The Jane and Marshall Steel Fellowship is a one-year program in Disease Investigations of wildlife. In a given year, fellowships may be oriented toward either the anatomic pathology service or research, depending on the priorities of the Disease Investigations group. The job posting for each opening will advise applicants on the expected focus (i.e. service vs. research) and may take into account the interests and qualifications of the applicant.
The anatomic pathology service provides training for those with a DVM or equivalent degree, and at least two years of formal pathology residency training from a qualifying program. Pathology fellows participate in the necropsy, biopsy, and cytology services under the supervision and instruction of five ACVP-certified pathologists, and may conduct a research project that makes scholarly use of diagnostic materials. Case material includes a wide variety of non-domestic birds, mammals, and reptiles derived from the collections of the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and from collaborative field conservation programs, as well as various wildlife species found on zoo property. The fellow will work closely with clinical veterinarians, curators, and animal care staff in addressing collection health issues through monthly morbidity and mortality meetings. There are weekly histopathology conferences to supplement preparation for the ACVP board exam, if necessary. The fellow may also participate in mentorship of visiting veterinary student externs throughout the year.
Opportunities in a research-focused appointment, generally working with the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, are variable and depend on priorities of emerging or ongoing research projects. A DVM or equivalent degree and research experience in molecular techniques, conservation, or environmental sciences is preferred. Depending on the specific project identified, fellows may develop or expand on objectives aimed at addressing challenges facing threatened and endangered wildlife. Additionally, there may be opportunities to collaborate with pathologists, clinical veterinarians, curators, wildlife care staff, and researchers in other branches of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance on conservation efforts for both field projects and ambassador species housed at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.
The Steel Fellowship includes a stipend and excellent benefits, attendance at scientific meetings, and generous annual leave.