Wildlife Vets to Help Restore and Preserve Marine Ecosystems
Wildlife veterinarians Joseph P. Gaydos and Kirstin Gilardi of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine are contributing veterinary expertise in new ways to help restore and preserve marine ecosystem health
Gaydos, one of four new members named to the Science Panel, is a UC Davis veterinarian based on Orcas Island, Washington. He is the regional director of the SeaDoc Society, founded in 1999 to conduct and sponsor scientific research in the inland waters of the Pacific Northwest, also known as the Salish Sea. He has carried out extensive research in Puget Sound and frequently contributes his veterinary medical expertise to other regional organizations involved in activities ranging from setting research priorities to responding to strandings or deaths of marine mammals.
"As a veterinarian, I am honored to become part of a group of scientists who provide guidance on efforts to restore Puget Sound," said Gaydos. "The panel recognizes that disease is an important ecological force and needs to be considered when restoring ecosystems."
Kirsten Gilardi, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, has been appointed to the Marine Debris Action Coordination Team. She will provide leadership and vision for the states of California, Oregon and Washington as they explore opportunities to reduce and prevent the harmful environmental impacts of marine debris on the West Coast. This effort is being conducted as a result of the 2006 West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health.
Gilardi is the assistant director of Marine Programs (including the SeaDoc Society) at the Wildlife Health Center and has led the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project since the School of Veterinary Medicine piloted the program in 2005. This group has retrieved nearly 11 tons of gear from around the California Channel Islands and more than 1400 pounds of recreational fishing gear off public fishing piers from Santa Cruz to Imperial Beach, CA, including more than 1 million feet of fishing line.