The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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Exotics Symposium 2016 - Speakers

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Terry Norton
Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Dr. Terry Norton graduated from Tufts University in 1986. He went on to perform an internship in small animal medicine followed by a residency in zoo and wildlife medicine at the University of Florida. He is currently the director and veterinarian at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. His work in wildlife and zoo medicine as well as conservation is aimed at engaging people and educating the public. When not working he enjoys hobbies such as swimming, reading, travelling internationally, kayaking, and hiking.

Dr. Maria Spriggs
Busch Gardens

Maria Spriggs earned her bachelor’s and veterinary degrees at Ohio State University. She then completed a small animal internship in Tampa, Florida, followed by a zoo internship at Lowry Park Zoo. She was the staff veterinarian at Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana when she became involved in research of American martens in Michigan. She began her graduate studies at the University of Tennessee in 2013 and returned to Tampa in 2014 to accept employment as a senior veterinarian at Busch Gardens. She will continue her employment at Busch Gardens post-graduation and plans to continue researching American martens. Maria’s Ph.D. research is assessing the health of two reintroduced populations of American martens in Michigan.

Dr. Ricardo Videla

Dr. Ricardo Videla obtained his veterinary degree from Universidad del Salvador, in Argentina in 2003. After working with large animals in private practice for two years he decided to seek further training to be able to provide veterinary care at the specialist level. He did an internship in California and then completed a 3 year Large Animal Internal Medicine Residency at The University of Tennessee. After completion of the residency he dedicated 2 years to do research and was granted a Master’s degree for his work with antimicrobial resistance and genetic characterization of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius. He is currently a clinical assistant professor at The University of Tennessee, where he enjoys providing high standard veterinary care for livestock and other less traditional farm animal species. He feels fortunate to be able to play an active role in the training of future veterinarians. His professional interests include camelid and small ruminant medicine, bovine infectious diseases, bovine lameness, and intensive care of the critical patient.

Dr. Trulio Prado

Dr. Prado was born in, Venezuela, South America and raised on a cattle ranch. In March 1984, he received his Diploma of Medico Veterinario (DVM) at The University of Zulia, Maracaibo, Zulia State, Venezuela. After graduation, Dr. Prado remained in Venezuela where he went into private practice and dealt mainly with bovine reproduction. His desire to improve his knowledge brought him to the U.S. where he completed a Theriogenology Residency and a Master of Science degree in Reproductive Physiology at Oklahoma State University. After finishing his training program, he worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University in the Food Animal Division primarily in Theriogenology and Field Services. He was one of the pioneers in the planning and establishment of the first in vitro fertilization laboratory as well as getting the first cow pregnant with an embryo fertilized in vitro at Oklahoma State University. He is currently an Associate professor at the University of Tennessee working primarily as a Theriogenologist in all species. He is a member of the Society for Theriogenology, diplomate of the American College of Theriogenology, and also a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. He also enjoys camping, riding his horses with his son, rodeo and soccer.

Dr. Linden Craig

Linden Craig is originally from Jackson, Mississippi. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with honors and distinction from Cornell University in 1984, followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Mississippi State University in 1988. She was in small animal practice for 3 years in Virginia and Maryland, and then did a research fellowship in Comparative Pathology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a PhD in the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She has been board certified in veterinary anatomic pathology since 1994. She taught pathology for 4 years at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and also worked for 6 months as a Senior Lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand. She is currently a Clinical Professor of anatomic pathology at University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Her professional interests include pathology of nondomestic species, cardiovascular pathology, and bone and joint pathology. Her interests outside of veterinary medicine are too risqué to mention.

Dr. Melissa Kelly

Melissa Kennedy graduated from UTCVM in 1983; she practiced in small animal medicine for 5 years, then returned to get a PhD, also from UT, in the CEM program. She then did a residency in microbiology at the University of Tennessee, and stayed on as an instructor. She is now an Associate Professor, overseeing the clinical virology laboratory, teaching, and doing research. Her research has centered on wildlife of Africa, specifically looking at coronavirus in cheetahs, and currently looking at tick-borne diseases at the wildlife interface. She loves infectious diseases! Outside of work, she has 6 furry kids, all rescued dogs that keep her very busy. She tends to her garden as a hobby and loves to travel, especially to Africa, where she has spent quite a bit of time.

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