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Exotics Symposium 2016 - Speakers

Confirmed Speakers (Topics to be announced)

  • Dr. Schumacher
  • Dr. Ramsay
  • Dr. Sadler
  • Dr. Craig
  • Dr. Kennedy
  • Dr. Jones
  • More TBA

Previous Exotics Symposium 2014 - Speakers

Dr. Katherine Baine

Dr. Katherine Baine is the first year avian and exotics resident at the University of Tennessee. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2010 and subsequently completed a small animal rotating internship at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa, FL. Her areas of interest include emergency medicine and behavior of exotic pets as well as raptor medicine.

Dr. Tonya Clauss
Georgia Aquarium

Dr. Clauss earned both her DVM and Master’s degree from the University of Florida, graduating from the doctorate program in 2003. Prior to becoming the Chief Veterinarian of the Georgia Aquarium in 2005, Dr. Clauss has gained experience at a wide array of institutions, having spent time working at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, and The Pelican Man’s Bird Sanctuary in Sarasota. Dr. Clauss is an active member of the veterinary education world having taught courses at both the University of Georgia and the University of Florida.

Dr. Scott Citino
White Oak Conservation Center

Dr. Scott B. Citino graduated summa cum laude from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983 and went on to complete an internship in zoological medicine at the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. in 1984. After his internship, Dr. Citino served as staff veterinarian and head of the Department of Veterinary Sciences at the Miami Metro Zoo in Florida. In 1990 Dr. Citino returned to the National Zoological Park as an associate veterinarian and hospital administrator. He became a diplomat of the American College of Zoological Medicine in 1991. Since 1993 he has held the position of staff veterinarian at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida. As part of his many responsibilities there he also serves as a clinical associate professor for the zoological program at the University of Florida, mentoring residents at the Conservation Center. In addition, he holds an adjunct clinical faculty position at the University of Miami College of Medicine’s Department of Comparative Pathology.

Dr. Michael P. Jones

Dr. Michael P. Jones graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in May of 1992. Upon graduation, he completed a one year ‘Small Animal Medicine and Surgery’ internship at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center. From 1993 – 96, he completed a residency position in Avian and Zoological Medicine also at the University of Tennessee. In 1996, he joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee as an Assistant Professor of Avian and Zoological Medicine. He is a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Avian Medicine and Surgery. Currently, he works as the primary veterinarians for the American Eagle Foundation and a consultant for Antech Diagnostics. His clinical interests include the medical and surgical management of birds of prey, avian infectious diseases and avian emergency and critical care.

Dr. Randy Junge
Columbus Zoo

Dr. Junge is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, class of 1985. After obtaining his DVM and spending a year in private practice, Dr. Junge was accepted into the residency program at the Saint Louis Zoo and was subsequently hired onto the staff upon the completion of the residency program. Currently, Dr. Junge is a Staff Veterinarian at the Columbus Zoo. A diplomate of the ACZM, he has served as a past president of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and is a professional fellow of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He is the Buceros SSP Veterinary advisor and is the director of the Prosimian Biomedical Survey Project. Dr. Junge’s interests lie in prosimian medicine and conservation, as well as disease ecology.

Dr. Chris Keller
Tennessee Aquarium

Dr. Keller graduated from the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. In 1991, he opened a private practice, The Mountain Hospital for Animals, where he continues to provide veterinary care to a wide variety of domestic and exotic species. In addition to owning a successful animal hospital, Dr. Keller also serves as the staff veterinarian for the Tennessee Aquarium. In his time there, the aquarium has grown to include a variety of freshwater, saltwater, avian, and mammalian exhibits. Dr. Keller has been with the aquarium for over twenty years and is passionate about his work there, as well as bringing future veterinarians into the field. As if all this wasn’t enough, Dr. Keller also volunteers his time at the Chattanooga Nature Center to help with wildlife rehabilitation and the management of their Red Wolf program.

Dr. Doty Kempf
Yerkes Primate Research Center, Emory University

Dr. Doty J. Kempf received her DVM from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 2009. Her postgraduate medical training included a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Tulane National Primate Research Center in 2011, when she joined the Yerkes National Primate Research Center as an Associate Veterinarian. She is responsible for collaboration in the experimental design for both the Imaging Center and Veterinary Medicine Unit at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, as well as Newly Tenured and Promoted Faculty providing clinical veterinary support for animal studies and participating in extramurally funded research projects and the training of fellows and students.

Dr. Joerg Mayer
U. of Georgia

Dr. Mayer studied veterinary medicine in Budapest, Hungary, during which time he spent six months working in Namibia and South Africa. Afterwards, he received his Master’s degree from the Royal Veterinary College in London, which then led to an internship at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. He then worked at the Tufts University Wildlife Clinic in the United States for ten years, before accepting an associate professor position with the University of Georgia’s Zoological Medicine service, where he continues his work as an educator in the field of exotic animal medicine today. He is especially interested in companion exotic animals, ranging from rabbits and ferrets to lizards and amphibians. Dr. Mayer is active in publishing scientific articles and contributing to text books, his most recent of which, the “Veterinary Clinical Advisor for Birds and Exotic Pets”, came out earlier this year.

Dr. Brynn McCleery

Dr. Brynn McCleery is the current second year Avian and Exotic Companion Animal resident at the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her DVM from Cornell University in 2011, before completing an Avian and Exotics internship at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Dr. Debra Miller

Dr. Deb Miller is an associate professor and wildlife pathologist at the University of Tennessee with a split position in the FWF Center for Wildlife Health and the CVM Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences. She has studied amphibian diseases for over 10 years. Her other areas of research include investigating environmental and toxicological factors that affect nest-success in leatherback sea turtles, and documenting histopathological changes in marine and Arctic mammals. Dr. Miller co-leads the Southeastern Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Pathogen Task Team and co-leads herpetofauna necropsy workshops. Her primary area of amphibian disease research is ranaviruses, which she co-investigates with her husband Dr. Matthew Gray.

Dr. Michelle Nobrega-Lee

Dr. Michelle Nobrega-Lee graduated from Clemson University in 2002 with a B.S. in Animal Science and worked as a veterinary technician at Tufts University for 1 year. She was accepted and graduated from Tuskegee University, College of Veterinary medicine in 2007. In between class years she did many exotic animal externships, worked with Dr. Lauren Powers (Avian specialist), did a research fellowship at MIT, and a primate pathology fellowship at the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, TX. After graduation she did a small animal rotating internship at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and an Avian and Exotic Animal Medicine Residency at Angell Animal Medical Center. Recently (August 2011), she started an anatomic pathology residency at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Her driving interest remains exotic animal medicine/pathology, namely avian medicine/pathology. In her spare time (ha, ha), she spends time with her husband, daughter Penelope, hike, and does yoga.

Dr. Ed Ramsay

Dr. Ed Ramsay is a native of California, where he worked as a zoo keeper prior to entering veterinary school. He received his D.V.M. degree from the University of California, Davis in 1980. After a year in private practice, he became the first resident in zoological medicine at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After leaving Tennessee he was the Staff Veterinarian at the Oklahoma City Zoo for 5 years. Dr. Ramsay worked in the Pathology Department of the National Zoo, Washington, DC, and as Assistant Director of the Sumatran Rhinoceros Trust, a capture project in Indonesia, before returning to academia. From 1988-1991, he taught clinical exotic animal medicine at the University of California, Davis. In 1991, he became board certified in Zoological Medicine and returned to the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Ramsay is currently a Professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences with a focus on captive and free-living wildlife, and large cat medicine.

Dr. Heather Robertson
Nashville Zoo

Dr. Heather Robertson is the senior veterinarian at the Nashville Zoo. She received her DVM from the University of Tennessee in 2006. Upon graduation, she worked in private practice as a small and exotic companion animal veterinarian for four years before starting at the Nashville Zoo. Her current research is in the prenatal development of the lesser Anteater, or Tamandua. She is also heavily involved with the Clouded Leopard SSP and breeding program.

Dr. Ryan Sadler

Dr. Ryan Sadler is a Zoo Medicine resident at the University of Tennessee. He received his B.S. in Zoology from UC Santa Barbara and Graduated from UC Davis College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. During that time he spent a summer working with the Mountain Gorilla population in Uganda. He then completed a Rotating Small Animal internship at the University of Tennessee. He now actively works with the Knoxville Zoo, Gatlinburg Aquarium, and Tiger Haven in his capacity as a resident at UT.

Dr. Marcy Souza

Dr. Marcy Souza graduated from NCSU in 2004 and then went into private practice for a year outside of Houston, TX. She then came to the University of Tennessee in 2005 and completed a residency in avian and zoological medicine and Masters in Public Health. She stayed on as faculty at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine where she is involved with teaching veterinary, wildlife biology and public health graduate students. Her research interests include infectious and zoonotic diseases of exotic pets and wildlife, using wildlife as sentinels for human health and evaluating the pharmacokinetics of drugs in new species. In her spare time, Dr. Souza likes to mountain bike, hike and trail run with her dog, and cook.

Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer
Kansas City Zoo

Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer graduated from the University Of Missouri College Of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. After school, he worked in exotics medicine at the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, Indiana for 3 years before taking his current position as the Director of Animal Health at the Kansas City Zoo. He holds a number of positions in multiple societies related to exotics medicine, such as Immediate Past President to the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and Past President to the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians. When not at the zoo, he assists as adjunct Assistant Professor for Zoological Medicine at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Mike Walsh
U. of Florida

Dr. Mike Walsh is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Co-Director and Aquatic Animal Health at the University of Florida. A recipient of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director’s Conservation Award in 2008, he received his DVM from the University of Missouri in 1980. At Florida, much of his research focuses on the medicine and conservation of endangered marine species, especially sirenians, cetaceans, and sea turtles. He also spends time as a lecturer at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Dan Ward

Dr. Daniel Ward is a veterinary ophthalmologist at the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his DVM from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. His research interests are in ocular pharmacology, and make special use of fluorophotometry. He has published several papers regarding tear production of raptor species. He performs frequent ophthalmic consults as well as ophthalmic surgeries for patients that come into the exotic animal service at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Silke Hecht

Dr. Hecht earned her Veterinary degree and doctorate (Dr. med. vet.) from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany. She completed a Residency in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and achieved board certification both in the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) and the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (ECVDI). She currently holds a position as Associate Professor in Veterinary Radiology at UTCVM and is an Adjunct Professor at the UT Institute of Biomedical Engineering. Her research areas include veterinary neuroimaging and oncologic imaging with a special focus on Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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