Our Speakers

Our speaker list for 2019 is still being finalized. Here are the speakers we have confirmed so far. We can't wait to learn from them as we discuss the future of wildlife health and conservation!

Dr. Julie Blanchong is a wildlife ecologist at Iowa State University interested in investigating ecological and genetic factors that influence the health of wildlife populations with the goal of contributing to their successful conservation and management.

Dr. Sarah Hamer is a veterinary ecologist at Texas A&M University specializing in wildlife and zoonotic disease ecology and epidemiology. Her research originates at the intersection of ecology, epidemiology, and conservation, and encompasses diverse taxa (bacteria, ticks, mosquitoes, birds, mice, dogs, humans, and more). Given the emergence of pathogens shared by humans and animals, this is an important time to utilize multidisciplinary tools to improve human, animal, and ecosystem health.

Dr. Sonia Hernandez is a wildlife veterinarian, ecologist and professor at the University of Georgia in the Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources and the College of Veterinary Medicine Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study. She holds a DVM from LSU, a PhD in Ecology from UGA and is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine. She teaches various courses to undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students, including Wildlife Disease Investigation for graduate students and a study abroad Conservation Medicine & Biology course in Costa Rica. Her lab is dedicated to investigating wildlife diseases, specifically how human activities affect the ecology, health and diseases of wildlife. She is widely published in the field of wildlife diseases and has received several prestigious awards for her success in teaching.

Dr. Kevin Keel is a veterinary pathologist and associate professor in the Department of Pathology Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis. He received an M.S. in wildlife biology and a D.V.M. from the University of Georgia. His residency in anatomic pathology was completed at U.C. Davis and he received a PhD in Pathobiology from the University of Arizona. He currently provides pathology services to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, lectures in the veterinary curriculum (infectious diseases, renal pathology and reproductive pathology), assists with the training of anatomic pathology residents and conducts research concerning infectious diseases of wildlife. His research is focused on emerging infectious diseases of wildlife and he has extensive collaboration with university researchers and personnel from state and federal wildlife agencies. Prior to coming to UC Davis, he spent eight years working for the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) at the University of Georgia. His responsibilities at SCWDS included supervising the diagnostic service, providing consultation to stake holders in various state and federal agencies, and pursuing various infectious disease research projects.

Dr. Jonna Mazet is a Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology and Executive Director of the One Health Institute in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where she focuses on global health problem solving, especially for emerging infectious disease and conservation challenges. Dr. Mazet is active in international One Health research programs, most notably in relation to disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people and the ecological drivers of disease emergence. Currently, she is the Global Director of a $175 million viral emergence early warning project, named PREDICT, that has been developed with the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats Program. She was elected to the US National Academy of Medicine in 2013 in recognition of her successful and innovative approach to emerging environmental and global health threats and serves on the National Academies’ Forum on Microbial Threats, as well as chairs the Academies’ One Health Work Group.

Dr. Debra Miller is a Professor and wildlife pathologist at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UT) in both the Dept of Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries and College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her BS in Wildlife, Biology, and Resource Management at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, and then moved to Mississippi State University for her MS and then DVM and PhD where she performed research on bobcat growth and reproduction. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship and pathology residency at the University of Miami, where she added sea turtles, marine mammals and amphibians to her pathology repertoire. She then joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, where she spent the next 10 years intensifying her research on wildlife health before moving to her current position at UT. Dr. Miller currently serves as Director of the UT Center for Wildlife Health and president of our International Wildlife Disease Association. She works on several wildlife species, especially amphibians and has been instrumental in furthering our knowledge in ranaviral disease and chytridiomycosis among many others disease systems.

Dr. David Schneider is a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University where he studies innate immunity and microbial pathogenesis. He has been studying models for a variety of bacterial infections including: Listeria, Mycobacteria, Salmonella and Streptococcus as well as some fungi, malaria and viruses. His current focus is to determine how we recover from infections.

Dr. Pam Whiteley is a conservation medicine and wildlife health expert. After graduating with a BVSc from The University of Melbourne, Pam Whiteley worked in mixed veterinary practice and was then the first Veterinarian at a zoo for Australian Wildlife (Healesville Victoria, Zoos Victoria). She did her Masters research on the Effects of contaminants on immune function and disease resistance in migratory birds with the US National Wildlife Health Center and University of Wisconsin then worked at the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory on Bluetongue virus, and the state veterinary lab on rabbit calicivirus. In 2008, with colleagues from the Melbourne Veterinary School, Pam started Wildlife Health Victoria: Surveillance (WHV: S) to investigate disease patterns and changes in endemic mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and wildlife reservoirs of zoonotic disease in Victoria. Pam is an active member the Asian Society of Conservation Medicine (excellent meetings in October), the Wildlife Disease Association, and Wildlife Health Australia (see website and fact sheets).