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  • 2024 AAVN Student Webinar Series


  • Tuesday, February 27, 8 pm ET
    Feeding the Zoo: Developing Diets to Promote Animal Health and Welfare


    Good nutrition is widely understood to be critical to animal health and welfare, but determining what good nutrition is and how best to provide that continues to challenge professionals in and out of the field of nutrition. This talk will explore the tools and sources professionals can use to develop diets for animals and some ways to assess whether the diets are successfully promoting animal health.

    Heidi Bissell, PhD has worked in the field of zoo nutrition for nearly 30 years, conducting research with giant pandas, domestic cattle, Asian primates, birds, anteaters, and more. She currently leads the animal nutrition program for animals at the Walt Disney Company including Disney's Animal Kingdom and EPCOT's The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Previously, Dr. Bissell was the nutritionist for the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks. She serves on the steering committee of AZA's Nutrition Advisory Group and as a nutrition advisor for the Pangolin, Aardvark, and Xenarthran Taxon Advisory Group. She is the author of Zoo Diet NaviGator, a popular free zoo diet management and diet analysis software. She has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and MS and BS from the University of Florida.


  • Tuesday, April 9, 7 pm ET
    Small Ruminant Nutrition


  • This lecture will cover the basics of small ruminant nutrition, starting with a quick anatomy and physiology review, followed by specific nutritional requirements in adults compared to neonates, ending with information regarding the clinical importance of vitamins and minerals.


  • Jessica D. Garcia, DVM, Large Animal Internal Medicine Resident, University of Tennessee  is a large animal internal medicine resident at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTK CVM), as well as a Comparative and Experimental Medicine Masters student at UTK.  Originally from Houston, Texas,  Dr. Garcia earned her bachelor’s degree at Texas State University. She earned her DVM degree at The Ohio State University where she cultivated her interest in farm animal medicine, surgery, and welfare. After graduating with her DVM,  she completed a large animal rotating internship at UTK CVM, then stayed on as an internal medicine resident. Outside of her career in veterinary medicine, Dr. Garcia enjoys spending time in nature camping, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as with her two very spoiled cats.


  • To view a recording of this webinar, click here



  • Tuesday, September 3,  8 pm ET
    What's Foraging Got To Do With It?  Navigating Forage for Horses with Different Needs


  • This lecture will review the role forage plays in a horses’ diet/ration and why forage quality matters. Example forage analysis will be reviewed in light of specific equine physiologic (e.g. lifestage) and pathophysiologic (e.g. disease states) scenarios. The lecture will also review when forage needs to be complimented with other feeds, to ensure 100% of a horses’ energy/nutrient needs are being met. 

    Megan Shepherd, DVM. PhD, DACVIM (Nutrition) served as a faculty member at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine from 2012 to 2022. From 2021-2023 she operated Veterinary Clinical Nutrition, a remote specialty nutrition referral-based practice. While in academia and specialty practice, cases small and large companion animals, primarily dogs, horses, cats. Since June 2023, Dr. Shepherd serves as the Scientific Communications Nutritionist at Royal Canin U.S. Dr. Shepherd is dedicated to enhancing the quality of companion animal’s lives through the implementation of nutrition solutions.


  • Registration is not yet open for this webinar.


  • Student Webinars are free but registration is required.  After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  CE credits are not offered for these sessions.



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