Q: The place was your internship this summer season?!
A: In pursuit of a profession in zoological drugs, 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 needed to return to my residence state for a summer season internship involving wildlife drugs. 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 Copy and Conservation (SEZARC). Directed by Dr. Linda Penfold, SEZARC works on replica challenges in a number of US zoos and aquariums throughout the nation. A few of their work includes fertility checks, assisted replica, 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 easy methods to look at semen traits microscopically from stingrays, sharks, tigers, okapis, and lots of different species! I realized easy methods to make the most of ELISA to detect hormone concentrations in elephant stool samples. Within the discipline, I realized easy methods to accumulate and cryopreserve semen samples from tigers and cheetahs for genome banking functions. I carried out literature searches on replica info for varied zoo animals within the workplace.
Along with interning at SEZARC, the group’s connections with different conservation/zoological amenities in North Florida opened up some sudden doorways. I shadowed zoo veterinarians from White Oak Conservation and the Jacksonville Zoo! Underneath 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 acquire 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, information assortment and entry, lab work, and paper writing, I really feel I left with a well-rounded understanding of the aim of wildlife replica analysis for conservation. SEZARC mixed my passions for zoological drugs and theriogenology in methods I may have by no means imagined. I hope to proceed working in analysis as a veterinary pupil 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 grow to be a zoo veterinarian as a strategy to take part in ex situ conservation work.