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On Friday, September 18, 2020 at 12 PM Central, the Saint Louis Science Center, along with 17 other Smithsonian Affiliates, will present a special online program in collaboration with researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, We Are All Connected: Saving Species and Preventing Pandemics. This hour-long program will feature a presentation from researchers in the Global Health Program and will include the opportunity for audience participants to submit questions in the chat.
The event will be a simultaneous broadcast to Smithsonian Affiliate partners across the U.S.
Our current global health crisis has highlighted the ways in which the health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably linked—a concept central to the work of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program. Dr. Maureen Kamau is a Smithsonian veterinary research fellow with the Global Health Program and is based at the Mpala Research Center in Laikipia, Kenya. Through her fellowship, she participates in clinical care of Kenya’s native wildlife and conducts various research projects in wildlife population health and conservation. Maureen will share her experiences following this unique career path, how her research in Kenya relates to current concerns around infectious disease and pandemics, and how her careful study of poop has been instrumental in working to save the Eastern Black Rhino.
Featuring: Maureen Kamau
Veterinary Research Fellow in One Health, Global Health Program, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Dr. Kamau is a veterinary research fellow in One Health with the Global Health Program, which takes a One Health approach to improve the lives of wildlife, people, and domestic animals. In partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, Mpala Research Centre, and Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy, she is based in Laikipia, Kenya, to increase regional wildlife veterinary capacity, conduct research, and contribute to outreach and training. She is passionate about applying her acquired professional and practical skills to positively impact society. In particular, she hopes to contribute to wildlife conservation and help subsistence farmers and policymakers make better-informed decisions from evidence-based scientific findings.
Her profound love for animals guided her choice to pursue a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nairobi, known for its strong One Health program, from which she graduated in 2016. She then underwent a one-year internship at the Kenya Wildlife Service where she gained extensive field wildlife veterinary experience. During this time, disease ecology at the human-wildlife interface piqued at her interest.
In the advent of anthropogenic-driven ecological change and the rise in wildlife involvement in emerging infectious diseases, it is ever more apparent that wildlife health is inextricably linked to human and livestock health. The Veterinary Research Fellowship in One Health provides Dr. Kamau with a unique opportunity to leverage her skills in carrying out regionally relevant research geared toward wildlife health and conservation, human health, and livestock health. With the understanding that One Health is a collaborative effort, she enjoys working with and learning from her Smithsonian colleagues and other partners to achieve meaningful and sustainable conservation and public health outcomes and advance her career as a veterinary researcher.
Program Specialist, Global Health Program, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Veronica Galicia, LVT serves as the program specialist for Smithsonian’s Global Health Program. Veronica assists GHP’S mission-critical programs including facilitating multiple overseas projects. She also assists with all aspects of research projects including design and procurement, sample collection, and processing. Additionally, she supports field veterinarians while home and abroad. Veronica is also active in grant writing and manuscript submissions. Prior to joining the Global Health Team, she had been a zoo and wildlife veterinary technician at Smithsonian’s National Zoo for 11 years, with international work experience in Africa, Latin American, and Asia. Her international experience includes work with the Chinese government assisting radio-collaring of Przewalski’s horses for reintroduction back into the wild, and research on primate cardiac disease in Drills at the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon. As a volunteer for the Humane Society of the United States international outreach program, she has provided hands-on experiential training for veterinary students on spay and neuter programs across Latin America and India. Her extensive experience and skills are very valuable toward the continuing mission in capacity building and training for the Global Health Program.
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