Caring for Stranded Marine Animals
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Staff

Staff

Lisa Becker, M.S., Animal Care Manager
508-743-9888 x307 lbecker@nmlc.org

Danielle Helmes, AmeriCorps Placement
508-743-9888 x308 dhelmes@nmlc.org

Katherine McKenna, Animal Care and Necropsy Coordinator
508-743-9888 x307 kmckenna@nmlc.org

Casey Shetterly, Fundraising & Operations Administrator
508-743-9888 x303 cshetterly@nmlc.org

Leah Vandermeer, Parasite Lab Research Assistant
508-743-9888 x314 lvandermeer@nmlc.org

Sea Rogers Williams, V.M.D., Science Director & Associate Veterinarian
508-743-9888 x309   rwilliams@nmlc.org

Wendy Wyman, Animal Care & Life Support System Coordinator
508-743-9888 x308 wwyman@nmlc.org

Kathy Zagzebski, M.E.M., President & Executive Director
508-743-9888 x301   kzagzebski@nmlc.org

Adjunct Staff

Bruce Berridge, D.V.M., Associate Veterinarian

Bridget Dunnigan, M.S., D.V.M., Associate Veterinarian

Andy Voorhis, D.V.M., Associate Veterinarian

Staff Bios

Lisa Becker, M.S., Animal Care Manager
Lisa’s career in marine and nature conservation started in January 2000 when she accomplished her first marine rehabilitation internship at a seal and seabird rescue station in northern Germany. Subsequently she studied Organismal Biology and received her Bachelor and Master’s degree in Ethology, Zoology and Ecology from the University of Osnabrueck. Her research on endangered semi-aquatic mustelid species focused on examining hyper-aggressive males in captive breeding programs and enabling a reintroduction program of the species back into the wild. During her career, Lisa worked with a variety of marine and terrestrial species for conservational efforts around the world New Zealand (cetaceans, birds, invasive species), Australia (Australian, African, Asian mammals, birds and reptiles), Spain/Canary Islands (cetaceans), Ireland (pinnipeds and terrestrial wildlife) and the United States (pinnipeds, cetaceans, sea otters, pelagic fish species). At Stanford University Lisa functioned as the Fish Facility and Lab Manager of a Neuroscience Laboratory for several years where she continued her research on hyper-aggressive males and managed ~5000 African cichlids as well as numerous undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students. Following her work at Stanford, Lisa moved to Ireland to manage Seal Rescue Ireland, the only marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center in the Republic of Ireland. While residing in California, Lisa had been an Animal Husbandry Crew Supervisor and Rescue volunteer at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito for over six years where she worked very closely with staff and volunteers in rescue, research and rehabilitation of a variety of pinniped species (California sea lions, Steller sea lions, Northern fur seals, Guadeloupe fur seals, northern elephant seals, harbor seals), sea otters and occasionally cetaceans. Since 2017 Lisa has served as a director on the Board of Trustees at the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City, California, a non-profit organization that cultivates a responsibility for the natural environment through interdisciplinary science education. In her free-time Lisa enjoys dance (performing and teaching), yoga, swimming, cycling, live music, spending time with friends and traveling.

Bruce Berridge, D.V.M., Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Bruce Berridge received his bachelor of veterinarianscience degree from Michigan State University in 1970 and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Michigan State Universities College of Veterinary Medicine in 1973. Soon after getting his DVM, Dr. Berridge married his sweetheart, Gina, and they moved to Massachusetts, where he practiced veterinary medicine at the Belmont Animal Hospital (1973–1975) and the Woburn Animal Hospital (1975–1977). In June 1977, Dr. Berridge purchased the Duxbury Animal Hospital from Dr. Benjamin Dow and provided family-based veterinary care in that capacity to the Cape and South Shore communities for more than 36 years before handing the reigns over to Dr. Hebert. A member of the Massachusetts Veterinary Association (MVMA), Dr. Berridge attends several continuing education conferences a year to advance his skills and knowledge base in his primary interests: internal medicine and soft tissue surgery. His additional professional memberships include the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), earning Duxbury Animal Hospital accreditation in recognition of providing high-quality care, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Bridget Dunnigan, M.S., D.V.M., Associate Veterinarian
Picture 087-cropped BDDr. Dunnigan has over 17 years’ experience working within the Northeast Region Stranding Network. She has worked as a veterinary medical officer for NOAA, and also works in private practice with Dr. Williams. Dr. Dunnigan has a master’s degree in zoology from Arizona State University and a veterinary degree from the University of Minnesota.

Danielle Helmes, AmeriCorps Placement
508-743-9888 x308  dhelmes@nmlc.org
Danielle is from Clermont, Florida which is a smaller town right outside of Orlando. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa majoring in Biology with a concentration in Animal Biology. She has a passion for the environment, conservation, animals, and traveling, and she is excited to pursue these passions through AmeriCorps Cape Cod. This past year, Danielle had the opportunity to do her first AmeriCorps program called the Maryland Conservation Corp located in southern Maryland. Through this program, she received experience in environmental conservation doing things such as tree reforestation’s, stream and wetland restorations, and barn owl research. She is excited to gain further experience and meet new people during her time in Cape Cod. In her free time, Danielle enjoys reading, hiking, and generally just exploring new places.

Katherine McKenna, Animal Care & Necropsy Coordinator
Katherine joined the National Marine Life Center in October 2016. Originally from Texas, she graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Science. During college she completed a marine mammal and sea turtle necropsy internship with the New England Aquarium’s rescue and rehab program and continued to volunteer there. After graduating, Katherine was a marine mammal necropsy intern at the International Fund for Animal Welfare before transitioning into a year long position there as a stranding response apprentice where she gained a variety of field and lab experience from assessing and rescuing marine mammals, performing necropsies and conducting surveys of local seal populations. She also has experience documenting wildlife on whale watching boats and is working on studying the prevalence and cause of alopecia within the gray seal population.

Casey Shetterly, Fundraising & Operations Administrator
508-743-9888 x301  cshetterly@nmlc.org
Casey Shetterly came to NMLC in February Casey Shetterly2016.  She has a wide array of experience from Catering and Conference Planning to Community Relations and Shellfish Restoration. From 2003 to 2014, she provided office management, education and outreach, and project management for the Southeastern Massachusetts office of The Nature Conservancy. While there she worked on Freshwater, Marine, and Terrestrial initiatives and land protection/stewardship for southeast Massachusetts. She committed herself to conservation while working at The Council of State Governments and discovering that among all the public policy areas, environmental awareness was the most important and least prioritized. She is dedicated to increasing the awareness of our natural world to the citizens that are lucky enough to call southeastern Massachusetts home.

Leah Vandermeer, Parasite Lab Research Assistant
508-743-9888 x314  lvandermeer@nmlc.org
Leah has eight years of experience as a biologist and lab manager working for an environmental testing and regulatory services company. She came to the National Marine Life Center in fall, 2017 to work in the Parasite Laboratory. Leah has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Maine Maritime Academy.

Andy Voorhis, D.V.M., Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Voorhis has been volunteering with the Dr Andy VoorhisNational Marine Life Center since 2014. When he’s not examining sea turtles and seals, he works as a bio-infomaticist with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. Dr. Voorhis received his veterinary degree from Washington State University.

 

Sea Rogers Williams, V.M.D., Science Director & Associate Veterinarian
508-743-9888 x308   rwilliams@nmlc.org
Sea Rogers Williams is an aquatic and IMG_0068companion animal veterinarian who lives on Martha’s Vineyard with his life partner, Bridget Dunnigan, MS, DVM, who is also an aquatically trained veterinarian. They live with their three dogs, two cats, and five birds where they enjoy hiking, kayaking, and international travel to explore the world’s avifauna. They own and operate the Vineyard Veterinary Clinic in Edgartown.  Currently employed by the National Marine Life Center, Dr. Williams started his aquatic training during vet school at the University of Pennsylvania by attending AquaVet® and AquaMed® courses and participating in the Aquatics club. After a few years in companion animal and mixed animal practice Dr. Williams added more formal training, completing a clinical internship at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Upon moving to the Vineyard he realized that there was no on-island veterinary stranding program. Roger and Bridget have been the primary responders to over a hundred marine mammal and sea turtle strandings as volunteer veterinarians working under the Stranding Agreement of the New England Aquarium. In 2002 they accepted a split position as veterinary medical officers for NOAA Fisheries and as the veterinarians for the Woods Hole Science Aquarium. They responded as government veterinarians to strandings, marine animal transports, and provided the veterinary care for the aquarium’s collection of seals, fish, and invertebrates. They helped re-establish a sea turtle rehabilitation program at the aquarium in coordination with the New England Aquarium. In 2007 they left the aquarium and Dr. Williams accepted the position of director of science, and in 2008 as the attending clinical veterinarian, for the National Marine Life Center. Dr. Williams has a long established interest in infectious disease, particularly parasitic interactions, occurrence, and disease. Dr. Williams has published scientific articles in the fields of fish ophthalmology, marine mammal hematology, sea turtle pathology, infectious disease, and parasitology.

Wendy Wyman, Animal Care & Life Support Systems Coordinator
508-743-9888 x308  wwyman@nmlc.org
Wendy started as a volunteer with the National Marine Life Center in 2007. She quickly made her self invaluable both in working with the animals and in fixing and maintaining the tanks, pumps, and filters needed to house aquatic wildlife. Wendy joined staff in 2014 as a part time animal care assistant. She also helps maintain our life support systems and rehabilitation tanks of all sizes. Her diverse background includes experience with a variety of aquatic systems.

 

 

Kathy Zagzebski, M.E.M., President & Executive Director
508-743-9888 x301   kzagzebski@nmlc.org
kaz croppedKathy joined theNational Marine Life Center as President and Executive Director in March, 2005.  For the previous seven years, she led the Stranding Department at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, where she was responsible for rescue operations along a 600-mile stretch of the California coast.  From 1997 to 1998, she served as Program Manager for the Georgia Coastal Management Program, and helped achieve a federally-approved coastal zone management program for the state.  Kathy has volunteered for a variety of marine mammal projects including animal rehabilitation crews at The Marine Mammal Center; dolphin research/training and whale research at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory in Hawaii; the marine mammal stranding network in North Carolina; and several dolphin monitoring projects.  She graduated magna cum laude from Augustana College, and received her master’s degree in coastal environmental management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.  She is a member of the Society of Marine Mammalogy, the International Sea Turtle Conservation, the American Cetacean Society, the National Marine Educators’ Association, and the Massachusetts Marine Educators’ Association.  An alumna of the Cape Leadership Institute of Cape Cod and the Islands, Kathy also serves on the board of the Bourne Financial Development Corporation, the Cape Cod Technology Council, the Massachusetts Marine Educators’ Association, and the Philanthropy Partners of Cape Cod and the Islands. Additionally, she serves on the Town of Bourne’s Wastewater Advisory Committee, the Main Street Steering Committee, and the advisory committees of the Environmental Technology Program at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School and the Marine Biology Program at Norfolk Agricultural High School.