Women Who Make a Difference for Wildlife
It’s International Women’s Day and at PCI, a women-owned business, we’re celebrating incredible trailblazers in wildlife care and conservation. There are many inspiring women, it’s difficult to just spotlight a few, but these clients are worth a shout out for their extraordinary strides in wildlife protection and conservation. Who else would you nominate for this list?
Dr. Raven Jackson-Jewett, D.V.M, Attending Veterinarian
Dr. Raven Jackson-Jewett is a trailblazer for Black women in veterinary sciences. From a young age, she knew her calling was in the veterinary field. However, with 95 percent of veterinarians being Caucasian – and primarily male – she overcame many obstacles and has blazed a trail for other Black women in this scientific career field. Dr. Jackson-Jewett oversees the medical care for over 300 chimpanzees at the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary located in Louisiana. Chimp Haven and Dr. J’s work are featured in the six-part National Geographic documentary “Meet the Chimps,” released in Fall 2020 and currently available on Disney+.
Amy Fultz, Director of Behavior, Education and Research
Amy Fultz is visionary. While working in a biomedical research facility providing care for chimpanzees who were medical research subjects, she conceptualized the idea of a retirement sanctuary for the chimpanzees and advanced that idea all the way to Congress where it eventually become law and a federal sanctuary system was developed. Since co-founding Chimp Haven in 1995, she has successfully introduced chimpanzees together more than 250 times to create large, dynamic family groups and has been instrumental in creating the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary.
Dr. Sharon Deem, Director of the Institute for Conservation Medicine
Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO
Dr. Sharon Deem is a world-renowned epidemiologist and wildlife veterinarian who works at the front lines of human-animal disease research. The expertise she brings is more critical today than ever before as the world grapples with a global pandemic – a disease that originated in wildlife and spilled over to humans. Dr. Deem’s accomplishments are extensive: she’s a D.V.M., Ph.D., and a Diplomate American College of Zoological Medicine; has published more than 125 scientific papers; co-wrote the textbook One Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Planetary Health; and presented TEDx talks on conservation and One Health, the critical understanding that the health of people, animals and the environment are connected.
Susan G. R. Meyers, Founder and CEO
At an age when many retired professional women are looking to slow down and relax, Susan Myers in Dallas decided instead to start a non-profit to save a beloved species that’s quietly facing extinction. Save Giraffes Now is supporting fieldwork to save the gentle giants in nine countries across Africa. Susan G. R. Myers is a business owner, former JPMorgan investment banker, former high school football coach, published author and motivational speaker. She served on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Zoological Society and the Zoo’s Wildlife Committee. She speaks German, French and Spanish. Susan has traveled to 108 countries on six continents. She has a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and graduated summa cum laude from Wellesley College.
Dr. Lisa Hoopes, Director of Research, Conservation and Nutrition
Dr. Hoopes leads a team of marine scientists (many of them women) at one of the world’s largest research aquariums, conducting field studies globally to better understand our oceans and the animals that live in them. She’s worked on projects with sharks and rays, bottlenose dolphins, African penguins, horseshoe crabs, weedy sea dragons and more. Dr. Hoopes is a physiological ecologist who also oversees the clinical nutrition, from diet development to food procurement, for the aquarium’s 100,000 animals, from the smallest urchins to the largest whale sharks.
Dr. Lauren Smith, Director of Animal Health
Star of the popular National Geographic hit show, Secrets of the Zoo, Dr. Lauren is a Texas native and a child of a military family, Dr. Lauren graduated from Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After earning her veterinary degree, Dr. Lauren spent several years in companion animal practice before being selected for a prestigious internship in aquatic animal medicine at the University of Florida. In that capacity, she worked with a wide variety of species across several facilities throughout Florida. Following completion of that program, Dr. Lauren returned briefly to private practice and spent time in Alaska before joining the veterinary team in ZooTampa in 2015. Dr. Lauren has a passion for aquatic animals and is currently the zoo’s lead manatee veterinarian, managing all care of these gentle giants at the heart of the zoo’s decades of Florida wildlife conservation efforts. Dr. Lauren has helped cement the Zoos role as a leader in saving Florida wildlife.
Dr. Cynthia Stringfield, DVM, Senior VP of Animal Health, Conservation & Education
Dr. Stringfield helps bring critically endangered species back from the edge of extinction. With more than 35 years of experience as a medical professional, she was integral to the California Condor Recovery Program, serving as veterinary coordinator and advisor for 17 years. Condors were nearly extinct with less than two dozen individuals left in the world. Today, more than 200 flying freely again in the Southwest and Mexico. Now, Dr. Stringfield is bringing extensive experience to ZooTampa where she works with United States Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Florida Panther Recovery Program – another endangered species fighting extinction and in need of help.