Dr. Miceala Shocklee is the current University of Florida Aquatic Animal Medicine Intern. She completed her undergraduate degree at the California Institute of Technology and her veterinary degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Miceala returned to the U.S. to undertake her rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital in California. Miceala's professional interests center around wildlife and zoological species disease and conservation, with particular interest in aquatic and marine mammal species and in the impact of anthropogenic activity on wild animal health.
Dr. Sarah Balik completed her internship in 2021. Her research included a dolphin microbiota study, and the first case report of Sarcocystis infection in an Atlantic spotted dolphin which she presented at IAAAM.. After graduating from the AAH program, Dr. Balik accepted the fellowship position at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. She plans to continue to her studies in aquarium medicine during this exciting fellowship opportunity!
Dr. Laura Burns completed her internship in 2020. Her research focused on evaluating samples for brain injury biomarkers or proteins found in the tissue or blood of cetaceans and manatees. Following her internship, Dr. Burns accepted a position as an Emergency Vet in Georgia. Following this position, Dr. Burns accepted the first ever zoological speciality internship at her alma mater, UGA. She plans to apply for a residency position following this internship. Dr. Burns is also currently working on a few publications in which she hopes to have published by early next year!
Dr. Weisbrod completed her internship in 2019. During the program she worked with aquatic and terrestrial species ranging from fish and manatees to bongos and babirusas. Her research involved pathologic entamoebiasis in frogs, dolphin lipidomics, and use of advanced imaging techniques for postmortem examination in a bottlenose dolphin. She was able to present her findings at the 2019 IAAAM conference in Durban, South Africa. Following completion of her internship, Dr. Weisbrod started a master's degree in the aquatic animal health program. Her project will focus on diagnostic strategies and management of parasitic enteritis in the Florida manatee. Dr. Weisbrod was also accepted into the UF Aquatic Animal Health Residency in 2020 and will be in training for the next three years with the program.
Dr. Peterson completed her internship with the AAH Program in 2018. Her research involved the detection and identification of papilloma virus in dolphins which lead to a presentation at the 2018 IAAAM conference. She continued on her training after her internship at AAH, to the Baltimore National Aquarium. During her time there, she completed a one year fellowship working with the wide range of species from bats to puffins to skates and so many more. In addition, Dr. Peterson developed a research project about gastrointestinal disease in Milky Tree Frogs. Dr. Peterson valued her educational and hands on experience with the aquatic and terrestrial animals at the National Aquarium and looks forward to using what she learned in the future. Following this fellowship, Dr. Peterson has moved onto an internship at the Jacksonville Zoo. She was able to strengthen her skills as a clinician at the zoo. She then obtained an associate position at the Florida Aquarium where she will join Dr. Waxman in caring for the growing collection. We look forward to continue to collaborate with Dr. Peterson in her new position.
Dr. Waxman's internship at AAH gave her a wide range of experiences in fish, manatee and cetacean health. Her research included the basic groundwork of detecting herpes virus in bottlenose dolphins in which she presented at IAAAM that year. Subsequent to her internship at UF, she obtained an associate veterinarian position at Miami Seaquarium. During her time at Miami, Dr. Waxman was able to assist with many manatee rehabilitation efforts and offer assistance in a wide case load for the Miami Seaquarium residents. Currently, Dr. Waxman is now happy to be back at the Florida Aquarium (FLAQ) as an staff veterinarian where she helps manage their growing collection and their new sea turtle rehabilitation hospital. The UF AAH Program looks forward to continue working with Dr. Waxman at FLAQ.
Dr. Vorbach completed his internship in AAH in 2016, working with everything from cetaceans to manatees to reptiles to fish. During his time working at UF's Tropical Aquaculture Lab (TAL), he completed pharmacokinetic research involving the giant danio. He is continuing to collaborate with Dr. Yanong at TAL on further research projects on this species. Following the completion of his internship, he moved to the National Aquarium in Baltimore for a fellowship where he gained addition experience with the large collection of aquatic and terrestrial animals cared for at the aquarium. In June 2018 Dr. Vorbach took a position as an associate veterinarian at the South Carolina Aquarium, working primarily with fish and sea turtles.