Graduates of the IZAAR and IZCAR Residencies

Illinois fosters outstanding careers in zoological medicine.

The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Medicine Residency Program, jointly offered through the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo, and John G. Shedd Aquarium has been training veterinarians since 2005. In 2018, the Illinois Zoological Companion Animal Residency was started to provide training to veterinarians with a focus on zoological companion animals. Both residency programs are compliant in the American College of Zoological Medicine and prepare the veterinarians to become Board Certified Specialists™️ in Zoological Medicine.

Lauren Kane, DVM, MS

IZAAR Resident: 2018 – 2021

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Joanna Webb, DVM, MS

IZCAR Resident: 2018 – 2021

Current Position: Specialist Veterinarian, Veterinary Referral Center, Malverne, Pennsylvania 

Dr. Julie Sheldon, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2017 – 2020

Current Position: Clinical Assistant Professor of Zoological Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

“This residency program is incredibly diverse with strong mentorship in clinical, research, and teaching opportunities. The challenges it provided helped me grow as a clinician and a person and build teamwork and leadership skills–while in a supportive and fun atmosphere with enthusiastic people I consider family. The work took me from the clinic to the rocky beaches of Peru. I will cherish the years I spent with the Brookfield Zoo and IZAAR!”

Dr. Karisa Tang, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2016 – 2019

Current Position: Staff Veterinarian, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois

“I am incredibly fortunate to have been mentored by an immensely talented team of clinicians, researchers, and teachers. This residency models making big impacts through compassion for zoological species, both at the population and individual levels. Graduates of the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency move forward with incredible opportunities, clinical acumen with a vast variety of species, and a lifelong family of colleagues.”

Dr. Dana Lindemann, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2015 – 2018

Current Position: Senior Veterinarian, Sea World Orlando

“The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency provided a unique opportunity to exercise clinical skills with a diverse array of species and in a variety of work environments, while receiving guidance of exceptional mentors and colleagues. This residency truly prepared me to make a meaningful contribution to the conservation medicine community. I will always be proud to be a graduate of this program!”

Dr. Megan Watson, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2014 – 2017

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Atlanta Zoo

“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.”

Dr. Jimmy Johnson, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2013 – 2016

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, St. Louis 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.”

Jennifer Flower, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2012 – 2015

Current Position: Chief Clinical Veterinarian, Mystic Aquarium, Stonington, Connecticut

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

Ben Nevitt, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2010 – 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.”

Gwen Jankowski, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2009 – 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.”

Kim Wojick, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2008 – 2011

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, Rhode Island

“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.”

Dr. Trevor Zachariah, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2007 – 2010

Current Position: Director of Veterinary Programs, Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, Florida

Dr. Lisa Naples, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2006 – 2009

Current Position: Chief Veterinarian, Los Angeles Zoo

Dr. Michelle Davis, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2005 – 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.”