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Elizabeth Bunting

I am a Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Science at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. I have been a wildlife and zoo veterinarian since 1999, working in a variety of settings including zoos, wildlife clinics and private practice. After completing a zoo and wildlife residency at Cornell, I began working with the New York State DEC and my colleague Krysten Schuler to design and build a comprehensive statewide wildlife health program. Our program works to develop high quality information about disease ecology in wildlife species through surveillance and research, with the goal of protecting and sustaining healthy native wildlife populations. 

 My research is broadly collaborative, applied, and typically driven by the need to problem solve a pressing real world issue- like improving release survival in captive reared endangered salamanders, investigating the potential impact of a newly discovered retrovirus on wild turkeys, reducing mortality from heavy metals and rodenticides in raptors, or developing new diagnostic tools for identifying pathogens in amphibians. At any given time we may have more than a dozen active projects combining field and laboratory work with colleagues from around the country in a variety of disciplines. 

Because we bridge the disciplines of wildlife biology and veterinary medicine, we also welcome students from both fields into our program to interact with our college faculty and NYSDEC staff. Students have the opportunity to work for independent study credit or participate in the day to day activities of the program including field projects, disease surveillance and laboratory research through paid positions, typically during the summer.

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Projects

Adult Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles and Lead Toxicity 2017

Tracing a lethal legacy: Lead poisoning in NYS bald eagles

White-tailed deer

Chronic Wasting Disease Risk Assessment and Prevention Planning

Reducing the risk of a serious threat to wild white tailed deer....

Bobcat close up

Cytauxzoon

Is climate change bringing disease carrying vectors closer to home...

Eastern Hellbender

Eastern Hellbender Conservation

Improving survival odds of North America's only giant salamander species - the Eastern Hellbender

American Black Bear

Emergence of Black Bear Mange in New York

Understanding the transmission of a newly emerging disease of black bears...

Fisher

Fishers and Rodenticide

Digging into the frequency and impact of rodenticides on fishers...

Hemidactylium scutatum, the four-toed Salamander

Four-toed Salamander eDNA 2018

Finding the unseen...advances in conservation

Two wild turkey roaming

Lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV)

We determined that up to 80% of adult turkeys in NY are infected with LPDV...