Zoo staff recognized for exemplary expertise

Have you reached a milestone, received an award or conquered the world (at least your little corner of it) lately? Let us know at torch@si.edu. We want to toot your horn for you! Be sure to include your contact information and a picture as an attachment.

National Zoo

Dennis Kelly, director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, was sworn in as the new chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums at their 2016 annual conference. When addressing the attendees at the conference, Dennis urged all AZA zoos to be leaders in animal care, to make them as safe for staff and visitors as possible, to become active forces in conservation, and to more effectively communicate with their more than 186 million visitors each year about zoos’ work to save species. Read his speech.

Portrait of Kelly with flingos in background

Dennis Kelly, director of the National Zoo and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Jonathan D. Ballou, research scientist emeritus, received the AZA’s prestigious Devra Kleiman Scientific Advancement Award for outstanding scientific research contributions to the field of animal management, education, and conservation within the zoo and aquarium community. For more than three decades, Ballou’s pioneering work in conservation genetics has played an instrumental role in saving species, including golden lion tamarins, black-footed ferrets, California condors, Sumatran tigers, Florida panthers, Bali mynahs, and giant pandas. His theoretical basis for the mean kinship-based method for the genetic management is the standard used worldwide for breeding recommendations. Read more.

portrait of Ballou

Jonathan D. Ballou, research scientist emeritus with the National Zoo.

Several Zoo staff members received certificates at the honors and awards luncheon for their dedication and service to AZA’s Animal Programs:

  • Sara Hallager, 15 years, Kori Bustard
  • Kristen Clark, 10 years, Elegant Crested Tinamou
  • Lauren Augustine, 5 years, Flowerback Box Turtle, 5 years, Indochinese Box Turtle, 5 years, Southern Vietnamese Flowerback Box Turtle
  • Gilbert Myers, 5 years Chinese Goral
  • Rebecca Stites, 5 years, Bobcat
Sara with chick

Sara Gallager, curator of birds for the National Zoo, with the 50th Kori Bustard chick hatched at the Zoo.

Katherine Hope and Dr. Priscilla Joyner have passed the board exam for the American College of Zoological Medicine and are now ACZM diplomates, joining a select group of fewer than 250 diplomates around the world.

Veterinarians seeking to take the ACZM exam must have first published five papers in peer-reviewed journals and have extensive post-veterinary training and experience. The exam itself is administerd over two days: the first day consists of five parts encompassing all aspects of zoo, wildlife, and aquatic medicine covering all taxonomic groups. If candidates pass all five sections, they may move on to the second day of the exam, which focuses on one of four subspecialties. Both Katherin and Priscilla chose to specialize in general zoo-based medicine.

Posted: 7 October 2016
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