Vet Student Completes First-Of-Its-Kind Research Project on St. Kitts Tortoises


August 20, 2009 (North Brunswick, NJ)—Krista Keller, who just finished her seventh semester at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and is currently in her clinical year at Tufts University, was the first Ross student to complete a Special Topics in Research elective, “Comparison of Management Protocols and the Effect on Fecal Parasites in Captive Red Footed Tortoises (Geochelone carbonaria) in St. Kitts.”

The project is important because, according to Krista, reptile medicine is in its infancy and there is little known about how environmental factors impact this animal population. She plans on presenting her findings at a scientific meeting and going into wildlife conservation medicine.

“My goal right now is to find a conference where I can present as a student,” she told the Spotlight. “I told myself I’d give myself a month at Tufts to settle down and then get back on the ball with that.”

Only three weeks into her clinical year at Tufts, Krista already loves the hand-on learning she is receiving.

“I’ve been waiting for this for two and a half years so it’s very exciting,” she said. “Tufts is a great school and they’re very welcoming to Ross students. They have a great wildlife program that includes a wildlife hospital, so I’m very excited about the prospect of working there. Right now I’m in the ambulatory rotation, which involves traveling around to farms and treating all different kinds of animals. We’ve seen everything from sick cows to llamas and sheep to alpacas.”

Krista’s co-investigators on the project were Dr. Rosina (Tammi) Krecek, associate dean for research, and Dr. Kimberly Stewart ‘06, of the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network.

To read more about Krista and the origins of her project go to:

About Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Ross University is a provider of medical and veterinary education, offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. Founded in 1982 and located in St. Kitts, the School of Veterinary Medicine is affiliated with 21 AVMA-accredited U.S. veterinary schools where students complete their clinical year.  The School of Medicine is located in Dominica, West Indies, with clinical education centers in Saginaw, MI, Miami, FL, and The Bahamas.

Ross University’s administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, NJ. For more information about Ross University, visit or call 732.509.4600/877.ROSS.EDU.

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