Dr. Elizabeth Daut is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), a National Science Foundation-funded think tank in Annapolis, Maryland. She started working with wildlife during her undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech and continued during veterinary school at Cornell University where she received her DVM degree in 1996. After working at an avian clinic in Oregon, Dr. Daut joined Peace Corps and spent most of the next 10 years in southern Ecuador where she set up an animal welfare organization. It was in Ecuador where she became interested in the consequences of and motivations for illegal wildlife trade and worked with the Environmental Ministry to develop strategies to combat the trade. Upon returning to the United States, Dr. Daut worked at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, but eventually returned for a PhD at Texas A&M University where she investigated various aspects of illegal wildlife trade, particularly domestic trade of native birds, in Peru. Her current research at SESYNC evaluates the disease risk to native wildlife from importation of animals (wild-caught and captive-bred) for the exotic pet industry.
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