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Dr. Robin Radcliffe, DVM, DACZM; Senior Lecturer in Wildlife and Conservation Medicine, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – “Honey Bee Health: Lessons from the Wild Bees”

One of twin brothers, both veterinarians, Dr. Robin Radcliffe’s life and work encompasses the conservation of endangered species. With more than 20 years of professional experience with species conservation, he directs the Cornell Conservation Medicine Program at Cornell University, a collaborative initiative focused on providing innovative health-based solutions to address real-world conservation problems in endangered species populations and landscapes around the world. Dr. Radcliffe works on diverse species from the honey bee to the rhinoceros. His work with rhinoceroses includes programs in both Indonesia and Africa where he partners with other scientists and organizations to conduct research that has direct conservation impacts. His interests extend beyond medicine to embrace the people of the region, an integral resource that is essential to long-term and sustainable solutions to conservation problems. Most recently he has joined with Dr. Jane Goodall to help train the next generation of conservation scientists and help save the great apes and rhinos as icons of the rainforest. Together with Jane, he authored a children’s book about the Indonesian rhinos entitled, The Hornless Rhinoceros, and developed a unique dance program for the children of Sumatra. Dr. Radcliffe was awarded a Diplomate in the American College of Zoological Medicine, and earned Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

Dr. Karen Terio, DVM, PhD, DACVP; Clinical Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaingn – “Pathology in Conservation: How Studying Dead Animals Contributes to Conservation”

As a member of the Zoological Pathology Program (ZPP), Dr. Terio provides comprehensive pathology services to the Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo, John G. Shedd Aquarium and Lincoln Park Zoo as well as to local, national and international wildlife agencies and conservation programs. Her research focuses on the pathogenesis of diseases affecting free-ranging and captive wild animal populations. She serves as an advisor for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Felid Taxon Advisory Group, several individual felid Species Survival Plans (SSP), the Chimpanzee SSP as well as for in situ conservation programs including the Cheetah Conservation Fund and the Gombe Ecosystem Health Project.

Dr. Maria Forzan, DVM, PhD, DACVP; Wildlife Pathologist and Senior Research Associate, Animal Health Diagnostic Center, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – “A Client, a Kid, and a Frog Walk into your Clinic… Overview of Amphibian Medicine and Diagnostics”

Dr. María J. Forzán was born and grew up in Mexico City. She obtained her MVZ (DVM) degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and worked at a private zoo for a short time before moving to Prince Edward Island, Canada, where she obtained an MSc degree at the Atlantic Veterinary College working on a parasitic disease of cormorants. Having acquired a taste for pathology during her Master’s work, she followed up with a residency in anatomic pathology, with a special emphasis on wildlife, that started at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and finished back in Canada, at the AVC. She became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2004, while working at Finn Pathologists, a private diagnostic laboratory in England. After working in England for 3 years, María returned to the Atlantic Veterinary College as a diagnostic wildlife pathologists for the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative. As her work on surveillance and research of amphibian diseases grew, she decided to jump fully into the field by enrolling in a PhD program focused on establishing the pathogenesis of ranavirus in a native North American frog. Following completion of the PhD program, María returned to her role as a diagnostic wildlife pathologist at the AVC until, in January 2017, she joined Cornell’s Wildlife Health Laboratory team.

Dr. Peter DiGeronimo, VMD, MSc; Exotic Companion Animal Medicine & Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine – “Marine Mammal Rehabilitation and Ocean Health”

Dr. Peter DiGeronimo graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010 having also completed a Certificate of Veterinary Public Health and externships in zoological medicine. He worked in small animal and exotics practice in New Jersey for 5 years while completing a MSc in Wildlife and Ecosystem Health through the University of Edinburgh. He then completed a Zoological Medicine Internship at Louisiana State University before returning to his alma mater as a staff veterinarian in the Clinical Exotics & Zoological Medicine Service. Dr. DiGeronimo research interests include emerging infectious diseases and conservation medicine.


Dr. Sara Childs -Sandford, DVM, MS, DACZM, Assistant Professor, Section of Zoological Medicine, Section Chief of the Wildlife Health Center – “What’s New at the WHC? Recent Discoveries and Clinical Updates from the Janet L Swanson WHC”

Dr. Childs-Sanford is an Assistant Professor of Zoological Medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where she is Chief of Service of the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center. She received her DVM from Cornell University in 1999, followed by a rotating small animal internship. She then worked as a small animal emergency and critical care veterinarian at a small animal referral hospital in Annapolis, MD, while pursuing a master’s degree in Animal Nutrition at the University of Maryland at College Park. She completed a residency in Wildlife and Zoological Medicine at Cornell University in 2005, and became board certified by the American College of Zoological Medicine in 2006. After spending several years in private practice specializing in exotic companion animals, she returned to Cornell in 2014. In addition to clinical responsibilities at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY and Cornell’s Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, she performs research focusing on the diseases and nutrition of nondomestic animals.

Dr. La’Toya Latney, DVM, DECZM, DABVP, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Zoo & Exotic Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Teaching Hospital – “Update on Emerging Infectious Diseases of Reptiles”

Dr. La’Toya Latney is an Assistant Professor and Service Head for Clinical Zoo and Exotic Animal Medicine Services at PennVet. As Cornell undergrad alum and Ross Veterinary school alum, Dr. Latney then finished her last year at Louisiana State University, home of raptors and reptiles, under the tutelage of Mark Mitchell DVM, PhD, DECZM (Herp), Thomas Tully, DVM, MS, DABVP-Avian, ECZM (Avian), David Sanchez Migallon Guzman, LSV, MS, DECZM (Small Mammal, Avian), DACZM (Avian), and Javier Nevarez, DVM, MS, PhD, DECZM (Herp), DACZM (Herp). Latney then completed an all exotics internship under Heidi Hoefer, DVM DABVP (Avian), at Island Exotics Veterinary Care in Long Island, NY. After completing the Exotics Residency at PennVet, Latney has remained at PennVet for 10 years and serves as a consulting veterinarian for Brandywine Zoo and Elmwood Park Zoo.

At PennVet, she teaches 4 courses, including a 16-hour course on reptile medicine and surgery. In addition to serving as a clinical instructor on service at PennVet for fourth year students, Latney serves turtle rehabilitation laboratory instructor for the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association (NWRA), and lectures regularly on reptile medicine and surgery at NWRA, CVC, PVMA, NYSWRC, FWRA, and NAVC. For students, Dr. Latney hosts reptile handling laboratories biannually for the Special Species Symposium at PennVet and most recently at the national SAVMA symposium, in which 40 students were in attendance for two 2 hour laboratories.  La’Toya is a diplomat of the European College of Zoo Medicine (Zoo Health management) and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners Reptile and Amphibian specialty. She is credentialed to sit for the American College of Zoological Medicine specialty exam 2019. Most of her publications review reptile and amphibian nutrition and novel treatment approaches. Her special interests include adaptive critical care, reptile nutrition, comparative anatomy, novel development of surgical techniques, evidence based medicine, infectious diseases, and classical Indian dance.

Dr. Alissa Mones, DVM, Intern in Zoo, Exotics and Wildlife, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – “Ornamental Fish Medicine and Sustainability in the Global Aquarium Trade”

Alissa is a Zoological Medicine Intern at Cornell. Prior to veterinary school she studied Marine Science and Biology at the University of Miami, where she worked as a research associate in a coral reef ecology laboratory. Although she ultimately pursued a career in veterinary medicine, she has always had a passion for aquatic life. Throughout veterinary school she volunteered in the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic, and her externship experiences encompassed everything from aquaculture to public aquaria. Following graduation, she completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Tennessee. Her interests include invertebrate and fish medicine, wildlife medicine, and conservation. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing, cooking, traveling and SCUBA diving.


Dr. Susie Bartlett, DVM, DACZM; Associate Veterinarian, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx NY – Keynote Address

Dr. Susie Bartlett received her DVM from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003, then pursued one year of post-doctoral training in fish pathology with Cornell’s Aquatic Animal Health Program. She completed an internship in wildlife medicine at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, followed by a three-year residency in zoological medicine at Cornell. After completion of the residency Susie became a diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine and worked at Zoo New England in Boston for several years. She currently works for the Wildlife Conservation Society as an associate veterinarian. Susie’s goals and aspirations are to continue to impact the health and welfare of captive and wild animals through clinically based research, to continue to gain skills and knowledge, and to see the Knicks win an NBA championship.

Katy Payne, Founder of the Elephant Listening Project – Elephant and Whale Communication

In 1959 Katy Payne received a Cornell BA in music and biology: since then her professional work and contributions have all stemmed from original discoveries at the intersection of these fields.  Humpback whales sing long songs that change extensively, progressively, and rapidly with time – an example of non-human cultural evolution with endlessly fascinating details. Katy’s discovery of song-changing led to 15 years of recording and examining whale songs from the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: many mysteries are still unresolved.  But she changed direction in 1984 when she, with E M Thomas and W.R. Langbauer, discovered that elephants make powerful, low-frequency calls some of which are infrasonic and travel long distances. That finding led to two decades of field work in Africa focused on elephants’ acoustic communication. In 2004 Katy founded the Elephant Listening Project, in the Bioacoustics Research Program in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, for purposes of research and conservation, now directed by Dr Peter Wrege.

Upon retiring from the Lab in 2006, Katy took up violin-building, under the tutelage of the Ithaca luthier Dylan Race.

Funding for all Payne’s recognized work has come from grants — from the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, World Wildlife Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society (and its precursor the New York Zoological Society), the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Conservation International, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare — and from book writing (Silent Thunder: in the Presence of Elephants (Simon & Schuster, 1998.) Along the way Katy  received several honors and awards. More importantly, recognition of her findings has brought increased attention to the extraordinary and only half- understood animals whose wonderful calls and songs fill the forests, savannas and oceans.

Dr. Jamie Morrisey, DVM, DABVP; Senior Lecturer, Section of Zoological Medicine, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – “Gastrointestinal Stasis vs. Obstruction in Rabbits”

Dr. James Morrisey is a Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine graduate. After graduation, he worked for two years in Syracuse in small animal/exotic practice and lab animal medicine. He then did an internship in Exotics, Wildlife and Zoo Medicine at Kansas State, then a Residency in Avian/Exotics Medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He spent a year as a clinical instructor at the University of Wisconsin, then returned to AMC for another 4 years, also working part time at the Bronx Zoo. In 2002 he returned here and is now the Chief of Cornell’s Exotic Pet Service. He has published articles on a variety of topics in avian, reptile, and small mammal medicine and surgery. In addition to teaching exotic pet medicine, he also lectures, and works with students, house officers and other groups on health care communications and non-technical competencies, bridging the gap between clinical skills and being a great clinician.

Dr. Noha Abou-Madi, DVM, MSc, DACZM; Associate Clinical Professor, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – “Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV)”

Dr. Noha Abou-Madi is a graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montréal (PQ, Canada). She specialized in veterinary anesthesiology and inzoological medicine at the University of Florida (Gainesville, Fl). She worked at Silver Springs Inc. in Ocala, Fl. and at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fl. as a staff veterinarian. In 1996, she moved to Ithaca, NY and joined the staff of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, in the Section of Zoological Medicine. Along with teaching and clinical work at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, she is developing collaborative work and opportunities in Costa Rica. Her main research interest is in clinical research and investigations of the elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses.

Dr. Lauren Powers, DVM, DABVP, Service Chief of the Avian and Exotic Pet Service at North Carolina Veterinary Specialists – “Avian Neurologic Exam”

Dr. Lauren Powers attended Boston University for her undergraduate studies, and she got her DVM in 1994 from Tufts University in Massachusetts. She completed a residency in avian medicine and surgery at North Carolina State University. She worked in general veterinary practice in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for five years before starting the Avian and Exotic Pet Service at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in 2002. She returned to North Carolina State University, where she is currently an adjunct assistant professor. She is the immediate past president of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) and a past vice-president of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV). She was a 2011 and 2012 recipient of the AAV President’s Award for Outstanding Service and the 2008 recipient of the AEMV President’s Award.


Dr. Ricardo de Matos, LMV, MSc, DECZM, Senior Lecturer, Section of Zoological Medicine, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – “Antibiotic Therapy in Pocket Pets”

Dr. Ricardo de Matos graduated first in his class from the Faculdade de Medicina Veterinaria, Lisbon, Portugal in 2002. He earned a masters in Science from the same university in 2015.  He completed an internship in zoo, wildlife, and exotic animal medicine in 2004, followed by a residency in Avian Medicine and Surgery at the same institution in 2006. Following his residency, Dr. de Matos did a postdoc in medical oncology in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cornell University.  Since 2008, he has been a lecturer in same department, and specializes in medical oncology, backyard poultry medicine and surgery, analgesia, and professional wellness.


Dr. Cynthia Hopf, DVM, Resident of Zoological Medicine, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – “Wildlife – Critically Thinking through Cases”

Dr. Cynthia Hopf was born and raised in Western Massachusetts, and received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She earned her DVM from Tufts University in 2015. She completed a one year small animal rotating internship at Oklahoma State University in 2016 and a one year zoological medicine internship here at Cornell in 2017. She has continued on here as a zoological medicine resident.


Dr. Michael McEntire, DVM, Intern in Zoo, Exotics, and Wildlife, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – “Care and Conservation of Large Felids”

Dr. Mike McEntire earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.  He completed the Small Animal and Zoological Medicine Internship at the University of Tennessee and is currently one of the Zoological Medicine Interns here at Cornell University’s Hospital for Animals. Starting in July, he will be the next resident in the Illinois Zoo and Aquatic Animal Residency Program.