Q: The place was your internship this summer time?!
A: In pursuit of a profession in zoological medication, my life has made twists and turns that I may have by no means imagined. As a Florida lady at coronary heart, I knew I wished to return to my dwelling state for a summer time internship involving wildlife medication. With the assistance of my mentor, Dr. Osofsky, Director of the Cornell Wildlife Well being Heart, I grew to become acquainted with a gem in Northeast Florida: the South-East Zoo Alliance for Replica and Conservation (SEZARC). Directed by Dr. Linda Penfold, SEZARC works on copy challenges in a number of US zoos and aquariums throughout the nation. A few of their work includes fertility checks, assisted copy, and contraception in wildlife.
Q: What work did you take part in at your internship?
A: The internship concerned many hands-on alternatives. Within the lab, I realized the way to study semen traits microscopically from stingrays, sharks, tigers, okapis, and plenty of different species! I realized the way to make the most of ELISA to detect hormone concentrations in elephant stool samples. Within the subject, I realized the way to gather and cryopreserve semen samples from tigers and cheetahs for genome banking functions. I performed literature searches on copy info for numerous zoo animals within the workplace.
Along with interning at SEZARC, the group’s connections with different conservation/zoological services in North Florida opened up some surprising doorways. I shadowed zoo veterinarians from White Oak Conservation and the Jacksonville Zoo! Beneath the supervision of White Oak vets, I vaccinated a rhino calf and attended an okapi echocardiogram. On the Jacksonville Zoo, I attended routine elephant well being checks and shadowed roseate spoonbill pre-shipment exams.
Q: What did you achieve from this expertise?
A: Earlier than this internship, I lacked precise analysis expertise. SEZARC allowed me to discover analysis with the flexibility to ask plenty of questions! From literature searches, knowledge assortment and entry, lab work, and paper writing, I really feel I left with a well-rounded understanding of the aim of wildlife copy analysis for conservation. SEZARC mixed my passions for zoological medication and theriogenology in methods I may have by no means imagined. I hope to proceed working in analysis as a veterinary scholar and a zoo veterinarian hopeful.
Carolina Baquerizo, Class of 2024, acquired her BS in Organic Science from Florida State College. She started volunteering at Zoo Miami when she was 15 and has held a number of zoological internships since then. She aspires to develop into a zoo veterinarian as a option to take part in ex situ conservation work.