaking studies on molecular epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens in ticks collected in Ngorongoro crater. He is currently in the final stages of completing his studies.
Dr. Kristin Gundersen graduated as a DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in 2005. She is a member of the International Veterinary Student Association, the American Society for Veterinary Animal Behavior, and the Students for Veterinary Multicultural Issues, as well as Co-president of the WSU American Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians. She has been involved in three animal behavior research studies including a time budget study on a herd of giraffes supported by Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Her commitment to a future career focused on local peoples, wildlife and habitat preservation in developing countries has been galvanized by her extensive trips into Ecuadorian rainforests, her sighting rare pink dolphins, and her witnessing massive rainforest destruction and wild-caught psittacines and monkeys.
Ms. Diane Hamilton completed a BA in Biology in 2001 from Earlham College and is now in the DVM program of Michigan State University. She is a member of the MSU Student Chapter of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, and is involved in a weekly exotic species necropsy/pathology program. Diane is also the Coordinator of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Vice President of the MSU CVM Zoo & Wildlife Club, and Secretary of the MSU CVM International Club. Her career goals include helping sustain the most natural and healthy coexistence possible between human and wild animal populations around the globe.
Dr. April Johnson became interested in research during veterinary school and received funding from the U.S. Army to survey the disease status of captive desert tortoises in Barstow, California. After completing the DVM program of the University of Illinois in 2002, April began PhD studies in virology at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Elliott Jacobson, an Envirovet faculty member, to investigate iridovirus infections of turtles and tortoises. She found that these emerging pathogens were lethal to wild box turtles and gopher tortoises as well as captive exotic tortoises. In addition to her PhD program, April pursued a Masters of Public Health degree at the University of Florida, College of Public Health and Health Professions. She finished both degrees in 2006. Immediately thereafter, April completed a two-year fellowship as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she worked in the Influenza Division investigating outbreaks of human and avian influenza. Upon completion of that fellowship in Summer, 2008, she accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine, where she is currently working to set up a public health program for the veterinary students. In addition, in December, 2008, April was certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists in Virology. She also plans take the certification exam in in Veterinary Preventative Medicine in 2009.
Dr. Mina Khoii completed a BA in Biology from Earlham College in 1995, and was awarded the DVM degree from Tufts University in 2004. She has worked in the Tufts Clinical Pathology Laboratory, provided care for hospitalized wildlife in the Tufts Wildlife Clinic, served as a Keeper of African mammals at the Louisville (Kentucky) Zoological Garden, and worked as a Research Assistant, of the Dayton (Ohio) Museum of Natural History. She is a member of the Tufts Veterinarians for Global Solutions, and the Tufts Wildlife, Aquatics, Zoo, and Exotics Student Organization. She has served as a volunteer in raptor rehabilitation, has worked at Mystic Aquarium on the Rescue and Rehabilitation Team and on the Tufts Asian Turtle Rescue Team, and has conducted research on the prevalence of white spot virus and heavy metal concentrations in black tiger prawns of Thailand. After Envirovet, Mina undertook research on the conservation genetics of zebras in Kenya. In March 2004 Mina attended the Dodge Foundation Frontiers for Veterinary Medicine conference. Her long-term goal is to be employed by an international conservation organization or agency, promoting ecosystem health and wildlife conservation, informing the public, influencing international conservation policy, conducting research, and teaching.
Dr. David Langoi attended the Developing Country unit of Envirovet 2002, after attending the Developed Country unit in 2001. David completed the requirements for a BVM (equivalent to DVM) at the University of Nairobi in 1997, and then took a position as Wildlife Student Veterinarian for the Kenya Wildlife Service in 1998 and 1999. From 1999 onward, David has served as Clinical Veterinarian for Primate Health and Husbandry at the National Museums of Kenya, Institute of Primate Research. Also, he worked as a Research Scholar in genetics at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2001 and 2002. David has focused molecular methods for endangered species conservation including the maintenance of genetic diversity in wildlife populations in East Africa. At present, he is nearing completion of a Master's thesis project Uppsala University in Sweden, entitled, "Protective Immunity to Bilhazia in Pregnant Baboons (Papio cynocephalus) and their Infants." He plans to continue research on the pathophysiology and immunology of parasite diseases in primates.
Dr. Camilla Lieske completed an AB in Biology from Bryn Mawr College in 1991, and a DVM and Masters in Veterinary Preventive Medicine (MPVM) from the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of California, Davis in 1998 and 1999, respectively. While in the MPVM program, she served as a research assistant investigating the effects of petroleum on seabirds, assisted in rehabilitation efforts, and was the Large Animal Anesthesia Assistant for emergency and after-hours surgeries. Camilla has worked as Educational Interpreter for Marine World Africa USA in Vallejo, California, and as Nature Director for the YMCA Camp of Maine. She completed externships in the Pathology Department of the San Diego Zoological Society, and the Veterinary Department of the San Diego Wild Animal Park, in Escondido, California, and is a member of the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians. In 1999, Camilla began a Residency and PhD program in Toxicology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Camilla was certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology in 2005 and serves on the Examining Committee of that organization. She is currently finishing the model development and manuscript writing phases of her PhD research which focuses on habitat factors that influence amphibian health. In 2006, Camilla accepted a job working with Kimberlee Beckmen, DVM, PhD, who is the Wildlife Veterinarian for the State of Alaska. Dr. Beckmen was previously employed with the wildlife and ecological toxicology program at the University of Illinois as well as the Envirovet program.
Dr. Titus Kamani Mlengeya was a participant in Envirovet Summer Institute in 2002, and in recent years has served as a faculty member of our program. Dr. Mlengeya obtained his B.V.M. degree from Sokoine University in 1988 and a M.Sc. in Veterinary Epidemiology from the University of Reading, UK, in 1994. He received a certificate for competency with dangerous drugs from the Zimbabwe Veterinary Association in 1997. In 2004 he obtained a Post-graduate Diploma in Wildlife Management from the College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka - Moshi, Tanzania. Dr. Mlengeya served as a wildlife research scientist at Serengeti Wildlife Research Institute from 1987 to 1989. In 1989 and 1990, he was a District Livestock Development Officer for the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development. From 1990 to 1993, he established and managed a veterinary clinic in Dar es Salaam. From 1994 to 1996, he served as Wildlife Epidemiologist for the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development in Dar es Salaam. From 1996 to 2010, he worked at Serengeti and other Tanzanian National Parks as a wildlife veterinarian, including service as Chief Veterinary Officer of Tanzania National Parks. In 2010, Dr. Mlengeya was elected as a Member of the Tanzanian Parliament, representing the Busega Constituency that borders Serengeti National Park, in the Simiyu Region of the country. In that role, he draws upon his professional experience and passion for conservation and sustainable livestock development. His goal is to support wise use of resources to make his nation a better place to live. Some of his priorities are educational development, environmental conservation, land use planning, empowerment of women, wise stewardship of water resources, and the fight against HIV-AIDS.
Dr. Sophie Molia obtained the DVM degree in 1998 and a specialization degree in tropical animal health (DESV) from French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), Montpellier, and Veterinary School of Toulouse, Toulouse, France, in 2001. She has worked in shrimp husbandry and production, clinical medicine and surgery, a study of distributions and behaviors of bottlenose dolphins in Zanzibar, and field and laboratory studies on water buffalo as vectors of foot and mouth disease in Sri Lanka. During 2000 and 2001, she completed field and laboratory studies of lyssavirus infection in Cambodian bat populations, sponsored by the Pasteur Institute of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Then, in 2002, Sophie conducted hormone monitoring in the Behavioral Endocrinology Laboratory of Brookfield Zoo in Chicago; and she worked for the Lincoln Park Zoo with their medical records database to assess disease risk factors. In 2003, Sophie obtained the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis, while conducting a study on Bartonella infection in African free-ranging lions and cheetahs. She subsequently was hired as a veterinary epidemiologist by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). She worked for three years in the Caribbean, developing research and control projects for various animal diseases and coordinating the Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET). Since 2007, Sophie has been conducting research on highly pathogenic avian influenza in Africa and providing epidemiology training to veterinary services of several Asian and African countries. She has been based in Bamako, Mali since January 2008. Sophie is a member of the Conservation of Animal Species and Populations Society, the Wildlife Disease Association, the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians. She is especially interested in the interactions among humans, domestic animals and wildlife in developing countries.
Dr. Jan Myburgh, a South African veterinarian, obtained a BVSc (DVM equivalent) in 1984 from the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa; and a BVSc Honors in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the same institution in 1988. Jan is employed by the Department of Food Animal Medicine, Theriogenology and Surgery, of the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria, South Africa. In 2002, he completed a MMedVetMed (MMVM) degree in Bovine Medicine from the Medical University of South Africa. Jan is a member of the South African Wildlife Management Association, the Society for Theriogenology, USA, the South African Veterinary Association: Wildlife Group, the Entomological Association of Southern Africa, the Grassland Society of Southern Africa, the Herpetological Society of Africa, the Endocrine Disruptor Study Group, Pretoria, the Aquatox Forum, South Africa, and the International Society for Biospeleology. He is also working to complete a PhD in environmental toxicology at the University of Pretoria. Jan hopes to stimulate veterinary environmental research in Africa that is internationally competitive and locally relevant. He recently initiated discussions on a Southeast African Regional Envirovet Program.
Dr. Vimal Selvaraj recently accepted a faculty position at Cornell University. Previous to this he was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Davis. He also serves as a research advisor for the Wildlife SOS, a non-governmental wildlife rescue and conservation team based in India. He graduated with a BVSc (equivalent to DVM) degree from Madras Veterinary College in 2000, a MS in Reproductive Biology from the University of Illinois in 2003, and a PhD in gamete biology from Cornell University in 2008. During his veterinary training he performed research on the preference of nesting substrates by colonial waterbirds from an environmental perspective. He also served as secretary of the Wildlife Club of Madras Veterinary College leading an initiative on conservation awareness among veterinarians in India. In his masters program, he studied the potential adverse effects of environmental estrogens on animal reproduction and immune function. Drawn to the reproduction aspect of conservation after attending Envirovet in 2002, he decided to study gametes and emerging reproductive technologies for wildlife conservation. His more recent work has explored ways to improve gamete cryopreservation and in vitro fertilization; he has also helped develop and examine the use of reproductive technologies including spermatogonial stem cell transplantation and testis tissue xenografting. During his research, he also spent some time at the Conservation Research Center of the Smithsonian Institution learning about practical problems in captive breeding and bridging the gap between field practices and molecular research. In his current work, he is investigating mechanisms of nuclear reprogramming and generation of what are known as induced pluripotent stem cells. This technology can be applied to substantially improve efficiency of reproductive cloning and holds significant prospects for somatic cells in various genome resource banks. In his ongoing association with the Wildlife SOS, he has made significant contributions to improvements in the health and management of rescued sloth bears in India. Recognizing the imminent need to sustain wild populations, Vimal has made a strong commitment to augment captive breeding of endangered species as part of coordinated conservation strategies.
Dr. Ginger Takle obtained a BS in biology from Bowling Green State University in Kentucky in 2000, and completed her veterinary training at the University of Tennessee. She has worked as a veterinary technician in the Avian/Exotic Ward of the University of Tennessee, and as the Head Veterinary Technician for Avian/Exotic/Wildlife species for All Creatures Animal Hospital in Maryville, Tennessee. Also, she has been a volunteer administering medications and other therapies and preparing birds for release at the Foothills Raptor Center in Maryville, Tennessee. She served as Zoological Keeper Intern and maintained Primate and Elephant grounds, for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in Ohio in 1998. In addition, Ginger was a Large Animal Caretaker for the College of Veterinary Medicine of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa in 1999. Ginger was President of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2005, and a Member of Avian, Exotic, and Wildlife Club at the College. Her career goal is to become a wildlife or zoo veterinarian. She has completed an internship at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University and is completing a zoo residency at the University of Missouri, the Kansas City Zoo, and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) VanWormer received a DVM from Michigan State University in 2005 before beginning a PhD in wildlife epidemiology at the University of California-Davis (UCD). Through veterinary school externships with wildlife agencies and participation in Envirovet Summer Institute of 2002, Liz recognized her fascination with disease transmission and health at the wildlife-domestic animal-human interface. For her PhD project with the UCD Wildlife Health Center, Liz is studying the terrestrial dynamics of Toxoplasma gondii, a zoonotic protozoan parasite that contributes to mortality in endangered southern sea otters off the coast of California. As the parasite is shed on land by wild and domestic felids, sea otter infections have sparked concerns over the potential for land to sea tranmission. Liz is excited to be part of a large, multidisciplinary team investigating this terrestrial to marine ecosystem link. In addition, she is also extremely interested in the role of outreach and environmental education, especially for elementary through high school student audiences, and in building connections between scientists and their surrounding communities.
Dr. Genevieve Vega obtained a BS in conservation biology from Columbia University and completed her DVM at Tufts in 2004. She has worked on threatened coastal vegetation research and as a reptile and amphibian keeper; with breeding programs for endangered frogs in New Jersey; has provided care to over 30 turtle and tortoise species in the US, Indo-China, and throughout the world; has used biopsy darts to obtain samples for genetic analysis from humpback whales off the coast of Madagascar; and has helped create an ecotourism project for that island nation. After Envirovet 2002, she stayed on in Kenya and assisted in research of mass die-offs of flamingos. To reduce educational debt and facilitate a more rapid focus on wildlife and ecosystems, Genevieve accepted a partial scholarship for veterinary school from the US Army. She served as a veterinarian at Camp Lejeune on the North Carolina coast, where she cared for military dogs and horses, and became involved with a nearby sea turtle sanctuary and national park. She subsequently completed her three-year tour of duty, which included work in Korea. She is currently working in private practice while completing a Master of Public Health Degree at the University of Iowa.
The late Dr. Margaret Vinson obtained a BS in Wildlife Biology in 1990 from the University of California-Davis and a MS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana in 1998. Meg worked as a member of the back-country trail crew of the US Forest Service in North Fork, California; in rehabilitation of wounded raptors for the UC-Davis Raptor Center; as a wilderness ranger, crew supervisor, and wildlife biologist for the US Forest Service at Shaver Lake, California. In addition, she was a teacher's assistant at the University of Montana at Missoula, and a veterinary technician for an equine practice. She was also a racehorse exercise rider and jockey. While in veterinary school, Meg was a member of the Zoological and Wildlife Medicine Society, Student Chapter. She completed the DVM program of Colorado State University, and worked in private practice, primarily with horses. In 2005, she entered the veterinary pathology residency program at Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Meg’s goals included working toward a healthy and sustainable coexistence of wildlife, humans, and the environment.
Dr. Elizabeth Wambwa obtained the BVM degree (equivalent to DVM) from the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 1994, and the MSc in Wild Animal Health from the University of London in 1995. Elizabeth is currently Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service Veterinary Unit centered in Nairobi. She is a member of the Africa Section of the Wildlife Disease Association, the East African Wildlife Society, and the World Association of Wildlife Veterinarians. Her goal is to participate actively in wildlife conservation efforts in Kenya, and to make meaningful contributions in her area of expertise.
Dr. Kristin Kemper obtained a BS in Animal Ecology from Western Washington University and received a DVM degree from Washington State University in 2004. She has assisted in developing a captive breeding program for endangered pygmy rabbits for the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Service; helped breed, raise, and release endangered Hawaiian birds for the San Diego Zoological Park and other groups at Volcano, Hawaii; released and tracked captive bred endangered Hawaiian thrushes for the Peregrine Fund at Alakai Swamp, Hawaii; served as assistant zookeeper for mammals and birds, and tour docent at the Cougar Mountain Zoological Park, in Issaquah, Washington; worked as a wildlife technician, monitoring endangered species in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Douglas, Wyoming; and was a veterinary assistant in private practice. She is a member of the International Veterinary Student Association, and the Student American Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians. Long term career goals include a career focus on recovery of endangered species, restoring self-sustaining populations by pro-active habitat conservation, and developing passionate community conservation programs.
Dr. Jennifer York completed a BS in Environmental Resource Management at Pennsylvania State University in 1995 and completed the DVM program at Tufts University in 2004. Jennifer has worked for HawkWatch International, at Salt Lake City; as a plant ecologist/field technician supervisor conducting vegetation surveys for the US Army Land Condition Trend Analysis Program at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts; and as an environmental educator at Shaver's Creek Environmental Education Center, in University Park, Pennsylvania. She has also worked as a veterinary technician in private practice as well as a wildlife rehabilitation assistant. She has served as a volunteer in the Tufts Wildlife Clinic, and co-founded the Necropsy Team for the clinic. Jennifer was an environmental education volunteer for the Peace Corps at the Amur Zoo in Blagoveshchensk, Russia in 1997 and 1998. In addition, she is a member of the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, and the Mid-Atlantic States Association of Avian Veterinarians. She hopes to become board-certified in avian medicine and will focus on a career in avian conservation medicine.
Dr. Matt Allender completed the requirements for the DVM degree at the University of Illinois in 2004. He practiced full-time in a small animal clinic while finishing his MS degree focusing on infectious disease exposures of free-ranging reptiles. He completed a zoological medicine residency at the University of Tennessee. Currently, he is an Instructor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. His research focuses on diseases of both free-ranging and captive wildlife. He is currently working on infectious diseases in wild box turtles in east Tennessee, as well as a fungal disease outbreak in captive collections of American horseshoe crabs. Other works include numerous pharmacokinetic studies in aquatic species including sharks, shrimp, and horseshoe crabs.
Dr. Kathleen Biddle Muravnick participated in Envirovet 2001 while attending veterinary school at the University of Illinois. After graduating with her DVM, she completed an anatomic pathology residency at the University of Pennsylvania. Kathleen passed the certifying exam of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2007. She now works in pharmaceutical safety for Pfizer in Groton, Connecticut.
Dr. Rebecca Bloch was a second year veterinary student when she joined Envirovet in 2001. She graduated from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. After a small animal internship, two years of small animal private practice, and a zoo/exotic/wildlife internship, she is currently the associate veterinarian at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Fossil Rim is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited facility consisting of approximately 1700 acres with predominantly free-ranging animals that is dedicated to conservation of species in peril, scientific research, training of professionals, creative management of natural resources, and impactful public education. Fossil Rim has had great success in propagating many endangered species, including but not limited to addax, cheetah, scimitar horned oryx, black rhino, and dama gazelle, and has been an active participant in the recovery of the Attwater's Prairie Chicken, a grouse native to Texas and Louisiana.
Dr. David Cockerill is a veterinarian in the UK who went there from South Africa after earning his B.V.Sc. (equivalent to DVM) in 1993 from the University of Pretoria. After participating in Envirovet 2001, Dave began developing an aquatic environmental consulting arm for his private veterinary practice. He also began work on his MSc in Ecotoxicology at the University of Ulster in March 2002.
Dr. Margaret Driciru earned her B.V.M. (equivalent to DVM) in 1996 and Post-graduate Diploma in Wildlife Health and Management in 1999, both from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. From 1997 until the present, she has been heavily involved in research work to support lion conservation, including conducting a population viability assessment of large predators in Murchison Falls National Park Uganda. This has included being the Principal Researcher for the Lion II Project of the Department of Wildlife and Animals Resources Management of the Makerere Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. From 2002 to 2004, she completed a MSc in Wildlife Health and Management at Makerere University. For much of 2005, she was on special assignment with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, relocating elands in Kidepo Valley National Park. In recent years, she has served as the Research Warden for Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda.
Dr. Károly Erdélyi is a Hungarian veterinarian who currently works in the Department of Pathology of Domestic Mammals on Wildlife Diseases at the Central Veterinary Institute, in Budapest. In addition, he teaches a course in wildlife infectious diseases and parasitology at the English language Wildlife Biology and Management Master of Science course at the St. Stephen University in Gödöllö. Károly earned his DVM in 1996, at the University of Veterinary Sciences, Budapest, and his M.Sc. in Wildlife Biology and Management in 1999, at Gödöllo Agricultural University. Károly is currently completing a PhD student project that involves describing the clinical and pathologic features of roe deer papillomavirus infections, as well as sequencing the genome of the responsible virus. His project is opening up opportunities to collaborate in timely studies of host ecology, phylogeography and viral evolution. He also has a strong interest in avian pox molecular research. For a period of years, he served as Regional Coordinator of the Veterinary Specialist Group of IUCN (World Conservation Union) Species Survival Commission for Eastern Europe. In the course of his work, he has cultivated good working relations with both game managers and nature conservation groups. He and his collaborators discovered the first cases of West Nile virus infections in wild birds in Hungary in 2003 and 2004, the first case of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu in mute swans, and the first cases of Usutu virus infection in blackbirds. Károly is also involved with raptor conservation. In addition, he serves as secretary of the Hungarian Wildlife Disease Association. He was recently elected to the board of the European Wildlife Disease Association.
Dr. Cynthia Johnson received a DVM from Colorado State University in 1992, and a M.S. in Environmental Science & Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in 1999, before participating in Envirovet 2001. After Envirovet, Cynthia worked for a period of years as a Grant Manager for The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Since 2004, she has worked at the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in the Veterinary Services Section as an Emerging Disease Analyst. Her duties involve monitoring emerging animal diseases globally, identifying new factors and indicators of disease emergence, and tracking trends that can affect animal health. In 2007, she became a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine.
Dr. Michael Kagiko served as the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nairobi, an institution that supported Envirovet and other aspects of wildlife and ecosystem health education. Michael earned his BVM in 1975, his M.Sc in 1977, and his PhD in 1986, all at the University of Nairobi.
Dr. Sittidet Mahasavangkul earned his DVM in 1992 from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. He is the Head of the Veterinary Section of the Northern Timber Department, Forest Industry Organization; a Specialist Lecturer at Chiangmai University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and the Head of the Elephant Hospital, Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Forest Industry Organization.
Dr. Julio Mercado obtained a MVZ (equivalent to DVM) in 1994 from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, and a MPVM in 2000 from the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, before participating in Envirovet Summer Institute 2001. He has served as a zoo veterinarian for the Mexicali Zoo, 1997-1998, and has been teaching wildlife management techniques, zootechnique ecology, and medicine for wild animals in captivity, at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias (IICV), in Baja California, since 1996. Currently, he is in charge of the field capture and processing of samples for a project on rabies in bats, for which he is also co-author. Julio was recently named field veterinarian of the California condor reintroduction program in Baja California, Mexico.
Dr. Motoko Mukai joined Envirovet in 2001, immediately after her completion of a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree, at Azabu University in Japan. She then completed a PhD program in environmental toxicology at the University of Illinois, where she worked with Drs. Paul Cooke and Shelley Tischkau, investigating whether dioxins interfere with critically important "clock genes" that are involved in synchronizing body functions with normal day/night schedules. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis working on molecular mechanism of neuroendocrine response to stress in free-ranging avian species with Dr. John Wingfield. Her career goal is to continue to work on environmental toxicology and neuroendocrinology, to help understand and prevent adverse effects of toxic compounds on human and animal health.
Dr. Lisa Naples was a first-year veterinary student at Tufts University when she joined Envirovet 2001. As a veterinary student Lisa’s research included the zoonotic risks of Cryptosporidia infection in Kenya, ecosystem monitoring in Zimbabwe, and ecosystem health assessments in Nepal. Since graduation, Dr. Naples has completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship, a zoological internship, and a residency in zoo and aquatic animal medicine. More recent research includes primate anesthesia, vitamin D metabolism, marine mammal endocrinology, and elasmobranch stress. Dr. Naples is currently the Section Chief of Conservation Medicine at the John G. Shedd Aquarium.
Dr. William Ogara earned his DVM in 1981 and PhD in 1985, both from Moscow Academy of Veterinary Science. He is a member of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nairobi. He teaches environmental hygiene, aquatic animal health, and food safety. William is also an accomplished specialist in both Public Health and Environmental Law.
Dr. Susanne Sokolow was a third-year veterinary student at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis when she joined Envirovet 2001. She completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 and then earned a PhD in disease ecology in 2007 from the Ecology Graduate Group, University of California Davis. She is currently seeking postdoctoral opportunities to study the dynamics of infectious diseases in the natural environment and the impacts of ecological change on human and animal health. She also works as a small animal veterinarian in Sacramento, California.
Dr. Piyarat Subhachalat earned her DVM in 1994 from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, and her PhD in animal production and parasitology in 1999, from the University of Agriculture and Technology of Tokyo, Japan. She is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Toxicology at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Piyarat is currently involved in aquatic and terrestrial toxicology research, analytical assays to quantify contaminants, diagnostic toxicology, and assessment and management of ecological risks.
Dr. Anne Acton completed a residency in zoological medicine in the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. She is now in the PhD program in Wildlife Health at the College of Veterinary Medicine of North Carolina State University.
Dr. Harriet Auty was a veterinary student at the University of Liverpool when she participated in Envirovet Summer Institute 2000. After graduating in 2004, she worked briefly in private practice before beginning a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. In 2009 she completed her thesis entitled “Ecology of a vector-borne zoonosis in a complex ecosystem: Trypanosomiasis in Serengeti, Tanzania”. She is currently a post doctoral research assistant at the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health at the University of Glasgow, exploring disease surveillance strategies in wildlife, livestock and human populations around Serengeti.
Dr. Micah Brodsky was a veterinary student when he attended the Envirovet Summer Institute of 2000. He had assisted in aquatic animal health research during his veterinary education. After graduating with a VMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2002, Micah worked in a small animal and exotics practice for a year and a half. Following a short stint in Nicaragua (from 2004-2005), where he studied Olive Ridley sea turtle nesting ecology, he worked as a veterinary consultant on a variety of wildlife projects in Central America and the United States. Since August, 2007 he has been the staff veterinarian at Dolphins Plus and Dolphin Cove, in Key Largo, Florida. Micah is also consulting veterinarian for the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (www.bioko.org) and for the Marine Mammal Conservancy (www.marinemammalconservancy.org). He intends to start a PhD in epidemiology in 2009, to extend his knowledge and capabilities and to contribute to training others in the One Health paradigm.
Dr. Debby Burnett worked as a physical therapist before entering veterinary school at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A & M University. In September, 2000, she attended the AAZV-IAAAM Conference in New Orleans, where she participated in the Marine Mammals Workshop. She subsequently received funding for a research project investigating heavy metal contaminants in Alaskan Arctic ringed and bearded seals and completed both field and laboratory research for the study. Debby has also undertaken a preceptorship at White Oak Conservation Center in Florida, completing a project on gerenuk anesthesia.
Dr. Jay King attended Envirovet aquatic in 1998 and Envirovet terrestrial in 2000 while working in a small animal/exotic practice. He completed a MS in conservation and tropical ecology and is continuing related work in a PhD. He has worked with the University of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation with a river otter radio-tracking project and has consulted with graduate students on projects involving opossums, songbirds, and capybaras. He has published several papers regarding: Shigella in primates; behavioral problems in dogs; and administration of pharmaceuticals to elephants. For the past 5 years, Jay has worked with the very large, highly endangered frog Leptodactylus fallax, commonly known as the mountain chicken frog, on the island of Dominica. He has been involved with censuses, DNA analyses, captive breeding, public education, and a clean stream program. He is also exploring the utility of translocation and radio tracking of the frog. Jay diagnosed chytrid infections in the population in 2003, the first report of the fungus in the Caribbean. He has published findings of his research, including the identification of anti-microbial peptides from the skin of frogs, and of a peptide that induces aggression in male frogs. He supports this work through after-hours house calls.
Dr. Ruth Lambert was a second year veterinary student at Tufts University when she participated in Envirovet 2000. Ruth had assisted in research in estrus, dominance, and social behavior of captive African elephants, molecular genetics, and worked as a veterinary assistant at the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI, as well as in the Tufts Wildlife Clinic. After Envirovet 2000, Ruth worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service in the translocation of fifty-six elephants from a Laikipia ranch to Meru National Park. She then went to Shimba Hills to work with KWS scientists, developing knowledge regarding the region's human-elephant-ecosystem conflict. She also undertook studies exploring the possibility of using immunocontraception to stabilize the park's population of elephants.
Dr. Thomas Manyibe was a Wildlife Veterinarian for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) when he participated in the Envirovet Summer Institute of 2000. He traveled a great deal in that job, which involved health monitoring as well as treatment for a wide array of health problems of free-ranging and captive wildlife in Kenya's national parks and reserves. Also, as a part of that work, Dr. Manyibe participated in many translocations of wildlife to prevent overpopulations, to boost low populations, and to reintroduce species after local extinctions. Among the species translocated were elephant, black rhino, giraffe, Grevy's zebra, common zebras, impalas, reedbucks, and oribi. After Envirovet, Tom completed a MS in wildlife pathology and diagnostics at the University of Nairobi. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD at that university. Dr. Manyibe developed an interest in flamingos and causes of mass die-offs, during his participation in an investigation on that topic during the Envirovet Summer Institute in 2000. This interest was greatly enhanced when he participated in the 2004 Symposium on Mass Die-offs of Lesser Flamingos at the University of Illinois. Dr. Manyibe's PhD research focus is on the roles of infectious diseases among other risk factors in the ongoing, frequent mass mortality events that affect lesser flamingos. In addition, in July, 2008, he joined the African Union's Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) as Wildlife Expert under the Support Program to Integrated National Action Plans on Human and Avian Influenza (SPINAP-AHI). His responsibilities include providing technical support and advice to SPINAP-AHI and other projects in AU-IBAR, such as the Somalia Rinderpest Eradication Unit (SERECU) project.
Dr. Mbaabu Mathiu is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree (equivalent to DVM) from the University of Nairobi and a PhD in 1988 from the University of Hawaii in Physiology, where his dissertation focused on environmental physiology. When Mbaabu was among the students of Envirovet 2000, he was Chair of the Department of Physiology in his Faculty. He served in that capacity for 10 years, honing his administrative skills. During that time, he also helped to develop innovative curricula in areas including a B.Sc. program in Wildlife, Wetlands, and Fisheries Management. Also, he has served as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine for extended periods on several occasions as well as Acting Principal of the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences. Currently, Mbaabu coordinates the East African (Universities) Co-Curriculum Development Alliance on e-learning, which shares internet-based courses on public and ecosystem health with Tufts University. Dr. Mathiu is a registered lead expert in Environmental Audit/Impact Assessments (EA/EIAs) by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and has skills and experience in workshop facilitation, (stakeholder) participatory approaches, conflict resolution and consultancies. In 2008, he served in the National Steering Committee, which developed an Environment Policy for Kenya. He is also the Secretary General of the African Association of Physiological Sciences. His research interests include emerging livestock (ostrich and guinea fowl) farming. As a Fulbright (Senior Scientist) Scholar for one year at the University of Georgia, he developed a heterologous radioimmunoassay to measure ostrich growth hormone in plasma. In addition, Mbaabu conducts research in emerging disciplines of conservation medicine, and ecosystem health, with a focus on livestock-environment interactions, and on indigenous knowledge about traditional medicines with the goal of sustainable utilization of medicinal biodiversity for improved health and livelihoods.
Dr. Fernando Nassar-Montoya is a Colombian veterinarian who has worked for many years to offset the negative impacts of the illegal trade in wildlife in tropical South America. He is an expert in avian and primate health. Since Envirovet, Fernando has organized a workshop for Latin American veterinarians to build capacity in dealing with the problems of wildlife.
Dr. Joseph Okori was an Assistant Professor of Wildlife Health at the Wild Animal Resource management Unit of the Faculty of Veterinary medicine at Makere University in Kampala, Uganda when he participated in Envirovet 2000. Shortly after completing the Envirovet course, Dr. Okori was named Wildlife Veterinary Coordinator in charge of Veterinary Unit of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. He was subsequently promoted in the Office of the Executive Director to become the Uganda Wildlife Authority's Partnership Coordinator where he oversaw all collaborative linkages and partnership relations for the organization, including wildlife disease and surveillance programs. In 2004, he moved to Botswana and currently is Principal Veterinary Officer and Head of the Veterinary Unit of the Department of Wildlife and National Park of Botswana in charge of wildlife health for the Republic of Botswana. Among his duties are supervision of programs addressing control of anthrax in wildlife, control of lion predation on livestock, and supplementation of ostrich populations in natural areas.
Dr. George Owiti DVM, PhD, has served as Head of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Nairobi. Dr. Owiti is facilitating flamingo studies led by Dr. Gideon Motelin (Envirovet 1998) and is helping to organize Envirovet programs in East Africa. As the Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute, Dr. Owiti is helping to develop a new initiative in aquatic ecotoxicology for Kenya.
Dr. Karen Shapiro, a native of Israel, was entering her third-year as a veterinary student at the University of California-Davis when she took the Envirovet course in 2000. Karen has worked on ecological monitoring with benthic organisms and fishes in streams of the US west coast. Because her goals include conducting field research in water quality and wildlife health, she also participated in the Envirovet Aquatic 2001. In 2009 Karen completed a PhD at UC Davis where she focused her dissertation research on the waterborne transmission of a protozoan pathogen from cat feces to sea otters along the central California coast. She has established collaborations between the veterinary school and physical science departments including environmental engineering, hydrology, and oceanography, to put together a transport team that is modeling contamination of nearshore waters with fecal pollution. She is currently continuing her research as a postdoctoral fellow investigating the transmission dynamics of zoonotic pathogens in coastal ecosystems. Her career goals are to continue research and teaching in the field of zoonotic waterborne infectious disease, with an emphasis on the effects of impaired water quality on ecosystem and wildlife population health.
Dr. Kara Sorensen was a predoctoral candidate at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana when she participated in Envirovet 2000. She completed her PhD, with an emphasis in Environmental Toxicology, in 2003 within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. During her graduate program, Kara received two pre-doctoral fellowships and prepared six manuscripts for publication. Her research focused on the effect of iron oxidation state in clay minerals on the toxicity of pesticides to mammalian cells. In 2005, Kara's PhD research won first place in the dissertation awards competition in Natural Sciences and Engineering, from the Universities Council on Water Resources. Currently, Dr. Sorensen is an National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow working at the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP) in San Diego, California. Her research with the NMMP program includes assessing dietary intake for dolphins and sea lions, assessing the relationship of serum trace elements and disease, and assisting the program in enhancing their water quality surveillance program.
Dr. Christina Wippich-Whiteman is a Brazilian who graduated from veterinary school in 1997, and then trained in wildlife health and conservation in US zoos as well as at Makerere University in Uganda. She has worked for The Wildlife Trust/Tufts University Center for Conservation Medicine and for the Federal Rural University of the Amazon (UFRA), mostly in research initiatives. She finished her PhD in Applied Ecology at the University of São Paulo in 2007, working on terrestrial carnivore conservation and its interface with human health and wellbeing in a fragmented landscape of the Eastern Brazilian Amazon. Between 2008 and 2009, she worked in wildlife rescue at mining projects in the Brazilian Amazon. Currently, she works as an environmental analyst for the Brazilian government, in charge of one of the Ibama's (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources) Fauna units in the state of Pará, Amazon region.
Dr. Cory Brayton received a DVM from Cornell University and was subsequently board certified in Laboratory Animal Medicine. She is also a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Dr. Brayton is now Director of the Center for Comparative Studies at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Dr. Bethany Grohs-OBrien, a VMD from the University of Pennsylvania, attended Envirovet Summer Institute in 1998. Shortly thereafter, she was employed with the U.S. EPA Superfund Emergency Group under Envirovet faculty member Dr. David Charters. After a time, a new job title of Veterinary Medical Officer was chosen. One of Bethany's many roles was to consult on cleanup of the contamination of the U.S. Senate Office Building following contamination with anthrax spores. When Envirovet faculty member Dr. Poppenga moved from the University of Pennsylvania to UC-Davis, Dr. Grohs took over the teaching of Dr. Poppenga's Ecotoxicology course at the University of Pennsylvania while continuing to work full time at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Bethany subsequently joined the USDA and recently transferred to Fort Collins, Colorado where she is Emergency Response Program Manager. In this position, she is responsible for managing natural or other disasters. Her role is to train personnel for disasters and when they occur to coordinate joint efforts among the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Food Inspection Service, and the Department of the Interior.
Dr. Craig Miller previously served as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, conducting a detailed survey of captive breeding techniques in zoos around the world. He completed his DVM program at the University of Illinois, and is in private practice. During veterinary school, Craig studied endocrine disruption in the cricket frog.
The late Dr. Gideon Motelin was a veterinarian and an Associate Professor of Pathology at Egerton University in Kenya. He completed a MS in toxicologic pathology at the University of Illinois, and was Principal Investigator on an ongoing research project focused on mass die-offs in lesser flamingos, on which Dr. Ramesh Thampy (Envirovet 1994) and Dr. Val Beasley also worked. Gideon also worked energetically to increase the emphasis on wildlife and environmental issues at Egerton and in Kenya more broadly.
Dr. Cheryl Rosa is a graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Since Envirovet 1998, Cheryl has undertaken a PhD program in Wildlife Biology, with a focus on marine mammal health and toxicology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Among her mentors was Dr. Todd O'Hara (Envirovet 1992) and Dr. John Blake. She has also completed a residency in wildlife medicine at UAF. In April 2006, she started a position as the wildlife veterinarian for the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management in Alaska. She is currently pursuing certification in wildlife medicine, and thus will take the examination offered by the examining board of the American College of Zoo Medicine in the near future.
Dr. René Varela was a veterinary student when he participated in Envirovet 1998. He completed a MS degree in biology from the Florida Atlantic University, studying the immune system of green sea turtles with fibropapillomatosis, prior to receiving his veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. While at Penn, he also attended Aquavet 1 and 2 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Aquamed. Since June of 2001, René has been serving as the post-doctoral veterinary fellow in Marine Mammal Research and Conservation at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. This is a combined clinical, pathology, and research appointment covering all aspects of marine mammal health, particularly that of cetaceans and manatees. In the fall of 2002, he began a PhD program studying the immune system of manatees in health and disease. René's long term interests lie in the study of immune systems of aquatic animals and interactions with environmental stressors. In 2002-2004, René helped facilitate the Aquatic Unit of Envirovet which was held at Harbor Branch.
Dr. David Villar is a veterinarian from Spain who completed a MS in toxicology at the University of Illinois. He taught clinical toxicology in Merida, Mexico in 1993 and wrote a book on poisonous plants important to animal health in collaboration with a botanist from the University of Yucatan. He subsequently began a PhD at Macaulay Land Use Research Institute of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Immediately after Envirovet 1998, David completed his PhD project. He then served as toxicologist in a faculty position at the University of Valencia (Spain), where he interacted with other veterinarians involved in his nation's ecosystem health. David subsequently completed a residency in toxicology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University and in 2004 was certified as a Diplomate or the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology. David moved to Miami, Florida in summer 2005 and worked at Nova Southeastern University and then the University of Miami as a senior research associate. In April of 2008, he moved to Medellin, Colombia where he teaches pharmacology at the University of Antioquia. He is a referee for Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Agropecuarias, the leading veterinary journal in Colombia, and is undertaking field studies on nitrate in fertilized Kikuyu grass (Penissetum clandestinum), the main forage for dairy cattle in Antioquia. He is also collaborating in studies of paraquat, an acutely lethal herbicide that causes severe, often irreversible lung damage.
Dr. Karyn Bischoff completed a DVM at the University of Illinois in 1995 and an MS in pathology at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. She passed the certification examination of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and went on to study Pathology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She currently works as the Clinical Toxicologist at the New York state Health Diagnostic Laboratory and Diagnostic Toxicologist in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences at Cornell University, where she teaches Veterinary Toxicology. She is also the current President of the American Academy of Veterinary and Comparative Toxicology (AAVCT). Her professional interests lie primarily in veterinary diagnostic toxicology and pathology with emphasis on wildlife and avian diseases.
Dr. Kris Carter, who has both DVM and MPVM degrees, now works for the California Department of Health Services, Division of Communicable Disease Control, Veterinary Public Health Section.
Dr Bridget Dunnigan completed a MS in zoology at Arizona State University and a DVM at University of Minnesota. Bridget attended Envirovet in 1994 while attending veterinary school. After receiving her DVM, she completed an exotic animal medical internship with her time shared between Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, Zoo New England, and New England Aquarium. She currently splints her profession time between two positions. She is a Veterinary Medical Officer with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Northeast Fisheries Science Center where she does the veterinary work for the Woods Hole Science Aquarium and assists the Northeast region with marine mammal and sea turtle strandings and rehabilitations. The other part her week is spent in private practice on Martha’s Vineyard doing small and exotic animal medicine.
Dr. Karen Duncan completed the DVM program at the University of Georgia and worked in small animal practice, including emergency medicine, until 1992. Following Envirovet 1994, Karen completed a residency and MS in toxicology at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Her thesis demonstrated that bismuth shot is far less hazardous than highly toxic lead shot to waterfowl. In 2002, Karen was certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology. Karen now works in industry.
Dr. Tracy DuVernoy was a small animal practitioner when she participated in the Envirovet session of 1994. Subsequently, she completed the requirements for a Master of Public Health degree at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland. She then accepted a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] to study post-immunization effects of vaccines in children. This was followed by positions with the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine where she investigated disease outbreaks among Army personnel; Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to work on zoonotic disease surveillance; the US Department of Agriculture to respond to foreign animal diseases; and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in the Department of Defense. Currently, she is a Veterinary Medical Officer on the Emergency Coordination and Response Team at FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition [CFSAN]. Her primary role and responsibility includes tracking and coordinating CFSAN's response to emergencies and outbreaks of FDA-regulated food, cosmetic, and dietary supplement products.
Dr. Kathleen MacMahon completed a MS in zoology at the University of New Hampshire, and subsequently served as a lecturer for Plymouth State College, where she taught biology, human anatomy, and physiology. Kathleen completed the DVM program at the University of Minnesota shortly before attending Envirovet 1994. Soon thereafter, she joined the Air Force and worked as a toxicologist in the Tri-Service Toxicology Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Her work focused on the health effects of environmental toxins. Currently, Kathleen works in the Educational and Information Division of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, in Cincinnati, Ohio. She evaluates the risks of biological and chemical occupational hazards. She is the author of the NIOSH West Nile virus topic page which can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/westnile.
Dr. Brian Porter received a BS in Veterinary Science in 1989, and a DVM in 1992, both from Texas A&M University. From 1992 to 1997, Brian worked as a mixed-animal practitioner. He attended Envirovet 1994 to explore options in environmental toxicology. Brian completed a residency in anatomic pathology at Cornell University in 2003. He is currently a member of the pathology faculty at Texas A&M. His research interests include neuropathology and toxicologic pathology.
Dr. Robert Robinson studied biology at Western Michigan University, and animal husbandry at Michigan State University, and then completed a DVM program at Michigan State University. Bob has since served as a large animal practitioner. After completing Envirovet 1994, Bob established and has repeatedly offered an educational program for high school students to familiarize them with wildlife and environmental problems in the Lake Michigan ecosystem.
Dr. David Rotstein is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Tennessee. After completing the Envirovet program of 1994, he completed a Master's of Preventative Veterinary Medicine degree at UC Davis in 1996, worked as a wildlife veterinarian for the State of Florida in conservation of the endangered Florida panther (cougar), obtained a Master's Degree from University of Florida in 2000, and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology in 2002. Dave was the keynote speaker at the 2007 annual conference for the marine mammal pathology workshop; which was held at Disneyland Resort in conjunction with the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine (IAAAM) Annual Meeting. He discussed findings and challenges associated with pathologic investigations in wild marine mammal individual and mass strandings. Dave’s principal research focus in in zoological/wildlife/exotic pathology. He is currently planning studies on the impacts of malathion on salamanders as well as of mercury on alligators. Dave routinely contributes his expertise in marine mammal pathology to studies of the causes of strandings of such animals in concert with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Event Working Group.
Dr. Kevin Silver received a MS in Veterinary Science (neurophysiology) from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Thereafter, he completed the DVM program at the same university. Kevin spent several years in private practice, during which time he developed an intense interest in ecosystem health. After Envirovet 1994, Kevin went to the University of Nairobi in Kenya, where he developed a post-B.V.M. graduate program in wildlife health. Over the next three years, he continued to make trips to the Ethiopia and Somalia to teach workshops in grazing and arid lands restoration. He is currently launching a company, American Veterinary Inspection Service, which will conduct livestock health inspection programs to support Horn of Africa livestock exports, develop regional disease surveillance systems, and improve arid land livestock production strategies.
Dr. Gary Teare received his DVM degree from the University of Guelph in 1986. Gary worked in mixed rural practice for a few years in Canada, and subsequently completed a MS program in immunology at the University of Toronto. During Envirovet 1994, he was enrolled in and subsequently completed a PhD program in epidemiology at the University of Guelph, where his project focused on the use of chemotherapeutic agents in aquaculture systems. Currently, Dr. Teare is a Health Scientist in the Research Department and Canadian Collaborating Centre - International Resident Assessment instrument (interRAI), at Providence Centre, Toronto, and an Assistant Professor, in the Department of Health Administration, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. He is engaged in human clinical epidemiological research relating to inpatient rehabilitation, chronic care, and Alzheimer day programs.
Dr. Ramesh Thampy, a second-generation Kenyan, received a BVSc (DVM) at Kerala Agricultural University in India. Dr. Thampy worked as a veterinarian for the Kenyan government for five years, and thereafter was a Program Officer for Action-Aid Kenya, and a Program Coordinator for CARE-Kenya. From 1988 until 1999, Ramesh served as Project Executive for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sponsored Lake Nakuru Conservation and Development Programme at Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya. The program involved not only research but also watershed education for small children and farmers, as well as interactions with resource managers, industries, other non-governmental agencies, and politicians to support improved management of wildlife resources. Recently he served as to Director of Programs for Kenya, at the World Wildlife Fund in Nairobi, Kenya. Currently, he is working as a consultant on wildlife and environmental issues.
Dr. Stephen Diana completed a MS project at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Beasley, focused on the impacts of herbicides on amphibian survival and development. Subsequently, Dr. Diana was employed by the Peregrine Fund in Boise, Idaho, where he worked to prevent extinction of South American harpy eagles. Steve recently joined the Pfizer Corporation in Groton, Connecticut.
Dr. Leslie Dierauf is a former AVMA Congressional Fellow, and an author and editor for the definitive reference Marine Mammal Medicine (second edition, 2001). After participating in Envirovet, Leslie worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as Habitat Plan Conservation Coordinator, which involved public/private partnerships that improved the sustainability of threatened and endangered species in the southwest US. Leslie also co-founded the Alliance of Veterinarians for the Environment (AVE) and was central to initiation and the productivity of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Environmental Issues. In 1999, she received the prestigious Annual Welfare Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Leslie also served for a period of years as Director of the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Recently, she was named the Regional Executive of USGS for the Northwest United States. Dr. Dierauf has also served as a member of the Envirovet Summer Institute Faculty multiple times.
Ms. Wendy Grethen completed a MS degree in wildlife toxicology at the University of Illinois, and served as a Wildlife Toxicologist with the Natural Resources Division of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (the Army's primary ecological sciences facility). Recently Wendy has served as an instructor of environmental biology for the Duluth, Minnesota Community Education program. She also works with environmental groups including Minnesotans for Wilderness, and the Duluth Public Policy Alliance.
Dr. Gwen Griffith, before attending Envirovet 1993, had been an Assistant Professor of Equine Medicine at Iowa State University, an AVMA Congressional Fellow, and a grant manager for the US Agency for International Development. After Envirovet, she co-founded and currently serves as President of the Alliance of Veterinarians for the Environment (AVE). Recently she served as Executive Director of the Tennessee Environmental Council, an environmental education and advocacy organization in Nashville, Tennessee. Currently she is directing AVE program activities and consulting as an environmental project manager for several environmental nonprofit organizations in Tennessee. She is involved in veterinary environmental continuing education, pollution prevention activities, river restoration projects, and watershed planning efforts.
Dr. Safdar Khan received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1984 from the University of Agriculture, in Faisalabad, Pakistan. He then attended the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign, earning an MS in Veterinary Clinical Medicine, in 1990, and a PhD in Toxicology, in 1994. Dr. Khan also completed both an internship and residency in Clinical and Diagnostic Veterinary Toxicology at the University of Illinois. He is board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology (DABVT). He began working in the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), which is now a part of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1988. He currently holds the position there of Senior Director of Toxicology Research, and is responsible for several initiatives, including investigating alternatives to animal testing. Dr. Khan also holds an adjunct instructor position at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has consulted on more than thirty thousand cases of animal poisonings. He has trained dozens of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary students since 1994. Dr. Khan is responsible for consulting and research projects, for an internal review, and for reviewing, editing, and updating APCC toxicology protocols, and animal biosurveillance programs. He has completed several consulting and research projects for pharmaceutical industry clients, chemical companies, and governmental agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. He has authored or co-authored more than thirty peer-reviewed articles or chapters in veterinary or toxicology journals and veterinary texts. He is also a section editor (toxicology) for a veterinary text. Dr. Khan holds professional memberships in the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and American Association of Poison Control Centers. In addition, he served as a member of the examination committee of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology for three years.
Dr. Eve Levin was a veterinary practitioner in Chicago when she attended Envirovet 1993. She has since attended ecosystem health workshops sponsored by the Alliance of Veterinarians for the Environment and the 2000 Envirovet program in terrestrial and international ecosystem health. She is currently the co-director for Envirovet Middle East, which is in the early stages of development. In April 2005 she added a lovely little daughter to her family.
Dr. David Miller recently completed a PhD on respiratory disease in bighorn and domestic sheep, and am serving as the AAZV and AAWV representative on the AVMA's Animal Welfare Committee and on the Panel for Euthanasia. Prior to that, he completed a MS in biology at California Polytechnic University in 1988 and a DVM at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1992. Dave is employed at Colorado State University in the Animal Population Health Institute and the Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology and is also a Postdoctoral Fellow in Zoological Medicine in the Clinical Sciences Department of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is currently doing research on disease transmission between livestock and wildlife, including collaborations with the US Department of Agriculture, and is also studying lemur diseases in Madagascar. In addition, he recently lead the national effort to develop "Guidelines on Euthanasia of Non-domestic Animals" which offers state-of-the-art knowledge on ways to relieve suffering and humanely terminate life for a wide range of specieis, both in captivity and the wild.
Dr. Timothy Miller-Morgan is a veterinarian who graduated from Washington State University. Tim is currently a PhD student in a program focused on aquatic animal health and pathology, at the Hatfield Marine Science Center of Oregon State University. He is also affiliated with the Northwest Consortium for Wildlife Conservation Research.
Dr. Scott Newman had just completed an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City when he participated in Envirovet 1993. Immediately thereafter, Scott moved to the University of California-Davis where he completed a PhD program focused on the effects of oil spills on clinical pathology parameters of birds. Scott has been retained at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine as Wildlife Veterinarian for the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, which is part of the Wildlife Health Center. In 2001 and 2002, he lectured in the Envirovet Aquatic unit on prevention of oil spills and management of oiled waterfowl and other wildlife. In 2004 Scott lectured at the "Biodiversity on the Brink" at Columbia University and was interviewed on the radio in New Jersey to explain the effects of recent oil spills.
Dr. Kevin Snekvik was a member of the Envirovet class of 1993. He earned his DVM degree from Washington State University in 1994. After a year of small animal practice in Montana, he completed a residency in anatomic pathology and PhD program involving immune responses of goats to caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus. In 2002, Dr. Snekvik joined the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) as a clinical instructor with primary duties in diagnostic pathology and training of veterinary students and residents. In 2003, he became an assistant clinical professor and in 2004 was board certified in veterinary anatomic pathology. He also heads the aquatic health section of WADDL, with a staff of 8 to provide health screening for interstate and international movement of live fish as well as diagnostic testing for marine and fresh water fish. His research focuses on pathogenesis and compative immunology of aquatic animal diseases.
Dr. Scott Syska worked in research and fisheries diagnostics at Southern Illinois University in fisheries biology beginning in 1992. Scott is now the fish pathologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, whose mission statement includes "to preserve and restore the state's biodiversity; to inform and educate the public about fish . . . conservation".
Dr. Mark Wickstrom completed a residency in toxicology as well as a PhD program focused on mechanisms of blue-green algal hepatotoxins with Dr. Beasley's group at the University of Illinois. He then worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doing ecotoxicologic risk assessments in Denver, Colorado. Mark turned down an offer to stay with the EPA to accept a position as an ecotoxicologist with Land Care Research in New Zealand. Recently he became an Associate Professor of Wildlife Toxicology at the Western Veterinary College in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he is part of a rapidly growing program in Environmental Toxicology.
Dr. Alonso Aguirre DVM, MS, PhD undertook a two-year research position at Oregon State University working with wildlife/domestic animal disease issues in national parks, after which he joined Colorado State University as an Assistant Professor. There, he developed research on sea turtle diseases with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and conducted ecosystem health and biological diversity monitoring training and research with scientists at the Smithsonian Institution. Alonso served as the veterinary medical officer/wildlife epidemiologist for NMFS Protected Species Investigation, Honolulu Laboratory, investigating the health of endangered Hawaiian monk seals, and continuing his long-term research on marine turtle diseases. For the past 14 years, Dr. Aguirre worked for Wildlife Trust (currently known as EcoHealth Alliance) where he co-developed the new discipline of Conservation Medicine and where he started as an international wildlife field veterinarian and ended as Senior Vice President in 2011. Currently, Alonso is Executive Director of the Smithsonian-Mason Global Conservation Studies Program a unique partnership between the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and George Mason University. He continues to be involved with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University as Clinical Assistant Professor. Alonso has extensive international experience and frequently conducts wildlife management and conservation courses in Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the USA. He received the prestigious Harry Jalanka Memorial Medal Award for his contributions to zoo and wildlife medicine and he received from the State Commission of Natural Parks and Wildlife the 2010 Award in Conservation for his contributions in conserving protected areas and monarch butterflies. He has been technical advisor for many international organizations and governments of several countries in the Americas, Southeast Asia and Western Europe. Dr. Aguirre has briefed the Mexican and US Congress, Administration, and federal agency leaders and has published three books and over 180 articles. He currently is a co-editor of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases and European Journal of Wildlife Management and until 2011 he served as co-editor of the journal EcoHealth, an international, peer-reviewed quarterly that provides a timely forum for research, policy and practice that integrates the ecological and health sciences that lead to the formation of the International Association of Ecology and Health where he is Treasurer. His work has been the focus of extensive media coverage including Bioscience, Conservation In Practice, E-Magazine, Environmental Health Perspectives, the New York Times, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Newsweek. National Public Radio, CBS, LTV and other international magazines, radio and TV shows.
Dr. Raa'nan Ariav completed the DVM degree at the University of Wisconsin just before enrolling in Envirovet 1992. He then returned to his native Israel and developed a large aquatic veterinary practice. Currently he and his colleagues are working in every possible sector of the industry including freshwater fisheries, in-land marine fisheries, cage culture operations (in the Mediterranean and the Red Seas), edible and ornamental fish projects, and extensive, intensive and super-intensive facilities. He is also very active in "over-seas" services and travels to every corner of the globe. Now, he is not only providing veterinary service but also a “broader” perspective on planning, management, breeding, quality control. In addition, he offers an extension service operation in Western-Turkey. He provides his perspectives and insights to fish farmers in China, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Central America.
Dr. Jeanette O’Quin was a member of the Envirovet class of 1992. She earned a DVM degree from The Ohio State University in 1993. After several years of practicing small animal population medicine in animal shelters and teaching at The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, she accepted a position with the Ohio Department of Health. As a Public Health Veterinarian, Jeanette’s responsibilities include zoonotic disease surveillance, control and prevention which result in frequent collaborative partnerships with those in the agriculture, wildlife, and environmental sciences. She is involved in Ohio programs to eliminate raccoon strain rabies through the use of oral rabies vaccine (ORV) and parenteral vaccination of raccoons. Other ongoing projects include arboviral surveillance in wild bird populations and chronic wasting disease (CWD) screening of hunter-harvested deer. In addition to family and work, Jeanette is pursuing a veterinary MPH degree.
Dr. Scott Fitzgerald had earned a DVM at Michigan State University and a PhD in pathology at Purdue University before participating in the Envirovet Program of 1992. He successfully completed the certifying examinations of the American College of Veterinary Pathology and the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. He works at the College of Veterinary Medicine of Michigan State University as an Associate Professor of Pathology. He is an expert in the areas of toxico-pathology and tuberculosis in wildlife. In 2006, Scott presented the Gross Morbid Anatomy Course Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences on the campus of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Suzan Loerzel was a small animal/exotic animal veterinary practitioner for about a year after graduating from the DVM program at the University of Florida at Gainesville. Immediately thereafter, Sue undertook a graduate program in wildlife toxicology at the same institution. The topic of Sue's PhD thesis was visual impairment in cormorants due to environmental exposure to mercury. Her fellowship and research were supported by the U.S. EPA Superfund Emergency Group program. Dr. Loerzel served as a Laboratory Director at the Live Oak Diagnostic Laboratory, which is a part of the State of Florida Division of Animal Industry. She then became an Emerging Diseases Epidemiologist for the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Veterinary Services (USDA-APHIS-VS) in Florida. Sue's current job is also with USDA-APHIS-VS as an Area Emergency Coordinator, based in Gainesville, Florida. Most of her work addresses livestock disease outbreak preparedness and response, as well as animal issues in disasters, especially coordination and liaison with other federal, state and local agencies that are involved in disease or disaster preparedness and response.
Mr. Joseph Murphy completed a second MS degree after Envirovet 1992, and serves as leader of the Environmental Health and Safety group of the University of San Francisco. He has conducted research on amphibian species, water quality, contaminants, and interactions between amphibians and species that prey upon them.
Dr. Todd O'Hara is the husband of Dr. Carla Willetto and father of Lars and Anne O'Hara. Todd completed a PhD in toxicology at the Medical College of Virginia before undertaking the DVM program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, Todd is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Toxicology at the University of Alasak Fairbanks (UAF) and focuses his investigations on marine and terrestrial wildlife of the northern coast of Alaska. His work focuses on health and sustainability of wildlife in the Arctic marine and terrestrial environments, with emphasis on contaminant-associated risks to the animals as well as to local subsistence hunters. He has served as an Envirovet faculty member in 1993, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2008 through 2010. Todd was an author on the chapter on toxicology for the CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine, Second Edition (2001) and another toxicology-based chapter in Marine Mammal Research: Conservation beyond Crisis (2005). Dr. O'Hara recognizes it has been a great privilege to be funded to work with the people of rural Alaska and its amazing wildlife for over a decade.
Ms. Candy Schrank obtained a MS in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1989, and is an Environmental Toxicologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in the Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection. Candy is a member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Association for Great Lakes Research, and the American Fisheries Society. She has recently studied contaminants and endocrine disruption in Lake Michigan yellow perch.
Dr. Jill Spangenberg was awarded a DVM degree at the University of California-Davis, and, following Envirovet, completed a PhD program at the Bodega Bay Research Station of the same university. Her research focused on mechanisms of environmental contaminants in coastal aquatic wildlife. Currently, she works for the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco.
Dr. Amy Willsey completed the DVM program at Cornell University in 1994 and subsequently attended the First International Symposium on Ecosystem Health and Medicine in Ottawa, Ontario. Amy is currently an Assistant State Public Health Veterinarian for New York State, where her work involves studies of new oral rabies vaccines for free-ranging wildlife and control of West Nile Virus as well as other zoonotic diseases.
Dr. Cecilia Ambrogi completed a PhD degree focused on lead toxicosis at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Universita Degli Studie di Pisa, Italy. Currently, she is employed in Lucca, Italy, in the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. Her work focuses on breeding of hares, gray partridges, and mountain pheasants to restock the Orecchiella and Montefalcone Natural Reserves. Cecilia also is collaborating on research addressing vector-borne and other infectious diseases of wild animals, and recently studied the susceptibility of mouflons to Brucella ovis.
Dr. E. Murl Bailey was a Professor of Toxicology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A & M University when he participated in Envirovet 1991. He continues in his role as an instructor, researcher, and diagnostician there and also works in toxicology consulting. For more than 10 years, in addition to teaching toxicology, he has taught a hands-on elective in emergency medicine for the 3rd year students in six different sessions over the school year. Almost all of the College’s veterinary students take this course, for 4 hours, once day a week, for 4 weeks. It includes life support for a wide array of syndromes and is a highly regarded course. In addition to being a full time faculty member at Texas A & M, Dr. Bailey served in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps for 38 years of commissioned service. He also served as a member of the AVMA Committee on Environmental Issues and remains active in organized veterinary medicine and veterinary toxicology. He has worked on issues of weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, and agroterrorism. In many venues, he has been a strong supporter of Envirovet over the years.
Dr. Lucie Dutil of Quebec completed a MS degree focused on pollutants
and the health of eels in the St. Lawrence River following Envirovet 1991. She
worked as a consultant in epidemiology from 1993 to 2001 and is currently an
epidemiologist with Health Canada. Lucie met Dr. Carl Uhland during Envirovet
1991 and they were later married. Lucie is an expert on the analysis of surveillance data regarding antimicrobial resistance, and the epidemiology of zoonoses. Accordingly, she is involved with the Canadian Integrated Monitoring Program of Resistance to Antimicrobial Agents, and with the Research Group in zoonosis, epidemiology and public health.
Dr. Ravi Gooneratne obtained his veterinary degree in Sri Lanka and a PhD from Murdoch University, Australia. Ravi was a member of the inaugural class of Envirovet in 1991 (all aquatic). In 2004, Ravi participated in the Developing Country segment of Envirovet in South Africa; and in 2005, he participated in the terrestrial portion of the program at White Oak. Ravi is an expert on heavy metals, and is employed as an Associate Professor of environmental toxicology in the Faculty of the Agriculture and Life Sciences at Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand. Ravi established a new graduate program in environmental toxicology there. Also at Lincoln University, with funding from the Rotary Club of Lincoln, Ravi organized and hosted the Youth Environmental Summit, which brought together 20 high school students from 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In recent years, Ravi also established other creative ecological toxicology and broader environmental education initiatives for high school students, college students, and biomedical professionals from Australia. In 2006, he and his colleagues received a new grant from Asia New Zealand Foundation to monitor, assess, and help control risks related to agricultural pesticides in an intensive agricultural region of his native country, Sri Lanka.
Dr. Mark Mense was a Veterinary Pathology Resident at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Washington DC, when he participated in Envirovet 1991. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army's Veterinary Corps, serving as Director, Division of Education and Research, Department of Veterinary Pathology, AFIP. His current job responsibilities include serving as Director of the AFIP Registry of Toxicologic Pathology for Animals (RTPA), the RTPA Online Conference, the Gross Morbid Anatomy of Diseases of Animals Course, the Pathology of Laboratory Animals Course, and Department research oversight. He is also responsible for resident research training for 14 residents in the largest and most successful veterinary pathology residency-training program in the world. The AFIP Veterinary Pathology Residency Program is the chief source of trained and certified pathologists for Department of Defense biomedical research programs. Following his pathology residency, he became board certified in Veterinary Pathology (ACVP) in 1992 and General Toxicology (ABT) in 1998. He received his PhD (1995) in Experimental Pathology from Georgetown University, Washington, DC; and MBA (2002) from Regis University, Denver, CO. He has authored or co-authored over 50 publications, abstracts and presentations. His research interests include environmental toxicology and mechanisms of toxin induced pathology.
Dr. Erica (Black) Periman, currently of Moose, Wyoming, graduated in 1994 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University. Erica and her husband, an environmental educator, attended the First International Symposium on Ecosystem Health and Medicine in Ottawa, Ontario. They returned to the US after two years in the Peace Corps in Ecuador where they had developed community-based environmental education programs. Toward the end of their Peace Corps service, they went to the Galapagos Islands, a possession of Ecuador, where Erica initiated an energetic spay/neuter program for dogs and cats to limit their predation on indigenous wildlife.
Dr. Carl Uhland, a veterinarian from Illinois, currently works as a member of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montréal. Carl is in charge of diagnostics for all fish farms in the province of Québec. He is married to Dr. Lucie Dutil (Envirovet 1991), and they now have three children.
Dr. Bill Van Bonn graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University in 1986. He worked in private veterinary practice thereafter until shortly after his participation in the Envirovet program of 1991. Since leaving practice, Bill's duties, responsibilities, and professional interests have focused on preventive medicine and enhanced clinical veterinary services for aquatic animals under human care. Bill was employed by the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program for almost 15 years where his last position was Managing Veterinarian for Research and Advanced Clinical Technologies. Then, from March of 2005 through May of 2009, he was employed as the Senior Director for Animal Health at the John G.Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL. While at Shedd, Bill was instrumental in raising Shedd's veterinary care profile within the zoological and medical community, as well as with the public. He created a unique partnership with Northwestern University, elevated the Chicago Zoological and Aquatic Animal veterinary residency program, brought together zoological and scientific leaders (including some from NASA) to better understand controlled environments, and took on new opportunities with regard to current and future research projects. He is a Past President of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine and a founding member of the faculty of MarVet. He holds faculty appointments at Northwestern University's Fienberg School of Medicine and The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, College of Veterinary Medicine. In May of 2009, he joined the clinical team at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito CA.
Dr. Janet Whaley attended Envirovet immediately following graduation from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. Shortly thereafter, with facilitation by an Envirovet classmate, she was hired into an ecotoxicology risk assessment and risk management job at the Army Environmental Hygiene Agency in Maryland. She has prioritized and monitored the cleanup of various military hazardous waste sites. She also has returned to Envirovet to lecture during the risk assessment unit of the program. Dr. Whaley is well known in national and international ecotoxicology. She is currently the National Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Protected Resources.
© Envirovet 2011. All rights reserved.