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kirsten gilardi


When They Were Students

The photos below are of One Health Institute faculty members. The photos were taken back when they were students accumulating the knowledge and skills that prepared them for the important work they do today. 

Woutrina Smith

“They had said it was too hard to build a career in wildlife so I trained up in small animal and exotics in vet school. Then I realized people had also told me it was too hard to go to vet school so I should just go to med school. Well, someone’s got to do all these things… why not us?”

Woutrina, Associate Professor of Epidemiology

Kirsten Gilardi

"The summer right after graduation from veterinary school (more than 20 years ago - yikes!), I spent 6 weeks in the Peruvian Amazon with my husband Jamie, surveying wild parrot species for viruses known to infect captive birds. The project was the culmination of a lot of mentoring and support I received while I was a veterinary student, especially from Walter Boyce, Linda Lowenstine, and Murray Fowler.

In this sunrise photo, it's the end of the season and we're starting our boat trip back down the Manu River from our field camp, heading home to Davis to start a residency in Primate Medicine. So the smile is for a lot of things: excitement about embarking on next steps as a brand-new (wildlife!) veterinarian, but mostly about the prospect of a hot shower and a cold beer."

— Kirsten, Co-Director of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center

Jonna Mazet

"After working in a small animal clinic throughout high school, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I also wanted to apply what I was learning in a broader way. Luckily, I was able to get involved in research in my early years of veterinary school, which exposed me to what our profession could contribute to wildlife and the world. Little did I know that I was working with and meeting people with whom I would continue to partner throughout my career. Check out Walter Boyce (on the right) in his first faculty lab; he and I would later become Co-Directors of the Wildlife Health Center for 15 years!"

Jonna, Director of the UC Davis One Health Institute

Mike Ziccardi

"While at UCD for vet school, I was fortunate enough to have some exceptional mentors to help me pursue my career path in free-ranging wildlife medicine. Dave Jessup at that time was with the Department of Fish and Game's Wildlife Investigations Lab, and helped foster my interests by allowing me to tag along during some of their many different activities, including net-gun captures of bighorn sheep out of helicopters in Southern California. These experiences not only helped me to (eventually) become a wildlife veterinarian, but they showed me the power of taking the time and energy to foster and encourage interested and energetic students with a passion for wildlife; efforts we continue to promote here at the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center!"

Mike, Co-Director of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center

Tracey Goldstein

“Just another day in the office... Working with wildlife and studying their diseases can bring us to many diverse locales. How lucky are we? But don't underestimate that discipline, long days and rigor are needed to do this kind of work.”

Tracey, Lab Director, Associate Director of the UC Davis One Health Institute

Christine Johnson

"Veterinary school was a last minute career decision for me, as I was headed to medical school like all of the other students interested in science at my undergraduate school. In fact pre-vet career counseling was not even an option at my school, only pre-med. I can honestly say that since that decision, there’s never been a dull moment, which has made this an absolutely perfect career." 

Christine, Associate Director of the UC Davis One Health Institute



6 Pieces of Advice For Your Career in One Health (VIDEOS)

Navigating your education can be daunting and overwhelming. One way to add clarity to the process is to gather information from those who have already traveled their paths and familiarized themselves with the terrain. 

That's why the Students for One Health hosted a panel at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in early 2014. The goal was to give current veterinary students a chance to pick the brains of three faculty members and two PhD students, all of whom are working in the fields of One Health and wildlife. Their advice can be found in the videos below. 

1. One Health for wildlife vets 

2. Choosing the right path

3. MPVM vs. PhD

4. Effective emails & resumes

5. The political realm

6. Marketing yourself

The panel included, left to right: Tristan Burgess, DVM, PhD Candidate, Deana Clifford, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Kirsten Gilardi, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, Christine Johnson, DVM, MPVM, PhD, and Lisa Shender, MS, DVM, PhD Candidate. 

Related: The Power of Asking