We share a passion and a vision to heal the planet by focusing on the critical, but oft-overlooked sector of animal health.
Kate Sulzner, DVM, MPVM, Cert. Conservation Management
A self-described ‘big picture' person, Kate gravitates toward interdisciplinary projects that are balanced in their approach and employ strategies and interventions aimed at optimizing conditions for humans, animals, and the environment. Reflecting a desire to better understand the socio-economic and eco-epidemiologic factors underpinning biodiveristy loss and emerging health problems, Dr. Sulzner pursued a broad path of training and has held a variety of professional roles in academic, non-profit, and private sector settings. Bridging work as a practitioner and a research scientist, she has more than 18 years of combined experience in wildlife health research, conservation management, epidemiology, and clinical veterinary medicine. Her work has taken her to rural and urban areas across North America as well as varied landscapes in Central America, South America, and Africa. Kate enjoys collaborating with people of diverse backgrounds and is drawn to projects that are rooted in cross-sectoral and cross-cultural partnerships. She is passionate about bringing people together to learn, laugh, inspire and train. Ultimately, she strives to work with others to produce sustainable, community-driven solutions that enhance the daily lives of people, while simultaneously allowing animals and natural systems to thrive. At home in San Francisco, California, Kate manages San Francisco Zoo’s Conservation Medicine Program and moonlights as a private practice veterinarian. She also relishes her role as partner, to her architect-husband, Jerome, and mom to kids, Arlo and Zeya, and dog, Gayle.
Terra Kelly DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM
Terra has over 14 years of experience as a veterinarian and epidemiologist. Her main focus is on health issues affecting animals and people and their shared environment. She is an epidemiologist at the One Health Institute in the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where her research focuses on diverse population health issues. She manages a number of multidisciplinary projects involving government, academic, and private organizations in the U.S., Asia, and Africa. Terra is active in international research and capacity enhancing programs designed to improve our understanding of disease dynamics at the animal-human-environmental interface and developing strategies for minimizing disease risk. She leads activities for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats Program PREDICT project in Ghana and contributes to the project’s efforts to build surveillance capacity for emerging infectious diseases. Terra also works in collaboration with government agencies to address important health threats, including development of innovative tools to enhance wildlife disease surveillance. She is the founder and chief executive officer of EpiEcos LLC, a small business that applies creative and rigorous approaches to solving health challenges facing animals and people.
Sophia Papageorgiou DVM, MPVM, PhD
Sophia has a passion for animals and the outdoors and is fascinated with the world of infectious diseases. This passion led her to the University of California Davis for a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Zoology and then Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine (DVM, 1996) in wildlife and international conservation medicine. She has worked with a spectrum of wildlife species including large carnivores, hoofstock, elephants, mesocarnivores, rodents, bats, and numerous avian and reptile species. A field investigation on African elephants ignited her passion to work as an international field researcher and she completed a PhD in epidemiology (2011) emphasizing wildlife epidemiology and infectious diseases (emerging, zoonoses, vector-borne, disease ecology). Dr. Papageorgiou worked with Dr. Janet Foley at the University of California in Davis and conducted international field research on tick-borne pathogens in a population of Mongolian reindeer. Specifically, Sophia's research investigated tick-borne diseases in reindeer and domestic ungulates that interface in a dramatic taiga and grassland-forest steppe landscape. Her findings showed that there is a high prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in these animals, particularly in the reindeer. The next research step is to investigate tick-borne pathogens in ticks and small mammal hosts and understand the disease ecology of tick-borne infections in these ecosystems. This research collaboration with Dr. Foley contributes to our knowledge of tick-borne diseases in remote landscapes and provides data identifying the extent of tick-borne pathogens across the Pacific Rim.
Professionally Sophia would like to focus on field and laboratory research implementing the ‘one health’ and ‘ecosystem health’ paradigms to advance health in wildlife and domestic species, as well as the habitats in which animals and people live. In addition, she would like to train students in epidemiology, ecosystem health, and the newly defined global and one health sciences that link these disciplines.
Elizabeth VanWormer DVM, MPVM, PhD
Liz is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. She focuses on health at the interface of humans, animals and the environment in the U.S. and internationally. She uses the One Health approach, bringing together diverse stakeholders, disciplines and perspectives to address complex health challenges facing people, animals and ecosystems.
She works with interdisciplinary teams and local stakeholders to study the effects of environmental change, including changes in rainfall and water availability, on animal, human and ecosystem health. In the U.S., she investigates how land-use and precipitation change impact parasite loading and runoff from coastal watersheds to the ocean. In Tanzania, she studies the transmission of zoonotic diseases from wildlife to people at sites with high levels of human-wildlife interaction. She also investigates human and livestock health in pastoralist communities in a water-scarce region of Tanzania, and works with local primary schools to collect climate data.
After receiving a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California, Davis, she spend three years living and working on One Health projects in Tanzania. She also holds a veterinary medicine degree and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Michigan State University.
Christine Fiorello DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM
Dr. Fiorello received her veterinary degree from Tufts University and her doctorate in ecology from Columbia University, where she studied the disease ecology of South American carnivores. Christine has over 15 years of experience working with captive and free-ranging wildlife, including carnivores, tapirs, armadillos, and spectacled bears. She completed a small animal internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, and earned her ACZM Board Certification following a residency in Zoological Medicine at the University of Florida. Before joining UC Davis' Oiled Wildlife Conservation Network (OWCN) team in 2010, Christine spent a year as a Clinical Instructor at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and then was an Assistant Professor of Zoological Medicine at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to her teaching, clinical, and research activities at UGA, she acted as the Faculty Director of the Wildlife Treatment Crew. During oil spill response, Christine acts as the Care and Processing Group Supervisor or Care Unit Leader, and clinical veterinarian in the rehabilitation center, working largely with seabirds.