Dr. Judy St. Leger is the Vice-President for Research and Science at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment where she has worked for 18 years. She is part of a large, dynamic team of veterinarians and biologists working to advance health and disease knowledge in captive and free ranging non-domestic species. Her day-to-day work includes investigations in morbidity and mortality of stranded marine mammals in Florida and California as well as work with the collections in the three SeaWorld parks and Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. She works with a variety of researchers investigating questions from dolphin cognition to penguin diving physiology.
Dr. St. Leger’s work currently focuses on advancing diagnostic options and investigations in disease of non-domestic species. Areas of interest include clinical and anatomic pathology, advanced imaging, infectious disease investigations, and molecular investigations. Recent projects include killer whale pathology and disease trends in free-ranging and captive animals, and specific investigations in bone pathology of cetaceans. In addition to pathology, she spends professional time working on reef conservation through a non-profit called Rising Tide Conservation.
Prior to her life with aquatic animals, Dr. St. Leger trained in food animal pathology at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory of UC Davis. She enjoys lecturing on anatomic pathology, and has co-authored a mass of manuscripts. Recently, she served as one of three editors for the text Pathology of Wildlife and Zoo Animals.