Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency Program

Residency Graduates

Illinois Fosters Outstanding Zoo Careers

Here are some of the individuals who completed the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Medicine Residency Program, which is jointly offered through the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo, and John G. Shedd Aquarium.

Dr. tang smiles

Karisa Tang, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2016 to 2019
Current Position: Minnesota Zoo

“ I am beyond grateful for how much I have grown as a person, clinician, and scientist over the past 3 years. And I also appreciate the cold and snow preparation, because goodness knows I’ll need it.”




Michelle Davis, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2005 to 2008
Current Position: Veterinarian, Georgia Aquarium

“The residency shaped me into a well-rounded zoo veterinarian. I learned from many different experts and left the program ready to work as a zoo and aquarium vet. The Chicago Zoological Society’s fast-paced, top-notch veterinary program was integral in preparing me for my current position.”




Jennifer Flower, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2012 to 2015
Current Position: Chief Clinical Veterinarian, Mystic Aquarium

“The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency Program provided me with a life-changing opportunity to be trained by experts in the field of zoo and aquatic animal medicine and to practice high-quality medicine on a variety of exotic species. This training program prepared me to become a successful and well-rounded zoo and aquatic veterinarian.”




Gwen Jankowski, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2009 to 2012
Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Denver Zoo

“I couldn’t have asked for a better veterinary and animal care staff to work with and learn from. The staff was always expanding the boundaries of advanced medical care. I also valued the opportunity to participate in conservation projects, most memorably working with Dr. Adkesson in Peru to help protect South American fur seals.”




Jimmy Johnson, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2013 to 2016
Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Columbus Zoo

“The diverse experience and expert mentorship afforded at the Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo was invaluable for my development as a versatile clinician and scientist. It made me well-equipped to make meaningful, forward contributions to the field of zoological medicine.”





Lisa Naples, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2006 to 2009
Current Position: Chief Veterinarian, Los Angeles Zoo







Ben Nevitt, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2010 to 2013
Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, San Diego Zoo

“My residency not only allowed me to get my job dream job but also gave me the tools to be successful in it.”





Megan Watson, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2014 to 2017
Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Zoo New England (Boston)

“This residency has been an unforgettable opportunity that helped shape me into the zoo and aquatic animal clinician and scientist that I aspired to be. The Chicago Zoological Society’s staff practices cutting-edge medicine, setting an example for what I hope to achieve and contribute to the field. Field conservation, research projects, and working alongside superb mentors are just some highlights. The residency provided me with a strong foundation to build upon. It has been the highest privilege and honor to be a part of this team.”



Kim Wojick, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2008 to 2011
Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Roger Williams Park Zoo

“Brookfield Zoo and the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Residency Program was an amazing educational experience that provided the framework for my career in zoo and conservation medicine.”




Trevor Zachariah, DVM

Veterinary Resident: 2007 to 2010
Current Position: Director of Veterinary Programs, Brevard Zoo