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Dawn Zimmerman

Assistant Professor Adjunct

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Dawn Zimmerman



Dr. Dawn Zimmerman is the director of wildlife health and associate program director for Smithsonian’s Global Health Program, where she focuses on using a One Health approach for wildlife health issues and for the conservation of endangered species. Zimmerman has worked in the field of zoological and wildlife medicine for over 15 years. She completed her Master of Science at San Diego State University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Ross University. Her master's degree research focused on the development of techniques for reproductive assistance in exotic canids, and she has a particular interest in the conservation of African carnivores.

Zimmerman’s field experience includes conservation medicine and capacity building in over 14 countries. Her current work focuses on wildlife health internationally - primarily in East Africa, where she is the Global Lead for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program in Kenya, working to detect the next pandemic human pathogens by investigating the animals most likely to harbor them.

She holds an affiliate faculty position at George Mason University and adjunct faculty position at the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), is an associate editor for the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, member of the National Science and Technology Council’s Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science & Technology working group, scientific adviser for the Gorilla Doctors at the University of California, Davis, and veterinary adviser for the Tapiridae Taxon Advisory Group and Species Survival Programs as well as co-veterinary adviser for the Tapir Specialist Group.

Her primary research interests include applying a One Health approach to the conservation of critically endangered wildlife species and the mitigation of emerging infectious diseases at the wildlife-human interface.

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