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Congratulations 2015 New ACZM Diplomates

Scott B Citino  | Published on 1/10/2016

ACZM 2015 New Diplomates Biographies


Dr. Copper Aitken-Palmer is the chief veterinarian of the Department of Conservation Medicine at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, in Front Royal, VA. She earned her DVM and a Master of Science degree in clinical sciences, both from Kansas State University in 2003 and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.  She completed her zoological medicine training at the University of Florida.  Her work routinely takes her to China as she specializes in giant panda reproduction, health and conservation.



Dr. Jenifer Chatfield is the Staff Veterinarian at 4J Conservation Center, an instructor for FEMA/DHS’s agroterrorism courses, National Disaster Medicine System Team Member, and coordinates a county health department's plan for a bioterrorism response. She graduated from Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Immediately following graduation, she worked as the Associate Veterinarian at the San Antonio Zoo as well as a part-time/relief associate at the Animal Emergency Room in San Antonio, Texas. She has owned two emergency clinics, in Florida and Texas, and has been the Senior Veterinarian in a zoological park. Additionally, Dr. Chatfield was the veterinarian supervising the biomedical research program at the University of Texas at Brownsville for four years. She has completed fieldwork in Madagascar and South America. Dr. Chatfield was the Florida Department of Health’s zoonotic and vector-borne disease program veterinary and agricultural liaison for several years and continues to be heavily involved in public health efforts through veterinary medicine.   Dr. Chatfield currently serves as the Chair of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association's (FVMA) Public Health Committee and Co-Chair of the FVMA's Disaster Response Committee.  She was also an original founder of the Pasco Hernando Veterinary Medical Association (PHVMA) and has served as the PHVMA's President since 2008.



Dr. Emily Christiansen got her start in aquatic animal medicine at Mote Marine Laboratory’s rehabilitation hospitals before heading off to veterinary school at Tufts University, where she obtained a dual degree DVM/MPH. She completed a small animal rotating internship and then returned to Tufts for an internship in Wildlife Medicine. She did her residency at North Carolina State University (Aquatics focus), and subsequently refused to leave the southern Outer Banks and search for a real grown-up job somewhere else. Thus, the North Carolina Aquariums gave in and hired her as their first full-time veterinarian, where she continues to be a sea turtle-hugger in (admittedly, weak) disguise!



Dr. Andrew Cushing graduated from Liverpool University, England in 2007, and completed an internship in zoological medicine at Wildlife Safari in Oregon in 2009. He then worked for 2 years back in the UK at an exotic referral clinic and large wildlife hospital before commencing a zoological residency at Cornell University. During this time he completed a certificate in zoo medicine with the RCVS and then moved back to the UK to work at Marwell Wildlife. One (hopefully final!) transatlantic move later then followed for his current position, working at the University of Tennessee on the zoological medicine faculty.



Dr. Pauline Delnatte obtained her DVM degree in 2008 from the National Veterinary School of Toulouse, France. She completed an internship in exotic pet medicine and bird of prey rehabilitation at the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, University of Montreal, and spent a year in mixed practice in France before completing a residency and doctorate in veterinary Sciences (DVSc) in zoological medicine and pathology in 2013 offered jointly by the University of Guelph and the Toronto Zoo. She then worked at at the University of Montreal for 18 months where she was sharing her time between wildlife pathology at the university (Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative) and clinical activities at the Québec aquarium and the Granby Zoo. She is now back to the Toronto Zoo as a full-time staff veterinarian.



Dr. Dan Fredholm received his Bachelor's degree in biology, and Master of Science degree in applied anatomy and physiology, both from Boston University.  He then obtained his Doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College in 2009, and went on to complete an internship at Colorado State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  After a brief stint as a general practitioner in Washington, Dan completed a zoological medicine internship through Kansas State University in 2012.  Most recently, Dan finished his residency training in zoological medicine with the University of Florida and White Oak Conservation Center, and is currently the Clinical Instructor working at Disney's Animal Kingdom.



Dr. Gwendolyn Jankowski graduated from Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Science in 2008. Afterward, she completed an internship in Bird, Zoo and Exotic Animal Medicine through Louisiana State University.  Her residency in zoological medicine and masters in veterinary science were completed through the University of Illinois and the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency.  She has been working as a staff veterinarian at Denver Zoo for the past three years.  



Dr. Judilee Marrow attended veterinary school at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.  After graduation she completed internships in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA Hospitals in the Chicago area and in wildlife, exotic and zoological medicine at Kansas State University. She completed a residency in zoological medicine at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park.  Since finishing the residency, Dr. Marrow has served as the staff veterinarian at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan.



Dr. Jb Minter is a native of Virginia and attended Virginia Tech for his undergraduate degree in animal science.  He received a master’s degree in wildlife biology from Utah State before obtaining his DVM from North Carolina State University.  He went on to do an internship in large animal medicine and surgery at the University of Illinois before moving to South Florida to work in a small animal practice.  He returned to North Carolina to complete a residency in zoological medicine at NC State and the North Carolina Zoo.  After working as the veterinarian for the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, South Dakota he rejoined the NC Zoo as their senior veterinarian.  



Dr. Christy Rettenmund is an associate veterinarian at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.  She completed her zoological medicine and surgery clinical residency at the Wildlife Conservation Society in June 2015.  Prior to her residency, she worked as an emergency veterinarian in Houston, Texas and completed two internships.  Her internships included a pet exotics internship at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, Texas and a zoo animal internship at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine& Biomedical Sciences.  She graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008.



Dr. Sam Rivera is a 1996 graduate of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  He also obtained a Master’s degree in the department of pathobiology from the same institution.  Samwas in a private practice with an emphasis on exotic pets for 10 years prior to becoming the associate veterinarian at Zoo Atlanta, a position he has held for the last 10 years.  Sam is an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine.  He serves as a veterinary advisor to the Chelonian Taxon Advisory group of the AZA and the Turtle Survival Alliance. Sam has been an active member of the ARAV, AAV, and AAZV for many years and is a Diplomate of the ABVP (Avian specialty).



Dr. James Steeil graduated from veterinary school from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.  He then went on to do a small animal internship at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, which was followed by a zoological medicine residency at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.  Upon completion of the residency he accepted my current position of veterinary medical officer at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park.  



Dr. Julie Swenson was born and raised in Roanoke Virginia, and went to undergrad and veterinary school at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.  While in vet school she was given the opportunity to travel several times to Africa for free range wildlife work.  After graduation, she did a small animal rotating internship just outside DC followed by a one-year temporary faculty position at Virginia Tech in Laboratory Animal Medicine.  Julie did a Zoological Medicine Internship at Kansas State University.  Following her internship, she was offered a job as a staff veterinarian at the Phoenix Zoo, where she stayed for the next 6 years.  From there she spent a short period at the Dallas World Aquarium before settling in to her current position as an Associate Veterinarian at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas where she spends most days working with large exotic ungulates maintained in large semi-free-ranging herds and an extensive exotic felid/canid breeding program.  Her husband and her have a small 12 acre farm just outside town where they are in the process of growing our own dairy goat herd.  Their family currently consists of 2 dogs, 3 cats, 4 goats (with more on the way!), and 7 chickens. 



Dr. Ellen Wiedner graduated from Princeton University with a degree in biology.  She received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania, then completed an internship in Ambulatory and Production Medicine at Cornell University, and a residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine at Purdue University.  She became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Large Animal Internal Medicine in 2005.  After a stint in equine practice, she became the head veterinarian for a herd of 60 Asian elephants, and had the privilege of being involved in the births of ten elephant calves during that time.  She later joined the Los Angeles Zoo as an associate veterinarian and taught at the University of Florida both in zoological medicine and large animal medicine. For the past five years, she taught the veterinary section of the Principles of Elephant Management course for the AZA and has been a consultant for VIN on their ruminant and equine boards. She currently enjoys work as a veterinarian at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Tacoma, Washington and consults on exotic hoofstock and elephants both in the United States and abroad.