Instructor Bios: Maddie’s® Veterinary Forensics Conference

Amie Burling, DVMDr. Amie Burling

Shelter Medicine Resident
Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Burling is a resident in shelter medicine at UF. Concurrently, she is seeking a Masters in Public Health in Disaster Management through the University of South Florida, and her specific interests include high volume high quality sterilization, infectious disease control, disaster preparedness, veterinary education, and international medicine.

Previously, Dr. Burling completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship in the Chicago suburbs, worked in general practice in Michigan, and helped to establish the first Humane Alliance model, high quality high volume spay/neuter clinic in Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and shares her home and heart with Panda, a very special beagle/border collie mix.


Jason H. Byrd, Ph.D., D-ABFEDr. Jason Byrd

Associate Director
William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine
University of Florida College of Medicine

Dr. Byrd is a Board Certified Forensic Entomologist and Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology. He is the current Vice-President of the American Board of Forensic Entomology, and the Immediate Past-President of the North American Forensic Entomology Association. He is the first person to be elected President of both professional North American Forensic Entomology Associations. Dr. Byrd is the Associate Director of the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. At the University of Florida, he instructs courses in forensic science at the University of Florida’s nationally recognized Hume Honors College. He served for over a decade as a faculty member of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine.

Outside of academics Dr. Byrd serves as an Administrative Officer within the National Disaster Medical System, Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, Region IV. He also serves as the Logistics Chief for the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System. Currently he serves as a subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology. He has published numerous scientific articles on the use and application of entomological evidence in legal investigations. Dr. Byrd has combined his formal academic training in Entomology and Forensic Science to serve as a consultant and educator in both criminal and civil legal investigations throughout the United States and Internationally. Dr. Byrd specializes in the education of law enforcement officials, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, and other death investigators on the use and applicability of arthropods in legal investigations. His research efforts have focused on the development and behavior of insects that have forensic importance, and he has over 15 years experience in the collection and analysis of entomological evidence. Dr. Byrd is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


Staci Cannon, DVMDr. Staci Hutsell

Shelter Medicine Resident
Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Staci Cannon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia in 2006. She graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010 and completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Dr. Cannon has previously worked for the Animal Rescue League of Boston along with several other shelters and feral cat organizations in Massachusetts. She has interests in preventative medicine, infectious disease, surgery, and community cat management, and is passionate about promoting the medical and emotional well-being of shelter animals.


Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhDCynda Crawford, DVM, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine
Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Crawford earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees at North Carolina State University, followed by completion of a PhD in Immunology and Infectious diseases from the University of Florida in 1984. She graduated from the UF College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989 and practiced small animal medicine in Tallahassee for 10 years.

Following a postdoctoral research position focusing on the pathogenesis of FIV in kittens, she joined the Small Animal Clinical Sciences faculty at the UF CVM in 2001. Since 2008, she is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the UF CVM. Her areas of expertise include canine and feline infectious diseases, and diagnostic tests and vaccines for infectious diseases.

Her current focus is the diagnosis of viruses and bacteria that cause acute respiratory infections in dogs in shelters. She was instrumental in identifying canine influenza virus and among the pioneering researchers into the disease.

Amanda Fitch is the Forensic Analyst for the ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program at the University of Florida’s Maples Center for Forensic Medicine. In addition to presenting academic coursework and conducting research, she also responds to animal crime scenes with the ASPCA where she serves as the crime scene analyst. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Master of Science in Forensic Science. She also holds crime scene analyst certification from the International Association for Identification.


Julie Levy, DVM, PhD

Levy_featured

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Director and Professor of Shelter Medicine
Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Levy graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California-Davis in 1989, followed by an internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, and a residency in small animal internal medicine and PhD in the pathobiology of FIV infection in cats at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Levy’s research and clinical interests center on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases, humane alternatives for cat population control, and contraceptive vaccines for cats. She is the founder of Operation Catnip, with two university-based feral cat spay/neuter programs that have sterilized more than 45,000 cats since 1994. Dr. Levy has published more than 100 journal articles and textbook chapters.

She is the recipient of the Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award, Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year, and the European Society of Feline Medicine Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Feline Medicine.


Katherine Polak, DVM, MPHDr. Katherine Polak

Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Resident
Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida

Dr. Polak is a resident in shelter medicine at UF.  In addition to the residency, Dr. Polak is enrolled in a Masters program in Forensic Science at the University of Florida.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine after having earned a BS in cell and molecular biology and a minor in philosophy from Tulane University.  While obtaining her DVM degree, Dr. Polak also completed an MPH from the University of Iowa.  Before arriving at UF, she completed a shelter medicine and surgery internship at Colorado State University.  She is a member of Phi Zeta, PhiKappa Phi, and Gamma Sigma Delta.   Her interests include disaster preparedness and management, high-quality, high-volume spay-neuter programs, and feline internal medicine.


Ken Sieranski, DVMPhoto, Dr. Ken Sieranski

Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Intern
Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida

Dr. Ken Sieranski is an intern in shelter medicine at UF.  He graduated Cum Laude from the Texas A & M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013.  During his final year at Texas A & M, Dr. Sieranski completed the first 2 courses in the University of Florida Online Graduate Certificate Program in Shelter Medicine.  He is currently enrolled in the third and final course in this program and will earn his Graduate Certificate at the end of the fall semester.  Prior to veterinary school, Dr. Sieranski obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Purdue University in 2008.


Rachel Touroo, DVMDr. Rachel Touroo

Director, Veterinary Forensics
ASPCA Anti-Cruelty

Dr. Rachel Touroo joined the ASPCA in March 2012 as the director of its Veterinary Forensics program. In this role, Dr. Touroo assists with crime scene investigations in animal cruelty cases throughout the United States, including the examination of live and deceased victims and providing expertise and training to law enforcement and animal care and control agencies.

In addition, Dr. Touroo plays an integral role in the ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program at the University of Florida, helping to develop research in applications of forensic science to veterinary medicine. The program is the nation’s first such curriculum within an educational institution. It promotes the application of forensic sciences to veterinary medicine to aid in the understanding, prevention and prosecution of animal cruelty. It is dedicated to meeting the veterinary forensic science needs of individuals and agencies worldwide, including education, research and applied casework.


Sylvia Tucker, BSSylvia Tucker

Biological Scientist
Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida

Ms. Tucker coordinates the research programs of Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program to develop new knowledge in areas where insufficient information exists today. The program is currently testing a GnRH vaccine that may provide an alternative to surgical sterilization in cats, developing improved tests for canine influenza virus, determining the most common causes of respiratory disease outbreaks in shelter dogs, investigating usage patterns of identification microchips by shelters and veterinarians, testing identification collars for cats, and determining infectious disease rates in shelter animals.