Meet the speakers at the 2013 Special Species Symposium

Dr. Noha Abou-Madi - Dr. Noha Abou-Madi graduated from the University of Montréal, Québec, Canada (Doctor in Veterinary Medicine in 1984 and Master of Sciences degree in 1986). She completed a residency in anesthesiology then in zoological medicine at the University of Florida. She worked at Silver Springs Inc. in Ocala, Florida (joint position as staff veterinarian and general curator) then accepted the position of associate veterinarian at Busch Gardens where she practiced for nearly 5 years.  She has been working at Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine (Ithaca, NY) since 1996 and is now a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the Zoological Medicine Section. Her clinical work is centered on conservation medicine, integrating the practice of zoological and wildlife medicine to the training of students and residents in this field. Her research interests are mainly clinical and aimed at improving the health of species of wild and captive animals as well as studying the elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus

Dr. Paul Bowser - Dr. Bowser completed a B.S. in Fisheries Science at Cornell University in 1970. He moved to Iowa State University and earned a M.S. in Fisheries Biology, with an emphasis in fish diseases. Soon thereafter, he entered active duty in the U.S. Navy to fulfill the commitment he had made through the Naval ROTC Program at Cornell. Dr. Bowser served for two years as Executive Officer of Oceanographic Unit FIVE in Greek waters of the Aegean Sea and a final year as an instructor at the Naval Education and Training Center, Newport, R.I. Upon release from active, he enrolled in a Ph.D. Program in fish diseases through the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Auburn University, where he worked on the Channel Catfish Herpesvirus. Upon completion of that program in 1978, he served as an aquatic animal health specialist at the Bodega Marine Laboratory (U.C. Davis Aquaculture Program) and then at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University. In 1985 he had the opportunity to return to Cornell University and join the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine, where he now serves as a Professor of Aquatic Animal Medicine. Dr. Bowser served as the Associate Director of AQUAVET for 25 years (1985-2010) and continues to be a member of the instructional faculty for that program. On the Cornell campus, he teaches courses in Anatomy and Histology of Fish, and Fish Health Management. He also serve as the Course Director and one of four faculty for the course Health and Colony Management of Laboratory Fish at Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Maine. His primary research interests include infectious and non-infectious diseases of fish, viral-induced tumors in fish and evaluation of new therapeutic compounds for treating diseases of fish. Dr. Bowser has recently been heavily involved with Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia of fish in the Great Lakes Basin. These research efforts have resulted in over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications. His laboratory group also provides fish disease diagnostic services to aquaculturists and researchers using fish as experimental animals. As a special note, this will be Dr. Bowser’s last participation in a Special Species Symposium as an employed person. He will be retiring before the next event on the Cornell campus in 2015. Dr. Bowser has served as a presenter in every Special Species Symposium since the first one in 1991, and welcomes you to this unique 2013 educational event.

Dr. Elizabeth Buckles - Dr. Buckles has been a member of the Department of Biomedical Sciences since 2004. She received her DVM and MS from The Ohio State University in 1996 where her Master’s thesis dealt with a spirochete associated disease in juvenile common rheas. She completed her residency training in anatomic pathology at the University of Tennessee and the University of California Davis and achieved diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) in 2000. Her PhD was awarded by the University of California, Davis in 2004 for her dissertation describing the association between a herpesvirus and endemic neoplasms in California sea lions.

Dr. Anne Clark - Dr. Clark is a behavioral ecologist (Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Binghamton University) broadly interested in the evolution and ecology of social behavior. She did doctoral and postdoctoral studies (University of Chicago; University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) on olfactory communication and social behavior in bushbabies (nocturnal primates) in field and lab. Her ensuing empirical work has been largely with birds including parent-offspring relations in parakeets and red-winged blackbirds, social and stress-based yawning in parakeets, and for the last 13 years, behavior and ecology of suburban crows in Ithaca NY, in collaboration with Kevin J. McGowan, Laboratory of Ornithology.  After the advent of West Nile Virus in 2003, she has studied disease and injury as selective factors on crow social behavior and fitness, collaborating with several Cornell Vet School faculty.  Other recent or current foci for her research group include paternity and inbreeding (Dr. A. Townsend, now UC Davis),  genetic variation associated with suburban living, personality traits (Y. Brown), social learning (J. Campbell-Smith) and vocal communication (L. Nettle).  At Binghamton University, she teaches "Animal Behavior", "Primate Behavioral Ecology" and "Behavior and Disease" among other courses. 

Dr. Andrew Cushing - Dr. Cushing graduated Liverpool Vetertinary School in the UK in 2007.  He worked in South Africa doing large game capture.  Dr. Cushing worked in a mixed practice before working for 18 months at the Wildlife Safari in Oregon.  He then returned to the UK and worked for nearly two years in a wildlife/zoo/exotics referral practice before starting the zoological medicine residency program at Cornell University.  

Dr. Louis DiVincenti - Louis DiVincenti grew up in New Orleans and graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. He completed a residency in comparative medicine at the University of Rochester. After completing his residency in 2012, he was appointed Chief of Large Animal Medicine & Research at the University of Rochester. Since graduating from veterinary school, Dr. DiVincenti has also worked as the Associate Veterinarian at Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester. His special interests in behavior of nonhuman primates and conservation of ‘barometer’ species has led to participation in research and conservation programs from Upstate New York to Southeast Asia.

Dr. Steve Osofsky - Steve Osofsky, DVM, joined the WCS Field Veterinary Program in December 2002 as the Society's first Senior Policy Advisor for Wildlife Health, subsequently becoming Director, Wildlife Health Policy. Previously, Steve served as WWF's Director, Field Support for species programs in Asia and Africa. In the early 1990s, he was the first
Wildlife Veterinary Officer for the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Dr. Osofsky has also worked in the zoological community and was Director of Animal Health Services at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas for several years. As an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Diplomacy Fellow, he served as a Biodiversity Program Specialist at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he focused on ground-truthing integrated conservation and development projects, providing technical advice on wildlife management, and on working with the USFWS on the Rhino-Tiger and African Elephant Grants Programs as well as on CITES policy.  Steve's earliest fieldwork was as a Harvard University Traveling Fellow in Africa in the mid-1980s, and it was this experience, observing wildlife species in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda while examining conservation challenges from the perspectives of local people, NGOs, and governments, that convinced him to pursue a career in wildlife conservation. Dr. Osofsky's interests include protected area and buffer-zone management and planning, linking wildlife conservation and sustainable development, mitigating livestock-wildlife conflicts, transfrontier conservation challenges, linking wildlife research to management needs, and wildlife veterinary medicine. Steve has more than 30 scientific publications to his name, including the edited volume Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface: Implications for Wildlife, Livestock and Human Health. He provides editorial assistance to several peer-reviewed journals, and has served on eight IUCN (World Conservation Union) Specialist Groups. He received a B.A. from Harvard University and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University, and completed a small animal medical/surgical internship at Virginia Tech. Dr. Osofsky developed and now manages the Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development (AHEAD) Program, one of the foundational components of the WCS 'One World, One Health' initiative. He has also recently launched a new global program called Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages (HEAL), with support from the Moore and Rockefeller Foundations. Dr. Osofsky is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has significant public speaking as well as television (on camera and scientific advisor) experience. 

Dr. Robert Ossiboff - Dr. Ossiboff is currently a 3rd year resident at the Wildlife Conservation Society. He graduated from the combined DVM/PhD program at Cornell in 2010. During my clinical training, I tracked Zoo and Wildlife and focused on exotic medicine and pathology, with externships at the San Diego Zoo’s Department of Pathology and Dr. Kevin Wright, formerly of Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital. My PhD research focused virus:receptor
interactions and pathogenicity determinants of feline calicivirus. After graduating, I began a residency in anatomic pathology at Cornell. I then joined the Department of Pathology of the Zoological Health Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society as a Zoo and Wildlife pathology fellow for the final year of my residency. I have very strong interests in diseases of amphibians and reptiles and hope to continue in the future both researching and teaching about such diseases.

Dr. James Morrisey - Dr. Morrisey is a 1992 graduate of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, he worked in a small animal/exotics practice in Syracuse, NY and doing lab animal medicine at SUNY Syracuse for 2 years. He then did an internship in Exotic Pets, Wildlife and Zoological Medicine at Kansas State University from 1994-95. He then completed a Residency in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York City from 1995-1997. After completing the residency I spent a year (97-98) as a clinical instructor at the University of Wisconsin, then headed back to the AMC for another 4 years. During that time I worked part-time at the Bronx Zoo. In 2002 I returned to my alma mater and now work with the Exotic Pet Service at Cornell University. I have recently published articles on coagulation and critical care in avian medicine as well as book chapters and articles on ferrets, rabbits and other small mammals. In addition to teaching exotic pet medicine, I also lecture and work with students, house officers and other groups on health care communications and non-technical competencies as they relate to veterinary medicine.

Dr. Donna Muscarella - Dr. Muscarella currently holds the position of Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. She received an M.S. degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics and a Ph.D. in Molecular
Biology, both from Cornell University. Her primary academic interests include comparative studies of gene complexes and enzymatic pathways regulating drug metabolism and toxicity, immunity, and oncogenesis. She is especially interested in biomedical education with the goal of integrating basic scientific concepts with issues relevant to animal health. She is engaged in a wide variety of educational programs at Cornell, serving as a tutor in the case-based foundation courses for first and second year veterinary students, and teaching in several specialty courses for undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students in areas of avian biology, avian biomedicine, and comparative and
molecular toxicology. She has a particular interest in the application of genetic principles to conservation and breeding of endangered species, which is the topic for my Special Species Symposium presentation.

Dr. John Parks - Dr. John E. Parks is a Professor of Animal Science with teaching and research responsibilities in the discipline of Reproductive Physiology.  His research is related to the events surrounding germ cell development, cryopreservation, and fertilization. He is a member of the Society for the Study of Reproduction and on the Editorial Board of Animal Reproduction Science. Dr. Parks has been teaching at Cornell for 30 years and has been recognized twice as Outstanding Educator by the Merrill Presidential Scholar Program. He has served on the Committee for the Support of Teaching and Learning (CALS) and as Chairman of the University Animal Care and Use Committee. Dr. Parks directs the Cornell Raptor Program, an extracurricular activity that engages students directly in raptor conservation efforts and manages the Bondareff Raptor Facility which houses a collection of ~50 birds of prey. He has been an avid falconer for over 35 years and a Master Falconer for 28 years serving in both state and national falconry organizations as regional director. He is a member of the Falconry Advisory Board of New York State.

Dr. Ned Place - Dr. Place received his PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in 2000. Prior to that he was a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist who practiced in Virginia from 1991 to 1995. He received his MD from the University of Rochester in 1987 and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in 1991. After studying the reproductive and stress physiology of free-living yellow pine chipmunks in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked on the Berkeley Spotted Hyena Project. In addition to working with spotted hyenas, Dr. Place also studied female reproductive aging in Siberian hamsters while at UC-Berkeley. He came to the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University in 2004 and is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences, and the Director of the Diagnostic Endocrinology Laboratory within the Animal Health Diagnostic Center. He is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Graduate Field of Zoology & Wildlife Conservation, which has a joint graduate training program with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Dr. Karen Pryor - Cornell graduate Karen Pryor began her career as a behavioral scientist in the 1960’s with a book on breastfeeding, Nursing Your Baby, which became the ‘bible’ for new moms. Graduate work in marine zoology in Hawaii led to a job as a pioneering dolphin trainer and researcher at Hawaii’s Sea Life Park. Her marine mammal expertise enabled her to serve as a consultant to the tuna fishing industry, a principle investigator for National Marine Fisheries Services, and a presidential appointee to the Marine Mammal Commission. Meanwhile her training experiences with marine mammals focused her attention on potential applications of positive reinforcement to other animals and especially to humans.  The resulting book, Don’t Shoot the Dog!, first published in 1985, is widely used as a college text on learning and behavior; however the publisher’s choice of title also made it appealing to dog trainers. Pryor founded a company to serve this new market through seminars, videos, publications, and on-line discussion groups. A novelty toy, the clicker, proved to be an ideal conditioned reinforcer for dog trainers, replacing the dolphin trainer’s whistle and giving the technology a new name, clicker training.  Today at, Pryor’s organization provides instructional materials, tools, and online training to animal and human teachers and trainers world-wide. Pryor takes a special interest in bringing positive reinforcement technology to the veterinary medical community as a benefit to pets, to owners and to the practitioners as well.  Pryor continues to be a productive scientist, with five papers in preparation or in press in 2013. Pryor has three children and seven grandchildren. She lives in Boston with an elderly black-and-white spotted poodle named Misha.

Dr. Robin Radcliffe - One of twin brothers, both veterinarians, Dr. Robin Radcliffe's life and work encompasses the conservation of endangered species around the world. With more than 18 years of professional experience with species conservation, he heads a collaborative program with Cornell University called the Cornell Conservation Medicine Program. The Cornell Conservation Medicine Program initiative is focused on providing innovative health-based solutions to address real-world conservation problems in endangered species populations and landscapes around the world. Dr. Radcliffe specializes in the rhinoceros and has worked with four of the five living species. The program also offers professional students unique international experiential training in the practice of field conservation through integration of veterinary medical principles. 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. 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. Bonnie Raphael  - Dr. Bonnie L. Raphael is the Head of the Clinical Department in the Zoological Health Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Since joining the WCS in 1990 she has been a clinician, supervisor, and consulting nutrition services director. She has a special interest in ruminants and reptiles and is the veterinary advisor for the Radiated Tortoise SSP, IUCN Iguana Specialist Group, and Chinese Alligator reintroduction group. She has worked with a variety of taxa in implementing protocols for safe reintroduction of animals to the wild. She received her DVM from Michigan State University and performed a residency in Wildlife and Laboratory Animal Medicine at the University of Florida and is board certified in the American College of Zoological Medicine.

Dr. Joy Reidenberg - Joy S. Reidenberg, Ph.D. is Professor of Anatomy and Functional Morphology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, USA. Dr. Reidenberg received a B.A. in 1983 from Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences. She earned her M.Phil. in 1985 and her Ph.D. in 1988 in Anatomy from Mount Sinai’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences in New York, and joined the faculty of Mount Sinai School of Medicine later that year. Dr. Reidenberg also holds appointments as a Guest Investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and as an Associate Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.  Dr. Reidenberg is a biomedical research scientist who studies the comparative anatomy of the mammalian head and neck. She has examined a variety of animals ranging from mice to humans, but her particular fascination is with aquatic animals, including sea turtles and marine mammals. Much of Dr. Reidenberg’s recent work is focused on how animals adapt to environmental extremes. Current research is focused on the anatomy of whales, dolphins and porpoises, especially in understanding how they produce sounds and withstand the pressures of diving. Her research into their anatomy has enabled these animals to become valued "natural experiments" from which we can learn about basic biomechanical relationships that affect all mammals, including humans. Of particular interest is how these animals have evolved adaptations to solve problems we consider a medical challenge in humans. By understanding these adaptations, we can learn from nature and develop protective/preventive technologies or new medical treatments for human and animal injuries and diseases. Dr. Reidenberg work has been federally funded by: U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research, U.S. Navy Environmental Compliance Division, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. National Oceanic Partnership Program.  Her research has been featured often, including on the Discovery Channel (USA) "The Science of Whales," National Geographic Europe “Cracking the Humpback Code,” Discovery Channel: Animal Planet’s Wild Kingdom “Decoding Humpbacks,” Discovery Channel (Canada): Discovery News Daily Planet “Whale Communication,” and BBC Worldwide “Jimmy and the Whale Whisperer” (a documentary about sperm whales). Dr. Reidenberg’s most recent involvement is in an 18 part documentary series produced by Windfall Films called “Inside Nature’s Giants” which examined the anatomy and evolution of large animals and aired world-wide (in the US on PBS and the National Geographic Wild Channel). This series won several awards including British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award (the UK equivalent of an Emmy Award), World Gold Medal Television and Film Award, Thompson Reuters Zoological Record Award for Communicating Zoology, Broadcast Award, and Royal Television Society Award. She was featured twice in the journal Nature (“Truly Gross Anatomy” and “Q&A: Prime-Time dissection with Joy Reidenberg”) in profiles discussing her usual career dissecting whale carcasses to study their anatomy and teaching on camera.  Teaching is a passion for Dr. Reidenberg, who teaches medical and graduate students. Courses she teaches include: Human Gross Anatomy, Histology, Anatomic Radiology, and Comparative Anatomy. Her energies in this regard have earned her teaching awards both within her institution and nationwide. She was awarded The Basmajian Award, the highest national prize in her field, by the American Association of Anatomists for her excellence in both teaching and research.

Dr. Meg Thompson - Dr. Meg Thompson received her DVM from Tufts University in 1998.  She completed her rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA in 1999, and completed her diagnostic imaging residency at the University of Florida in 2002.  She remained at UF as a Clinical Assistant Professor until 2006, when she moved to Cornell University.  She currently serves as the Director of Continuing Education for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Imaging Section Chief in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals.  She has taught abdominal ultrasound laboratories at the North American Veterinary Conference since 2002 and directs the small animal ultrasound course in the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine curriculum.  During her free time, she enjoys riding her horse, fossil hunting, and gorge hiking with friends and dogs.

Dr. Alex Travis - Dr. Travis received his AB from Princeton University in 1989. He then studied wallaby reproduction for one year at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia on a Rotary Graduate Scholarship. While working there in the labs of Marilyn Renfree and Roger Short, he realized the importance of research for conservation efforts, and upon returning to the US, he entered the VMD/PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania. His PhD and postdoctoral research largely focused on the compartmentalization of signaling and metabolic pathways in sperm. He is now an Associate Professor of Reproductive Biology & Wildlife Conservation at Cornell’s Baker Institute for Animal Health. His work includes three very different approaches to wildlife conservation. First, his studies using cell/molecular biology focus on sperm as they mature functionally in the female reproductive tract and fertilize an egg. Applications include the development of new technologies of assisted reproduction as well as new male contraceptives in both humans and non-human animals. Second, he is interested in developing new technologies of assisted reproduction to preserve the genetic diversity of endangered species. This work focuses primarily on the techniques of spermatogonial stem cell transplantation and testis xenografting, which are applicable to many species. He is also developing new approaches to in vitro fertilization in canids. Although he works with the reproduction of many species, he has special interest in carnivores, particularly felids, canids, and mustelids (cats, dogs, and weasels). Third, he is interested in ecosystem-scale interventions that conserve wildlife and fight human poverty and hunger by promoting sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. This approach includes features of classical ecology, social sciences, and veterinary medicine. One component of this work that typically involves veterinary students is sustainable, low-impact rural poultry production. Dr. Travis is the Director of the Cornell Center for Wildlife Conservation. The purpose of this Center is to provide connections between the many, many conservation activities that are spread not only amongst the various units at the College of Veterinary Medicine, but also amongst the various academic and extension units across campus. He helped initiate a new joint graduate training program with collaborators at the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation and Research Center. He is also the current Chair of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.
Dr. Mark Valitutto - Dr. Valitutto graduated from U Penn where he was a chair for the Special Species Symposium back then as well.  After Penn,  he completed a small animal rotating internship in NYC, with a simultaneous fellowship at the Trevor Zoo.  Afterwards, he did a fellowship at the Bronx Zoo, and then the residency with one year at Cornell, and two years at the Wildlife Conservation Society.  Since the residency, he has worked at the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and is now currently employed as the General Curator and Veterinarian for the illustrious Staten Island Zoo, where the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians was born (I'm not lying).

Dr. Wendy Williams - Dr. Wendy O. Williams is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in Ontario, Canada. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of laboratory animal science. Prior to becoming a laboratory animal veterinarian, she held positions in animal husbandry, as a research assistant and as a veterinary technologist in various research facilities in Canada. After graduating from OVC in 1997, Wendy was employed as a laboratory animal veterinarian in several academic institutions and human hospitals in Canada. She currently holds the position of Clinical Veterinarian at the Cornell Center for Animal Resources and Education (CARE) in Ithaca, New York. While at Cornell, she achieved diplomate status through the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine in 2011 and she is a Courtesy Lecture in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. At Cornell, Wendy provides clinical care to a wide variety of lab animal species. She has oversight of Cornell University’s IACUC-mandated animal training program for animal users has played an integral role in developing this program. Wendy is also the course coordinator of the clinical rotation in lab animal medicine and the lab animal externship program at Cornell University.