Updates from Alumni

Toque Macaques

Stanford Pre-Vet alumna in Sri Lanka

Elephants grazing

Shannon assists with treatment of Temple elephant

Hi Dr. B!  (Sept. 2017)

I hope you had a good end to the school year – are you off to Tennessee now?

I received one of Davis SVM’s STAR (Students Training in Advanced Research) grants, so I’m currently in Sri Lanka for two months to do research with the University of Peradeniya. My project is an exploration of the Asian elephant microbiome … we’re collecting fecal samples and will start doing some DNA extractions in the next few days. This is the first stepping stone in a much larger collaboration between Davis and U Peradeniya to determine the influence of milk/nursing on the developing microbiome of neonate elephants! Andy may have mentioned this, but she is coming to visit me here in a week.

Sri Lanka

I’m here with a classmate of mine who is studying stereotypies in sanctuary and working elephants, so I’ve been able to assist with her project as well. We also got to accompany one of the U Peradeniya vets to treat a very important temple elephant who they believe has parasites. This elephant was a gift from the government of India and is trained to carry the temple’s casket in festivals. Picture of me holding the IV while the mahout (trainer/handler) ensures this tusker doesn’t move. The last two photos are from Minneriya National Park, where we saw at least 100 wild elephants!     



I actually also attached a monkey photo – toque macaques, endemic to Sri Lanka and sporting fabulous hairstyles!

Shannon with donkey


Shannon and elephants

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