Faculty in Wildlife Medicine Program

Mark Pokras with Snowy Owl

Mark Pokras, DVM
Associate Professor, Tufts Wildlife Clinic

Mark Pokras is one of the old timers at Tufts Wildlife Clinic, having been a veterinary student at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine from 1980 to 1984, a resident in zoo and wildlife medicine (under Dr. Charles Sedgwick, the Clinic’s first director) from 1985 to 1987, a faculty member since 1988, and Clinic Director from 1995 to 2008. Mark is also one of the founders of Tufts Center for Conservation Medicine (TuftsCCM). Mark grew up in New York, New Jersey, New England, Mexico and Venezuela, and did his undergraduate work at Cornell University. Next he (and wife Martha) worked in marine biological research from 1971 to 1974, and then taught ornithology and marine biology at Stockton State College in New Jersey until Mark entered Cummings School. He regularly consults for a variety of private, state and federal wildlife and environmental agencies on issues of environmental health and policy. Mark’s professional interests include working with students, medicine and surgery of native wildlife (especially birds and reptiles), aquatic birds and environmental health, allometric scaling and conservation biology. He has been doing mortality research on loons since 1987 and is widely recognized for his work on lead poisoning. Mark enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, a variety of outdoor activities, and playing music.

Flo Tseng

Flo Tseng, DVM
Director, Tufts Wildlife Clinic; Associate Professor

As Director of Tufts Wildlife Clinic, Flo Tseng oversees clinic operations and instructs students during their rotations at the clinic. Before joining the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in 2000, she received her DVM from Cornell University in 1981, worked in small animal and exotic private practice and then completed an internship in wildlife medicine at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. After her internship, she was the Director of Veterinary Services at a large rehabilitation center near Seattle until 1996. At that time she became the Research Director and Staff Veterinarian for International Bird Rescue Research Center in Berkeley, California (IBRRC). IBRRC is internationally renowned for their expertise in treating wildlife suffering from the effects of oil spills. Flo’s expertise lies in seabird rehabilitation and the effects of petroleum on these species. She is one of the principal investigators of TuftsCCM’s Seabird Initiative, which has established SEANET, a regional seabird population and mortality monitoring program. In addition, she has interests in the use of analgesics in wildlife species and the ecological factors contributing to wildlife morbidity and mortality. When she is not running around after students and wild animals, she is kept very busy by her daughter, Rosie!

Maureen Murray

Maureen Murray, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (Avian)
Staff Veterinarian, Clinical Assistant Professor

Maureen Murray is a 2003 graduate of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She is currently doing research on rodenticide poisoning in birds of prey at the Clinic. She also has a strong interest in turtle medicine and conservation and avian orthopedics.

GHO

Paula McCarthy
Wildlife Technician

Paula McCarthy has been at Tufts Wildlife Clinic since 2004, first as a volunteer and then as a veterinary technician. She received her B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1982 and obtained an Associates Degree in veterinary technology from the Medical Institute of Minnesota in 1985. She has a special interest in birds, especially raptors, and is fond of turtles. When not at Tufts Wildlife Clinic, Paula assists with the management of her husband’s surgery practice, Veterinary Surgery of Central Mass, acts as a part-time taxi driver for her daughter Sara, keeps her son Nick in line, and spends as much time playing tennis as possible.

Ellen Haynes

Ellen Haynes, DVM
Intern

Ellen is a 2013 graduate of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and spent her first year after graduation as a rotating small-animal intern at a private practice near Philadelphia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Cornell in 2009 and spent her summers during college and vet school working at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. As a veterinary student, she completed externships at the Wildlife Center of Virginia and the National Wildlife Health Center. She is most interested in epidemiology and conservation of North American wildlife and hopes to eventually combine her interests in teaching, research and clinical practice in an academic position. In her free time, she enjoying playing cello, reading, hiking, and sailing.

Priya Patel

Priya Patel, BVM MRCVS
Intern

Priya graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2014. During vet school she participated in the Vets Go Wild program in South Africa, where she participated in the ongoing efforts against rhino poaching and had the opportunity to work up close with these amazing animals. Prior to vet school she worked at the New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth, Massachusetts while earning her bachelor’s degree in biology from Wellesley College. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her family which includes a pack of four rescued hounds that were adopted from Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, Mass.

Christine Powers
Veterinary Technician

Chris began volunteering in early 2013 before becoming a technician for the Wildlife Clinic in May of 2014. She earned her BS from University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2003 and began working in small animal medicine the same year. She passed the VTNE in 2010 and continues to work part time as a veterinary technician in a small animal practice as well as working as an assistant horse trainer in her time away from the Wildlife Clinic. In her free time she enjoys camping and the outdoors with her family, horses, and dog. email Chris

Whitney Stiehler

Whitney Stiehler
Staff Assistant

Whitney started working at Tufts Wildlife Clinic during the summer of 2011. She ensures that the clinic runs smoothly from assisting the faculty and students, recruiting volunteers, ordering supplies, or greeting you at the front desk. You can find her doing whatever is needed. Whitney earned her B.A. from Syracuse University as an art history and pre-veterinary medicine major. She has worked in the education and wildlife field for 15 years. During that time, Whitney worked as a high school biology teacher, worked in Yellowstone National Park researching bison, wolves, and grizzly bears, as well as in New Mexico researching prairie dog behavior. Whitney also traveled to South Africa where she assisted in the study of Brown Hyena behavior. Previously, she has worked for the Massachusetts Audubon Society where she was the Wildlife Supervisor and as a veterinary assistant gaining valuable medical experience for her future wildlife rehabilitation goals. Whitney has a soft spot for rodents, crows and vultures. When Whitney is not at Tufts Wildlife Clinic, you can find her photographing wildlife or drawing.

Jess Zorge
Jess Zorge
Wildlife Staff Assistant

Jess is the friendly face behind the front desk at Tufts Wildlife Clinic, assisting the public with injured and orphaned wildlife and answering their wide variety of questions about animals. Jess is the clinic’s liaison to local, state and federal agencies, facilitating treatment and transport of wild animals, and also maintaining patient data for the clinic. Prior to joining the wildlife clinic team, Jess was a veterinary technician for seven years and also served in Iraq with United States Army Reserves refueling aircrafts and convoys. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science from Becker College and is a certified veterinary technician, certified animal control officer and state licensed wildlife rehabilitator. She is working toward obtaining her federal permit to rehabilitate raptors and looks forward to providing vital care to birds of prey. Jess enjoys spending her free time with her beautiful daughter, Harper Percy, her rescued dog Irie and many rescued cats.

Percy
Percy
Eastern Screech Owl, Resident patient and Clinic mascot

Percy arrived at the Clinic in 2003 as a juvenile with a severely injured eye. Unfortunately Percy lost his vision in his injured eye. Also, because Percy arrived at the clinic so young, he had never learned to hunt. Percy cannot be released or kept as a pet, so he has become a permanent member of the clinic helping teach veterinary students and acting as the Tufts Wildlife Clinic mascot. He enjoys perching on shoulders and heads, crickets and quiet times in the clinic with his friends.