Westmoreland Paper Receives Top Award

Last week, at the awards banquet for the annual meeting of the American College of Zoological Medicine in Prague, Czech Republic, the top award for a manuscript published in the past year presenting work accomplished in a post-DVM training program (residency or graduate studies), was awarded to Dr. Lori  S. H. Westmoreland.  The award was for the paper “Altered acrylic acid concentrations in hard and soft corals exposed to deteriorating water conditions” which appeared in the Journal Facets.  The paper, written with co-authors Jennifer N. Niemuth, Hanna S. Gracz and Michael K. Stoskopf, characterized the metabolomic responses of corals to changes in water quality, and in particular the changes observed in a marker of coral distress, acrylic acid.


Residents Pass Boards

Every fall former EMC residents and graduate students venture forth to test themselves against arguably the most challenging specialty board examinations in veterinary medicine.   They have already succeeded in garnering the necessary experience with the very broad taxonomic demands of the discipline of zoological medicine and in generating the number and quality of publications required just to have the opportunity to sit the examination that if passed will allow them to take their place among the recognized experts in zoological medicine.   Armed with their clinical experience and background and a great deal of study, they tackle the two day examination.  First they must pass 5 separate exams on health management for different taxa, one for each major grouping (mammals, avian, aquatic, herptile, and free ranging wildlife) to be eligible for the final major series of tests related to their particular interests within zoological health.

This year we are excited to announce considerable success.  Dr. Brianne Phillips (Aquatics emphasis) and Dr. Kim Thompson (Wildlife emphasis) are newly minted diplomates in the American College of Zoological Medicine.

Dr. Brianne Phillips presents her sea urchin studies in CVM resident rounds

Dr. Phillips is the recently appointed veterinarian for the Virginia Living Museum.  She is excited and confident she can make a strong difference for the Museum’s collection.  Though her focus was aquatics, she was able to gain considerable breadth in her clinical experience from her time at the NC Zoo and in the Exotic Animal Medicine Service (EAMS) in addition to her time at CMAST in Morehead City.   Her recent publication list is impressive:

Brianne E. Phillips, Sarah A. Cannizzo, Matthew H. Godfrey, Brian A. Stacy, and Craig A. Harms, “Exertional Myopathy in a Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Entangled in a Large Mesh Gillnet,” Case Reports in Veterinary Medicine, vol. 2015, Article ID 604320, 6 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/604320

Phillips, B. E., Christiansen, E. F., Stoskopf, M. K., Broadhurst, H., George, R. and Harms, C. A. (2016), Comparison of hematology, plasma biochemistry, and blood gas variables between 2 venipuncture sites in Southern Stingrays (Dasyatis americana). Vet Clin Pathol, 45: 627–633. doi:10.1111/vcp.12424

Brianne E. Phillips, Sarah A. Cannizzo, Matthew H. Godfrey, Brian A. Stacy, and Craig A. Harms, “Exertional Myopathy in a Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Entangled in a Large Mesh Gillnet,” Case Reports in Veterinary Medicine, vol. 2015, Article ID 604320, 6 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/604320

Phillips, B.E., Sarah A. Cannizzo, Matthew H. Godfrey, Brian A. Stacy, and Craig A. Harms,  2015  Exertional Myopathy in a Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Entangled in a Large Mesh Gillnet.  Case Reports in Veterinary Medicine, vol. 2015, Article ID 604320, 6 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/604320

Harms CA, Brianne E Phillips, Michael K Stoskopf, and Jean F. Beasley (2017) Evaluation of three anticoagulants used for short-term storage of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) whole blood. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery DOI 10.5818/17-06-116.1


Dr. Thompson assists Dr. Stoskopf with a cold stun sea turtle at CMAST


Dr. Thompson is currently the veterinarian at Binder Park Zoo.  She is enjoying the challenge of moving the health program for that zoo forward.   Dr. Thompson is a well traveled resident, having followed her major mentor, Dr. Tara Harrison from Michigan State to Davis California and then here to NC State where she completed her residency.   Some of her recent publications include:


Thompson KAPatterson J, Fitzgerald SD, Needle D, Harrison.  TREATMENT OF RENAL CARCINOMA IN A BINTURONG (ARCTICTIS BINTURONG) WITH NEPHRECTOMY AND A TYROSINE KINASE INHIBITOR.J Zoo Wildl Med. 2016 Dec;47(4):1109-1113. doi: 10.1638/2015-0285.1.

Thompson KA, Lamberski N, Kass PH, Coons D, Chigerwe M.  Evaluation of a commercial bovine colostrum replacer for achieving passive transfer of immunity in springbok calves (Antidorcas marsupialis). J Zoo Wildl Med. 2013 Sep;44(3):541-8.


Also this year, Dr. Jennifer Niemuth (PhD candidate with Wildlife emphasis) was successful passing 4 of the 5 and Dr. Sarah Cannizzo recently finished resident (general zoo emphasis) passed 3 of the 5 of the exams referred to as Day 1.   They are both now very well positioned to complete the examinations the next time they are offered next November.  In the meantime,  Dr. Niemuth is putting the finishing touches on her Dissertation about the physiological basis of colds stun syndrome in sea turtles.   She has authored a number of important papers on here way to credentialling for the ACZM exam, including:

Niemuth, J.N. , Charles W. Sanders, Charles B. Mooney, , Colleen Olfenbuttel, , Christopher S. DePerno, and Michael K. Stoskopf, 2013  NEPHROLITHIASIS IN FREE-RANGING NORTH AMERICAN RIVER OTTER (LONTRA CANADENSIS) IN NORTH CAROLINA, USA  Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 45(1):110-117. 2014 https://doi.org/10.1638/2013-0135R2.1

Niemuth, J.N, and M. K. Stoskopf, 2017.  A novel extraction method for the preparation of heparinized chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) and horse (Equus caballus) whole blood for 1H-NMR metabolomics using Drabkin’s reagent.  Journal of Integrated OMICS 7(1):203|1-6.   DOI: 10.5584/jiomics.v7i1.203

Jennifer N. Niemuth, Joni V. Allgood, James R. Flowers, Ryan S. De Voe, and Brigid V. Troan, “Ventricular Habronemiasis in Aviary Passerines,” Case Reports in Veterinary Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 719465, 6 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/719465

Niemuth, J. and M. Stoskopf 2014.  Hepatic metabolomic investigation of the North American black bear (Ursus americanus) using 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Wildl. Biol. Pract., 2014; 10(1); 14-23; doi : 10.2461/wbp.2014.10.3

Dr. Cannizzo is the newest member of the Health Management Team at the Fort Worth Zoo where she, along with her colleagues there, are responsible for the health care of a very extensive and diverse collections.  Her recent publications include:

Cannizzo, Sarah A. Lewbart, Gregory A. and Westermeyer, Hans D. 2017 Intraocular pressure in American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) measured with rebound and applanation tonometry.  Veterinary Ophthalmology.  20:(6):526-532. doi 10.1111/vop.12463

Sarah A. Cannizzo, Jennifer N. Langan, Mark Warneke, and Matthew Allender 2016 EVALUATION OF IN-HOUSE URINE DIPSTICK, REFERENCE LABORATORY URINALYSIS, AND URINE PROTEIN: CREATININE RATIO FROM A COLONY OF CALLIMICOS (CALLIMICO GOELDII). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 2016 47 (4), 977-983

Sarah A.Cannizzo, MarkusRick,Tara M.Harrison, Craig A.Harms 2017. Parathyroid Hormone, Ionized Calcium, and 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in the Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo).  Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. 26(4): 294-299   doi.org/10.1053/j.jepm.2017.07.004

Cannizzo SA, Roe SC, Harms CA, and Stoskopf MK. 2016. Effect of water temperature on the hydrolysis of two absorbable sutures used in fish surgery. FACETS 1: 44–54. https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2016-0006


Major Awards for Dr. Kennedy-Stoskopf

Dr. Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf surrounded by diplomates of the American College of Zoological Medicine linked to NCSUDr. Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf was honored for her life long major contributions to zoological health and to key organizations that support the development of the discipline recently.   At the Annual Meeting of the American College of Zoological Medicine in Dallas, Texas, Dr. K-S (as she is affectionately known by all of her students and residents), was suprised to receive the Murray Fowler Award on September 24, 2017.  The suprise was challenging to orchestrate but Drs. Harms and Stoskopf managed to get Dr. Kennedy-Stoskopf in place and unaware as the award was presented.

Dr. K-S receives the ACZM Murray Fowler Award from ACZM President Dr. Sharon DeemThe Murray Fowler award was created in honor of Dr. Murray Fowler, who was also postumously the first recipient.  It honors an ACZM Diplomate who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and contributions to the ACZM, while making significant lifetime contributions that have advanced the discipline of zoological medicine.  Dr. K-S is the 4th recepient of this most prestigeous award of the ACZM.  A formal presentation was made before over 600 colleagues from around the world Thursday, September 28th at the annual combined AAZV and ACZM banquet, where Dr. K-S was able to make a fitting acceptance speech.

NCSU alumni and faculty help Dr. K-S celebrate her receiving teh Emil Dolensek AwardThen, no doubt feeling a bit relieved, and perhaps relaxing a bit, Dr. Kennedy-Stoskopf was a bit slow to realize that the traditional description of the life and contributions of the individual being honored for the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians’ most coveted award, the Emil Dolensek Award, should have been very familiar.   The Dolensek Award is the longest standing award of the AAZV.   Made in honor of Dr. Emil Dolensek, an early pioneer in zoological medicine at the Bronx Zoo who was cut down in the prime of his career by cancer.  The award is an honor presented to a past or present member of the AAZV in appreciation for exceptional contributions to the conservation, care, and understanding of zoo and free-ranging wildlife reflecting Emil Dolensek’s commitment to these purposes. This award recognizes individuals who have advanced the profession and served to link the related disciplines of zoo and wildlife medicine.  For the first time these two awards went to the same recipient and Dr. K-S was without a doubt completely surprised to receive this second very coveted award as the 23rd recipient.A surprised Dr. K-S accepts the Emil Dolensek Award

Other EMC faculty who have received the Emil Dolensek Award include Dr. Michael Stoskopf 2003, Dr. Michael Loomis 2008, Dr. Daniel Mulcahy 2014, and Dr. Terry Norton 2016.  Dr. Kennedy-Stoskopf is the first EMC faculty member to receive the Murray Fowler Award.





New Wild Carnivore Facility Video

One of the older male red wolves at the Wild Carnivore Facility strikes a majestic pose. Photo by Dr. Doug Maragucci.

The Wild Carnivore Facility has long been one of the very unique assets of the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State University.  An unusual part of the famous Teaching Animal Unit, the facility provides similar opportunities for veterinary students interested in wildlife to those the rest of TAU provides related to agricultural animals.  Now there is a new video that shares some of the excitement and perspective of students who participate in the Wild Carnivore Team.  Here is a video, created by Duke Videographer Jim Rogalski, that is a great brief introduction to how important the Wild Carnivore Facility is to the development of future zoological health specialists.


The facility provides an important opportunity for young aspiring zoological health focused veterinarians to gain practical experience in many many aspects of management of wildlife applicable to their future careers with both captive and free-ranging wildlife.  Under the supervision of Dr. Kennedy-Stoskopf, students on the wild carnivore team coordinate and organize the daily routine management of the animals and facility and participate with faculty and residents in delivering routine physical examinations and diagnostic sample collection. The NCSU wolf pack is real! Currently Five red wolves (3.2) live at the Wild Carnivore Facility, educating the wild carnivore team students while contributing to the restoration of their own species.

Even the wolves enjoy the Wild Carnivore Facility. Photo by Dr. Doug Maragucci

2017 House Officers Choosen

Once again some great young veterinarians will be traveling to NCSU to further their careers in zoological medicine.   Selected from an amazingly talented pool of candidates, the EMC is excited to announce our three new house officers, who will start their programs in mid-July.

Dr. Greg Scott

Dr. Greg Scott is the most familiar with NCSU and the EMC having completed his DVM here in 2012 having won the Clinical Proficiency in Invertebrate Medicine Award.   He then complted the challenging National Marine Mammal Foundation/Sea World sponosred internship with the U.S. Marinem Mammal LLProgram in San Diego, California.  From the Navy program he took positions in Zoological Companion Animal Medicine and worked as a relief veterinarian for the Californial Science Center, the Nationa Marine Mammal Foundation and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, where he rose to a staff veterinarian position.  He will be coming to Raleigh directly from San Diego where he has recently taken on a staff veterinarian position with the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program.  We are excited to have Dr. Scott back home with us as our newest aquatic health focused zoological medicine resident.


Dr. Meghan Louis

Dr. Meghan Louis (prounounced Louie), a Captain in the United States Army Veterinary Corps, will be traveling from her current duty station as the officer in charge of the Spangdahlem Veterinary Treatment Facility in Germany to become our first wildlife focused zoological medicine resident in several years.  Dr. Louis will follow in a proud tradition of wildlife residents at NCSU supported by the U.S. Military.   A 2008 graduate of Ross who finished her clinical year at The Ohio State University, Dr. Louis will bring 5 years of experience as a mixed animal practitioner and over 4 years as a military officer as her foundation to support her residency studies.   Just to make things even more challenging, Dr. Louis will be working to complete an M.S. in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology under her graduate committee of Drs. Michael Stoskopf, Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf, Tara Harrison and Craig Harms, while she is completing her residency.

Dr. Louis has a strong passion contribute to the deeper culture of conservation and policy within the federal government.  At the completion of her 3 year residency she will return to the military for a minimum of 5 years additional service.  There she hopes to be involved in working with the management of wildlife on military lands and in support of military programs.   The U.S. Military manages wildlife on more acreage than the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Park Service.

Dr. Louis, ever versatile, diagnoses a cell phone, not a routine patient.


Dr. Emma Houck

Dr. Emma Houck will be our newest ZCA Intern in the EAMS service.  She comes to us directly from her small animal medicine and surgery internship with Blue Pearl in Davis, California.  A 2016 DVM graduate of U.C. Davis, Dr. Houck has had experience at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and at the Kansas City Zoo during her DVM education, and Disney World prior to entering her DVM program.  We are looking forward to having her on our team.

Jellyfish at the CVM?

No, unfortunately they are not on public display, but it’s true: there are live jellyfish at the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Currently a quartet of Aurelia aurita, or Moon Jellyfish, are living in special jellyfish tanks designed to keep the delicate invertebrates comfortable and robust as part of Fisheries & Wildlife Conservation Biology Masters student Mary Doerr’s thesis research efforts.

Moon Jellyfish have arrived at the CVM

The jellyfish arrived in February and are currently acclimating to their new environment. Mary, who is a member of Dr. Michael Stoskopf’s laboratory group, is studying the  physiology and metabolism of jellyfish using moon jellies (A. aurita) as her model.  A key part of her thesis will be characterizing the metabolome of moon jelly fish using NMR spectroscopy.  She hopes to use that information to then study their biochemical adaptations to environmental challenges such as increased temperature, to help us better understand what drives jellyfish blooms that seem to be occurring with increasing frequency in ocean waters around the globe.

Moon Jellyfish in their specialized 5- gallon habitats that provide proper current and water conditions.

After preliminary pilot studies being conducted at the CVM, plans are for moon jelly fish to be among the first animals to be studied using the 4.7T horizontal research magnet in the Marine Magnetic Resonance Facility at CMAST in Morehead City.  Mary’s husbandry work at CVM is already informing her designs for a life support system for jellyfish that fits inside the magnet and will allow individual live jellyfish to be studied repeatedly without harm.


Moon Jellyfish in action

So you want to be in movies

Rob Nelson presents a personable lobster

Lots of what we do in the EMC is interesting to others, and we want to share what we are up to.  However, making a short, informative, and well put together video is not something that just happens.  Enter Emmy award winning natural science communication videographer Rob Nelson.  A man with a mission, Rob’s CV includes a masters degree in marine biology as well as one in science communication.  With many years experience refining his videography techniques, he was willing to take on the challenge of transferring key lessons he has learned in his illustrious career to the EMC graduate students, houseofficers, DVM students and even some faculty.

After a rapid paced hour of instruction focused on the best ways to gather GoPro footage, Rob put the class to a practical hands on test.  Everyone, toting their GoPro along, moved to the Turtle Team space for an hour of interaction and the shooting of “B- Roll”.  At the end of the session we all downloaded our work to Rob so that he could demonstrate how such materials can be edited into short, informative science communications.

Here is a very short film edited by Rob Nelson about the Turtle Team


And here, for those of you who could not be with us, is a 5 minute synopsis of the key things we learned from Rob, featuring footage obtained while we learned it and starring EMC house officers, graduate students and DVM students.

Look for more videos here on the EMC website in the future.

Ruth Francis-Floyd Named 2016 Jim Wright Visiting Scholar

The week of October 10 thru 14th the NCSU CVM will be hosting the The Jim Wright Visiting Scholar.  Everyone in the EMC community is encouraged to attend the formal lectures, and visit or meet with Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd, this year’s Jim Wright Visiting Scholar during the week of activities.

floyd-w-mural-03-2015-crop-medDr. Francis-Floyd, a veterinarian, ACZM diplomate, researcher and educator is a professor at the University, of Florida where she has pioneered the integration of aquatic health clinical and research investigations across college boundaries.  Her career has seen her working with many aquatic industries to help develop solutions to serious problems that have threatened those emerging industries.  From catfish to high production tropical fish,  and marine mammals to invertebrates,  Dr. Francis-Floyd has a vast wealth of experience and insight.  Her passion and propensity for problem-solving  and bringing disparate groups together to examine complex problems make her a well-storied, engaging, and informative presenter, and we are honored to have her joining us next week.

Dr. Francis-Floyd will be presenting on her work looking at an important outbreak of disease sea urchins ion Tuesday, October 11th at 12:15 PM in the North Theater at the College of Veterinary Medicine, and will give a lecture on Health Management of Tropical Fish in CBS 817 at 4:15 PM on Thursday, October 13th, in South Theater. She will be available for meetings and discussions during her visit; any interested faculty who would like to talk with Dr. Francis-Floyd about her research, can contact Dr. Michael Stoskopf  to make arrangements.

Wright_James_portrait no label2008-01-13

Dr. Jim Wright

The Jim Wright Visiting Scholar program is a tribute to Dr. James F. Wright, who was an esteemed member of the faculty at NCSU’s CVM.  Dr. Wright came to NCSU and joined the CVM faculty after a very productive and interesting career that included many  contributions to the discipline of zoological medicine.  Dr. Wright was was the first full-time veterinarian at the National Zoo in the 1950s and helped refine protocols for projectile tranquilization and immobilization of wildlife both in the USA and in Africa.   He conducted important investigations into the health effects of radiation, and worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to study the effects of environmental stress on animals before joining the faculty at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in the early 1980s  in what was then the Department of Microbiology, Parasitology, and Pathology.  Over 10 years, from 1984 to 2004, working with his good friend, the former head of pathology at UNC Chapel Hill, Dr. Fred Dahldorf, Dr. Wright pioneered the in-house pathology services at the Zoological Park, and in so doing planted the earliest seeds for what has become a long and productive partnership between the NC Zoo and the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is remembered not only for his work, but for his warmth and his dedication, and is an honorary diplomate of the ACZM.

Dr. Jim Wright, carefully cutting tissues

Dr. Jim Wright, carefully collects tissue samples at the NC Zoo.

New Graduate Student Focuses on Snowshoe Hares

meerkat-kalahari-crop-med Dr. Brett Gardner arrived in Raleigh from South Africa this most recent August ready to experience a new phase of his career as a wildlife veterinarian.  A graduate of the veterinary college in South Africa, Dr. Gardner has had several year experience as a clinical veterinarian at the Johannesburg Zoo before striking out on his own as a wildlife veterinarian and consultant.  He has been involved in many interesting field studies and worked with a wide variety of African wildlife in a wide range of environments.

mandril-tuberculin-crop-medWe are delighted that he has chosen to come to NCSU to pursue research education.  Dr. Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf is his major professor and his projected dissertation work is focused on expanding our understanding of the physiology of the snowshoe hare.  Dr.  Scott Mills, now of University of Montana, but still actively collaborating with NCSU is another key graduate committee member.  Dr. Gardner intends to take advantage of the captive colony of snowshoe hares Dr. Mills established associated with the Phenotron at NCSU’s CVM as he hopes to help develop field suitable physiological assessment techniques that might help improve research on prey species in the wild.


Levine New MEAS Dept Head

levine-jayDr. Jay Levine, professor of epidemiology at NCSU’s CVM and a key faculty member of the EMC has agreed to take on the task of leading the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Science at NCSU.  Dr. Levine is known for his aquatic health work, including leading the development of “Sturgeon City” in Jacksonville, NC and his groundbreaking work with fresh water mussels.

He has agreed to spend the next 2 years leading MEAS faculty as an interim department head while they reorganize and develop their department.   In that role he will be working closely with Dr. David Bristol the executive associate dean of COS, another talented CVM faculty member who is lending his expertise to the College of Science.