Title: Veterinary page
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088917/00037
 Material Information
Title: Veterinary page
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
Publisher: College of Veterinary Medicine
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: July 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00088917
Volume ID: VID00037
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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UF veterinary pathologist plays key role in sea turtle recovery effort


W hen an unprecedented cold snap hit Florida in January and twice the number of
sea turtle strandings occurred in 10 days that normally take place in a year,
University of Florida clinical assistant professor Brian Stacy, D.V.M. Ph.D., took a
lead role in supervising federal efforts to rescue and relocate large numbers of turtles back into
the wild. Three months later, the Deep Horizon oil spill thrust Stacy, a veterinarian working
under a collaborative agreement with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries' Service Office of
Protected Resources, once again into crisis management mode.
"It's like the cold stun protracted out over months, with no end in sight," said Stacy, 35, a
board-certified veterinary pathologist who has made several trips to the Gulf conducting live
captures and performing necropsies on sea turtles found dead in or near the spill-affected area.
"My technician and I have worked consistent 18-hour days under hot field conditions, away
from home for weeks at a time, living in temporary housing. It's hard work, to say the least, and
I've been going at it for more than 60 days now."
Biological scientist Jennifer Muller has accompanied Stacy on all of his trips to the Gulf,
assisting in all aspects of animal necropsies and the handling of live animals.
"She is also invaluable in maintaining the necessary evidence documentation," said Stacy
on June 23, back in Gainesville after his most recent trip to the Gulf. He worked offshore in
Venice, La., where many of the clean-up operations are based out of for the primary spill site,
within miles of the Deep Horizon wreck, and in Gulfport, Miss., where he performed 67 sea
turtle necropsies at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.
"We'd been at it for three weeks, and we were at a stage where our objectives and logistics
had to be reassessed," Stacy said. "The concern had been raised that the same habitat where we
were recovering turtles was being targeted for some of the bur operations. Since most of us
had been there for three weeks, it was a good time to transition."
Although the common public assumption might be that all sea turtles collected after the
spill have died because of oil related causes, Stacy found that more than half of the animals
examined had ocean-floor sediment in their lungs or airways, indicating that they may have
died from drowning after being caught in fishing nets. His preliminary findings were reported
June 25 in the New York Times, although additional test results are pending.
Stacy has also not yet completed examinations on the bulk of the turtles that have been
found dead.
On June 25, approximately 300 dead turtles from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and
Louisiana arrived at UF for necropsy in various stages of decomposition. Each turtle was
logged in and placed inside a 20-foot storage freezer and the chain of custody was transferred
to Stacy, in compliance with federal requirements.
"All of the necessary information came with the animals," Stacy said. "We are just going to
try to move through fairly efficiently and stay organized. Jennifer really is my right hand."
Biological samples from the turtles are sent to laboratories designated by the Unified
Command, which consists of federal and state government as well as private entities, including
BP, to respond to the spill.
Helen Golde, the deputy director of NOAA's Office of Protected Resources, said, "We are
fortunate to have Dr. Stacy working as the primary sea turtle vet for NOAA's marine animal
health team. He is invaluable as we work through the Unified Command to respond to the
Deepwater Horizon spill. Dr. Stacy's experience in veterinary medicine and sea turtle p.nl ,h.1i ,-
are unique and he is leading these critical elements of the overall effort."
Although Stacy's role is unique, he relies on expertise from the community of veterinarians
he is able to tap into through his contacts at other state and federal agencies as well as colleges
and universities.
"From top to bottom, there's a lot involved when it comes to animal welfare and the
postmortem site," said Stacy, who received the UF College of Veterinary Medicine's most
prestigious award for graduate research in 2008 just prior to receiving his Ph.D. degree.
He added that the two most distressing things about his experience so far have been
experiencing the scale of the spill and seeing animals completely mired in hot oil.
"It's a terrible way for an animal to die," Stacy said.
There was a bit of good news. Of approximately 60 sea turtles Stacy and his team were able
to rescue, most survived.
"All are still in rehabilitation facilities, and eventually will be released," Stacy said. "We're
still in the learning process of determining how the oil will affect them, both in this key interval
and longer term. There is a lot of ongoing effort to identify release sites that are biologically
appropriate and that are out of harm's way."
As for Stacy, who knows his work will continue indefinitely, he is doing his best to stay
focused on the job at hand.

Dr. Brian Stacy with an oiled sea turtle in the Gulf of Mexico during one of his recent trips.
(Photo courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association)

"What keeps me going is helping animals, and the fact that the attention this situation is
getting right now is an opportunity to shed light on some of the important concerns in the Gulf
of Mexico for sea turtles," Stacy said. "You just try to find the hours here and there when you
can compartmentalize and put it out of your mind. My wife and family are very supportive, and
that is critical."

CVM offers planning, hands-on assistance
to governmental agencies in wake of oil spill
Members of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine faculty,
under the administration of UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, are
providing assistance through contracts with the National Marine Fisheries Service's
Office of Protected Resources.
A Unified Area Command structure links the organizations responding to specific
incidents, and teams have been assigned to deal with each species. Right now there
are four people from the UF CVM who are associated with different teams. These
individuals are involved in the teams dealing with sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and
large whales. The only species we are not actively involved in dealing with at this
point is birds.
College administration is working to prepare a short-term animal rescue and
rehabilitation plan. Thus far, the short-term plan has involved assisting the federal
government in identifying additional qualified veterinarians who will supplement
existing staff support at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and Gulf World Marine
Park in Panama City. As part of this effort, a full-time contract veterinarian has been
provided to the Audubon Zoo. The college also provides veterinary services for
Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which has received a handful of sea turtles with
medical problems that could be related to the oil spill. At the Lowry Park Zoo,
assistance is being provided to aid in the care of critically ill manatees in preparation
for the possible influx of manatees affected by the spill.
Longer term, college researchers will be analyzing the toxicological risks associ-
ated with both swimming in potentially contaminated water and the consumption of
seafood. College administrators also will be investigating other opportunities to
conduct research relating to possible new diseases of humans and animals that could
emerge as the result of the oil spill.
(For more information, seep.2)

Oil -pill response

Who's doing what within the college

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Gibbs named associate dean for

students and instruction

P aul Gibbs, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., a veterinarian and virologist in the University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medicine's department of infectious diseases and p.iiliol,I ., has
been named associate dean for students and instruction at the college.
Gibbs has had a long and distinguished career as a member of UF's veterinary faculty, on
which he has served since 1979, when he became a founding faculty member. He has been a
full professor in the college since 1981 and also holds joints appointment with the College of
Medicine's department of molecular genetics and microbiology as well as with the College of
Public Health and Health Professions' department of environmental and global health.
He was instrumental in the establishment of a joint Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master's
of Public Health degree program offered by the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Public
Health and Health Professions in 2007. Between five and 10 students enroll in this program
every year during their freshman year.
Gibbs has been very involved in student curriculum issues as previous past chairman of the
college's curriculum committee, and has regularly worked with state and other governmental
agencies to aid in the identification of foreign animal diseases. Gibbs helped to develop an on-
line training course in this topic that can be taken as continuing education by veterinarians
practicing in the state of Florida.
Gibbs also has developed a course in International Animal Health aimed at veterinarians
practicing in the developing world. In addition, he has helped Florida middle and high-school
students learn more about emerging diseases by partnering with science teachers throughout the
state to provide them with training tools on emerging diseases
From 1994-1999, Gibbs directed UF's International Center, a position in which he served
as the university's chief international officer. As a virologist, his career focus continues on the
international control and eradication of emerging viral diseases having epidemic potential.
Gibbs said it was a i c.li privilege" to accept his new position at such an exciting and
pivotal time.
"In the 31 years since I was appointed as one of the founding faculty of the college in 1979,
I have seen the college mature and the university grow in stature and size," Gibbs said. "Now,
with the new state-of-the-art UF Small Animal Hospital opening soon and an increased student
enrollment to 100 students per year, the college is entering a new phase of its history."
He said the changing world we live in and particularly the past 10 years have been particu-
larly challenging.
"The events of 9/11, the spate of emerging diseases, increasing concern over the environ-
ment, the exponential increase in computerized information and the recent economic crisis have
changed the role of the veterinary profession here in the United States and indeed worldwide,"
Gibbs said. "Veterinarians are now involved in protecting and promoting animal and human
health in so many more ways than just a decade ago."
He added that the sophistication of modem surgery and medicine continues to grow, along
with the number of veterinary graduates who choose to specialize further after receiving their
D.VM. degrees.
"While many of our graduates continue to enter practice in the U.S., a surprisingly large
number are serving in the military, the pharmaceutical industry, state and federal government
and other less traditional roles," he said. "Our graduates span the globe. The nation expects
much of our veterinary students, but they have much to offer."
Gibbs added, "I hope that in some small way, I can help them be better prepared to meet the
myriad challenges of the 211 century and to become 'citizens of the world.'"

The Veterinary Page is the UF College of Veterinary Medicine's monthly electronic
S internal newsletter. Please send stories to Sarah Carey at careysk@vetmed.ufl.edu.


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Scholar, teacher, friend:

Dr. Kevin Anderson dies after valiant

battle with brain cancer

D r. Kevin J. Anderson, 54, an
associate professor of anatomy and
neurobiology at the University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medicine, died
June 15, 2010 after a long and coura-
geous fight with brain cancer.
Anderson had been a member of the
UF CVM faculty since 1988, and taught
gross anatomy to every veterinary student
Sii . ii class since then. UF veterinary students
Snchose him several times to receive their
..f 2::c .. top teaching awards, given by individual
classes and also by the Student Chapter of
ji the American Veterinary Medical
This past spring, he was named the
college's College Council 2010 Teacher
of the Year, the highest teaching honor
bestowed by the council based on criteria
including knowledge of subject matter,
Dr. Kevin Anderson clarity of presentation, concern for
students' mastery of subject, fairness,
enthusiasm for teaching and overall interest in student welfare. Anderson also received the
award in 1990.
In 1994, the college awarded Anderson its prestigious C.E. Cornelius Young Investiga-
tor Award for his research. His most recent research focused on the biomarkers of traumatic
brain injury, and he had received funding support from the Veteran's Administration and
other sources.
Anderson received his undergraduate degree in biology and subsequently a master's
degree in zoology, both from Washington State University. His devotion to and interest in
anatomy took him to the University of Kentucky, where he completed a Ph.D. in anatomy
in 1984. Subsequently, Anderson conducted four years of postdoctoral research at the
University of California, Irvine.
Anderson served for many years as the faculty advisor and ride team leader for Team
Vet Med, a group of cyclists that ride regularly throughout the year and also raise money
for student scholarships. In recognition of Anderson's contributions to the group, the Class
of 2009 donated money to start a scholarship, the Dr. Kevin Anderson Team Vet Med
Scholarship, in his name.
A celebration of Anderson's life will be held sometime in September when many of
UF's veterinary students will return to Gainesville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be
made to the Kevin Anderson Team Vet Med Scholarship at the UF veterinary college; to
UF; to Haven Hospice; or to a memorial of your choice.

Cl'A l Certificate Program expands
to include shelter Imedicine

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Graduate student honored as

"Distinguished Alumnus" by College

of Public Health and Health


T ara Creel Anderson, D.VM., M.P.H., a graduate student at the University of
Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the Outstanding
Alumnus Award from the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions'
department of epidemiology and biostatistics.
The award was made in honor of Anderson's professional practice and
exceptional leadership in the advancement of the health professions. Anderson will
be honored Oct. 16 during reunion activities at the College of Public Health and
Health Professions.
Anderson is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the UF College of Veterinary
Medicine. She received her D.VM. degree from the UF veterinary college in 2003
and her M.P.H. degree from the College of Public Health and Health Professions
in 2007. Because of her interest in both the veterinary and public health fields, she
was active in the creation of the joint D.V.M./M.PH. program at UF that same
Anderson's research interests include emerging and zoonotic viral diseases,
epidemiology and public health. She currently is studying canine influenza virus
under the mentorship of Cynda Crawford, D.VM., Ph.D., and Paul Gibbs, B.V.Sc.,
Ph.D. Her research focuses on diagnostic test development, epidemiology and
mathematical modeling.
Anderson was a UF Alumni Fellow from 2005-2009 and a Morris Animal
Foundation Fellow in 2008-2009. She also received two notable awards earlier this
year, the Madelyn Lockhart Dissertation Fellowship Award from the Association
for Academic Women and the Emerging Scholar Award from the Office of the
President. After graduation, Anderson hopes to pursue a career in infectious
disease research that will benefit both animal and public health.

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