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Committee Co-chairs:

AAV Student Membership / Veterinary School Liaisons

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Dr. Claire Grosset

Claire Grosset graduated from Alfort School of Veterinary Medicine in France in 2008. She completed a specialized internship in Zoological Medicine at the Université de Montréal and a residency in Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine at the University of California, Davis. She became an ACZM Diplomate in 2014. She has a passion for research in exotic animals including companion avian species and birds of prey, and currently works as a clinical instructor at the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire of the Université de Montréal, Canada.

Dr. Olivia Petritz

Olivia Petritz completed her undergraduate and veterinary degree at Purdue University in Indiana. Following graduation, she completed a small animal medicine and surgery residency at a specialty hospital in San Diego, CA, followed by an exotic animal internship at Gulf Coast Avian and Exotics in Houston, TX. Dr. Petritz returned to California to complete an ACZM residency at the University of California, Davis in companion exotics and zoo medicine, and achieved board certification in November of 2013. She then started an exotics service at a specialty hospital in Los Angeles and worked there for three years prior to joining the faculty at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine as an assistant professor of avian and exotic animal medicine.

Student Co-Chairs

Zoë van der Plaats received her Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine in 2016 and is currently a student in the Masters Program at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

She is active this year on the board of the veterinary student association Archaeopteryx as treasurer. Archaeopteryx is an association for birds and exotic animals, which helps her to broaden her network in avian medicine. She is excited about using the networks of the AAV and Archaeopteryx to help both associations grow!

Zoë’s interest in avian species originates from her father who worked as a falconer for about 15 years. She grew up with multiple birds of prey of varying species. From a very young age, she has helped her father care for their birds of prey. Later on during her study in veterinary medicine, she came to appreciate all other birds too, however her interest still goes out more to birds of prey.

Cassandra Rodenbaugh is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a member of Oklahoma State Univeristy’s veterinary class of 2019. As a child, she realized that bearded vultures and secretarybirds were more remarkable than fairies and dragons and, even better, they were real. This led to her deep passion for raptor conservation, including the medical mitigation of environmental poisons, international breeding and reintroduction programs, and collaborating with human populations that have raptors actively integrated in their culture.

Cassandra has studied raptor rehabilitation and veterinary care in the United States and Europe, assisted in translating the Bearded Vulture European studbook, has volunteered with avian husbandry at the Tulsa Zoo for seven years, and is currently engaged in rodenticide-related coagulopathy research. Eventually she hopes to join the AZA’s Raptor Taxon Advisory Group and be an active participant in avian conservation medicine. Cassandra joined the AAV because the association facilitates similar passions and she hopes to connect to more people and learn from them.

Taylor Tvede is a veterinary student at Ross University in St. Kitts. She attended Cornell College and double-majored in biology and environmental studies so she could combine her love of conservation with the potential to continue on into a medical field. After completing her undergraduate education in 2013, she moved around the country and worked at various rescue and rehab facilities, sanctuaries, and zoological facilities. She has worked with all kinds of animals like sea turtles, big cats, bears, primates, reptiles, the whole shebang, but birds are easily her favorite, and she has a special love of raptors. Taylor has always been very passionate about exotic animals and wildlife. Ideally, she would love to be a zoo veterinarian for a facility that encourages and supports in situ conservation projects that she can initiate or be a part of. She is involved with many organizations on her campus that get her more experience with exotic mammals, reptiles, and birds and is currently the president of Ross University’s AAV student chapter.

Taylor has a pet hedgehog that is currently being fostered back in her hometown of Albuquerque, NM since hedgehogs are illegal on St. Kitts, but the pet void has been filled by her island cat and any bird that needs home care.


Elysha Smith is a veterinary student in the class of 2020 at the Ontario Veterinary College, in Guelph, Canada. Her love of birds started when her parents said she couldn’t have a leopard gecko but agreed to a budgie. This started Elysha’s love of birds, and she became a member of local parrot clubs, volunteering with their community outreach events, and attended the Canadian Parrot Conference throughout high school. She attended the University of Guelph, majoring in zoology, and she graduated in 2015. Elysha has worked with a variety of exotic companion species throughout the years, but birds remain her favourite, with a passion for parrots and backyard poultry. Elysha hopes to pursue specialization in avian medicine after graduation.


Elysha has a jenday conure that currently lives with her parents, due to student living arrangements, but she has 2 hedgehogs in Guelph that keep her busy.


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