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Dr. Freeland Dunker on Pet Life Radio

Dr. Freeland Dunker


Dr. Freeland Dunker

    Briefly describe your job and your area of expertise. I provide medical and surgical treatment for sick or injured animals in the collection. Oversees the aquarium’s quarantine program for newly arrived animals into the collection to prevent disease introduction into the resident population. Performs necropsies on deceased animals in the collection to establish a cause of death.  With the information gained from doing this I can assist the curators and biologists with husbandry decisions which can benefit the physical and behavioral health of the collection.  

    What got you interested in working at an aquarium? Throughout my veterinary career the interest in comparative anatomy and physiology continued to grow and was a major factor in perusing a job with more animal diversity than just domestic animal species  

    What do you like most and least about your job?  What I like most about my job is the variety of daily challenges I’m faced with in order to provide care for the animals in the aquarium’s collection.  What I like least about my job despite my best efforts animals under my care die. 

    What college did you go to and what degree did you receive?  I received my BS degree in Biology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA. and my DVM degree at UC Davis Veterinary School, Davis, CA

    What influenced your job choice and when?  My initial career goal when starting at Cal Poly was to be a Forest ranger or Wildlife Biologist.  I enjoyed and did well in the biology and animal physiology classes I took, and after my second year of school I started thinking about Veterinary Medicine as a career.  In my junior year I switched my major from Natural Resources Management to Biology, completed my pre-veterinary requirements and applied for Veterinary School at UC Davis.

    Do you have pets at home? What and how many? Yes- two dogs, two cats, one tarantula, and one large spurred tortoise that lives in the backyard

    Advice for someone wanting to go into your field. Do well academically in college and in your pre-veterinary requirements, get experience working in the veterinary field to see if it is a job that you might enjoy.  Once you have that DVM degree all sorts of job opportunities can open up like to one I have at the California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium.

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium

California Academy of Sciences


































































































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