I graduated at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) and gained the MSc in Wild Animal Health from the Royal Veterinary College and ZSL in 2001, allowing me to specialise on zoo and wildlife work. I worked in primate sanctuaries in Africa and took part in zoo and wildlife research and conservation projects in Europe, Africa, India before joining the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) as a veterinary officer at London and Whipsnade Zoos for over a decade. My main role was provide the day to day clinical work from a whole range of species, including preventative medicine, diagnostics and treatment, pathology and clinical research as well as teaching and training students.
I have worked in several European zoos; I am currently an independent zoo and wildlife consultant working for a number of different organisations and have strong collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute in Congo. Teaching and capacity building is one of my main interests and has always been part of my work from undergraduate veterinary students, post-graduate Master students to supporting ECZM residents in Zoo Health Management. Throughout the years I have also collaborated with conservation projects abroad and primate sanctuaries in Africa, where I am actively involved in capacity building through workshops and mentoring and assistance with health evaluations.
Highly interested in animal welfare, medicine and conservation of zoo animals and wildlife, my veterinary research interest is wide and includes contraception and reproductive management as part of ex-situ captive breeding, great ape health and welfare and primate medicine, cardiac biomarkers in zoo species, amphibian medicine, investigation of infectious diseases and the veterinary role as part of the One Health approach. I have presented papers at many national and international conferences and I am widely published.
I am a founder and vice-chair of the EAZA Reproductive Management Group (RMG) and a founder and lead veterinary advisor for the IPHP (International Primate Heart Project). I am the veterinary advisor for the Mangabeys and the Afro-Eurasian Monkey TAG and reproductive advisor of the Hyenid and Canid TAG.
Ethics and animal welfare are very close to my heart and I am the vice-chair of the EAZWV Ethics and welfare Working Group. I have recently founded with other colleagues the International Primate Health and Welfare Group (IPHWG), which I am the chair of, with the mission to ensure the health and welfare of primates, and through this improving the health of people and the environment.
I am a de facto diplomate of the ECZM Zoo Health Management specialty, I am a member of the ECZM Scientific committee. I am also an associate editor for the Veterinary Record Case Report and the Veterinary Medicine and Science Journal.