Sam holds an Eastern Box Turtle.

Dr. Sam Johnson
Class of 2018

Sam’s research looked at the detection and prevalence of Mycoplasma in alligator snapping turtles in Illinois.

Dr. Seema Patel
Class of 2018

Seema spent a Summer in Ohio surveying for snake fungal disease.

Dr. Megan Britton
Class of 2018

Megan was involved in numerous projects with the lab. Her research focused on the geographical distribution of snake fungal disease.

Dr. Jessica Huntington
Class of 2018

Jessica’s research focused on blood smears of snakes with snake fungal disease.

Brittany Willeford

Dr. Brittany Willeford
Class of 2018

Brittany’s research project investigated mosquitoes as a potential vector for infectious diseases in free-ranging reptiles and amphibians.

Dr. Evan Emmel
Class of 2018

Evan’s research project investigated thermography in the health assessment of free-ranging box turtles.

Erin Newman

Dr. Erin Newman
Class of 2018

Erin spent the Summer in the Chicagoland area assessing the health of Blanding’s turtles. Her research focuses on using CT scans to measure body condition in turtles.


Dr. Katie Hayward
Class of 2018

Katie spent a Summer in Tennessee with the Clinch River Environmental Studies Organization teaching students and collecting samples to test for diseases in reptiles and amphibians.

Kayla Boers

Dr. Kayla Boers
Class of 2018

Kayla was involved in numerous projects for the turtle team. Her project investigated the role the canine search team has in the transmission of turtle pathogens.

Dr. Karisa Tang

Dr. Tang is a 2014 DVM graduate from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a residency in the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency program and completed a concurrent MS project on Peruvian pinnipeds.

Dr. Kelsey Low

Kelsey completed her PhD at the University of Illinois in 2019. Her research focused on identifying disease outbreaks that affect multiple species of herps.

Julie Sheldon holds an Alligator Snapping Turtle.

Dr. Julie Sheldon

Dr. Sheldon has completed a Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency and is eager to pursue a career in conservation medicine. Her Masters project developed objective criteria for evaluating gait assessments in penguins with osteoarthritis and evaluating commonly used analgesic agents within that model.

Dr. Dana Lindemann

Dr. Lindemann is a 2012 DVM graduate from Oregon State College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a residency in the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency program while pursuing a concurrent MS focusing on disease epidemiology in the Blanding’s turtle in Illinois.

Grace Archer

Dr. Grace Archer
Class of 2017

Grace joined the lab in 2014 as a veterinary student. She studied the epidemiology of co-pathogens in free-ranging box turtles.

Dr. Claire Butkus
Class of 2017

Claire joined the lab in 2014 as a veterinary student. Her project focused on obtaining bone marrow from deceased turtle shells to test for ranavirus.

Dr. Lauren Novak
Class of 2017

Lauren joined the lab in 2014 as a veterinary student. Her research looked at Mycoplasma prevalance in birds.

Dr. Suzette DePersio
Class of 2017

Suzette joined the lab in 2014 as a veterinary student. She used CT scans to validate methods of body condition estimates in box turtles.

Dr. Ellen Haynes

Dr. Ellen Haynes received her PhD in the lab studying the epidemiology and treatment of Snake Fungal Disease. She earned her DVM from Cornell in 2013 and joined the lab in 2017.

Dr. Marta Kelly
Class of 2020

Marta has worked on various projects with box turtles, Blanding’s turtles, alligator snapping turtles, and snakes. Her research included investigating disinfectant strategies for snake fungal disease.

Dr. John Winter
Class of 2020

John was involved in multiple projects in the lab through chelonian field work and lab animal care for snakes, turtles, and bearded dragons. He authored two publications with the lab including assessing leukocyte quantification methods in box turtles and pathogen prevalence in Blanding’s turtles.

Dr. Lauren Mumm
Class of 2020

Lauren’s research involved analyzing hematology and plasma biochemistries of the state-endangered Blanding’s turtle.

Dr. Megan Gramhofer
Class of 2020

Megan’s research involved looking at snake fungal disease and educating the public on the importance and value of snakes.

Dr. Taylor Jones
Class of 2020

Taylor’s project focused on detecting the prevalence of herpesvirus in Alligator Snapping Turtles.

Dr. Caitlin Hemby
Class of 2020

Caitlin’s research focused on projects involving fungal disease in bearded dragons.

Dr. Jeremy Rayl
Class of 2021

Jeremy completed his PhD in Comparative Biosciences with a focus on wildlife epidemiology as part of the Veterinary Medical Scholars Program. He researched the immune function of turtles in response to ranavirus in the lab and in the field.

Dr. Kirsten Andersson
Class of 2021

Kirsten performed fieldwork with Blanding’s turtles and worked on a case study associated with one of the turtles. Shealso conducted research with plasma protein levels and how those might be an indication of the health in this particular Blanding’s population.


Dr. Bryce Dibadj
Class of 2021

Bryce’s research involved determining if snake fungal disease can be detected in snake sheds, a retrospective study on Anseriformes survival and determining a method for producing thrombocyte/leukocyte rich plasma in bearded dragons.

Dr. Katy Klein
Class of 2021

Katy was a co-turtle team leader, where she helped fellow veterinary students learn and improve on reptile handling and blood collection. She finished her manuscripts on her two of her projects: eastern box turtle (EBT) lactate levels and EBT hematologic differences using two different anticoagulants.

Dr. Ivana Levy
Class of 2021

Ivana worked on four research projects that were focused on prognostic indicators for survival in guinea pigs, rats, and eastern grey squirrels.

Dr. Brina Gartlan
Class of 2021

Brina’s research involved assessing ocular health in Eastern and Ornate box turtles!

Greta Correta

Dr. Greta Doden
Class of 2021

Greta studied the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance patterns of Salmonella spp. in wild eastern box turtles.


Dr. Aubrey Engel
Class of 2021

Aubrey’s research projects included characterization of population health in Blanding’s and painted turtle populations in northern Illinois and the development of a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Terrapene herpesvirus 2 in Eastern box turtles.
Katie Viv

Dr. Katie Vivirito
Class of 2021

Katie is part of team snake and enjoyed two summers spent on snake fungal disease surveillance throughout the Midwest. Her research involved finding new field-accessible diagnostic techniques for snake fungal disease.

Dr. Eliana Foltin
Class of 2022

Eliana determined prognostic indicators of survival for passerines that entered the Wildlife Medical Clinic. Her research involved using CT scans to develop a body condition scoring system for bearded dragons.

Dr. Michelle Waligora
Class of 2022

Michelle worked on a project involving the spatial analysis of Ophidiomyces positive snakes. She also focused on prairie rattlesnake hematology with respect to an Ophidiomyces challenge with temperature differences. Michelle also spend a summer helping with Blanding’s turtle research in Lake County.

Dr. Kennymac Durante
Class of 2022

Kennymac worked on a project involving snake fungal disease biosecurity, and additionally focused on prairie rattlesnake anticoagulants. He was also involved in a turtle case report.

Dr. Sam Bradley
Class of 2022

Sam’s research involved ranavirus in Blanding’s turtles.