Resident and Intern

Dr. Tess Degan with a pinniped


Dr. Tess Deegan

Dr. Tess Deegan is the incoming University of Florida Aquatic Animal Medicine Resident. After obtaining her DVM from the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, she completed a small animal rotating internship at a large specialty hospital outside of Boston. After her year in small animal medicine, she has served as the Veterinary Fellow at the Vancouver Aquarium. Dr. Deegan is excited to join the UF Team and continue to grow as an aquatic animal veterinarian.


Deegan, T. C., Niemeyer, M., Colegrove, K. M., Rotstein, D. S., & Sharp, S. M. (2023). Pathology of short-term dorsal fin tag-attachments in tagged and re-stranded short-beaked common dolphins Delphinus delphis on Cape Cod, MA. Diseases of aquatic organisms156, 29–38.

Dr. Amber Lum with Sea lion


Dr. Amber Lum

Dr. Amber Lum is the current University of Florida Aquatic Animal Medicine Resident. After obtaining her DVM from the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, she completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She then worked as the Veterinary Intern in Aquatic Animal Medicine and Research at Mystic Aquarium. As she begins her residency, she will continue participating in research and function as a house officer on the Zoological Medicine Service. Dr. Lum will then continue her clinical training at Bush Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando for the remainder of her residency program. After completing her residency, she hopes to become boarded as a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine and work at an aquarium that also incorporates rescue and rehabilitation in its mission.


Lum, A.M., Keller, K.A. 2024. Anesthesia and humane euthanasia methods for king worm larvae (Zophobas morio). Zoo Biol.

Lum, A.M., Miller, S.N., Clauss, T.M., Anderson, C.E. 2023. Physiologic responses of cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) following freshwater dips for treatment of capsalid monogeneans. J Aquat Anim Health.

Dr. Kaitlyn Upton, the Aquatic Animal Health Program 2023-2024 intern with a dog.


Dr. Kaitlyn Upton

Dr. Kaitlyn Upton received a degree in biology from Texas Christian University and then attended vet school at Texas A&M University. She completed a large animal rotating internship at the University of Tennessee prior to moving to Gainesville with her dog, Atlas. Her professional interests include parasitology and internal medicine. She is looking forward to learning all about aquatic animal medicine this year!


Upton, K. E., Budke, C. M., Verocai, G. G. Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in carnivores kept in zoos located in Texas, USA: risk perception, practices, and antigen detection. Parasites & Vectors, 16, 2023.

Upton, K. E., Dunham, K., Di Bernardo, J. P., Mulon, P-Y. Congestive heart failure secondary to both congenital and acquired defects in a Guernsey heifer. Veterinary Record Case Reports, 2023:e593.

Upton, K. E., Sobotyk, C., Edwards, E., Verocai, G. G. Dirofilaria immitis in an Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus) from southeastern Louisiana, United States. Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports, 29, 2022.

Sobotyk, C., Upton, K. E., Lejeune, M., Nolan, T. J., Marsh, A. E., Herrin, B. H., Borst, M. M., Piccione, J., Zajac, A. M., Camp, L. E., Pulaski, C. N., Starkey, L. A., von Simson, C., Verocai, G. G. Retrospective study of canine endoparasites diagnosed by fecal flotation methods analyzed across veterinary parasitology diagnostic laboratories, United States, 2018. Parasites & Vectors, 14(1), 2021.

University of Florida


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Animal Airwaves

Animal Airwaves is a daily radio series that features one-minute segments relating to animal health, ranging from insights into animal behavior to veterinary patient care breakthroughs and trends.

Animal Airwaves