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Michelle Kneeland, D.V.M.
Michelle holds a female White-winged Scoter recovering from surgery.

Michelle Kneeland, D.V.M.

Wildlife Veterinarian

Growing up in rural Connecticut, Michelle spent most of her time outdoors exploring the woods, often on horseback. Her love of all creatures drove her to pursue veterinary medicine as a career. During her undergraduate studies at Tufts University, she volunteered at the Mystic Aquarium and the Boston Museum of Science, gaining experience with many diverse wildlife species. She also spent six months in Perth, Australia working with Native Arc Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Michelle was first introduced to loons and BRI in 2007 while working as a wildlife health and mortality research assistant for Dr. Mark Pokras at Tufts Veterinary School. She spent the following two summers as a veterinary intern for the Loon Preservation Committee in New Hampshire. During veterinary school, Michelle received an NIH grant and spent three months in Zambia working with the Wildlife Conservation Society to implement and evaluate a village poultry Newcastle Disease vaccination program.

Following graduation from Tufts Veterinary School in 2012, Michelle completed a one-year surgical internship at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined BRI in the fall of 2013 to help implement the Common Loon restoration project. She is the director of BRI's wildlife health program and supervising manager of BRI's wildlife analytical lab. In her spare time, Michelle volunteers at the New England Wildlife Center in Massachusetts.


  • Large Animal Surgical Internship, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 2013
  • D.V.M., Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 2012
  • B.S., Biology, Tufts University, 2007


  • Maine Veterinary License
  • Minnesota Veterinary License
  • Research Interests
  • Ecotoxicology
  • One Health
  • Wildlife Health and Pathology
  • Clinical Wildlife Medicine and Surgery

Journal Articles


Presentations and Posters

  • Kneeland, M.R., Evers, D.C. Evers, J. Paruk, M. Pokras, N. Schoch, G. Stout, and K. Kovach. Common loon chick translocation and captive rearing: 2014 Minnesota Pilot Study. Presented at the North American Loon Symposium, 25-26 October 2014, Ashland, WI
  • Kneeland, M.R., N. Schoch, M. Pokras, P.P. Calle, K. Ingerman, S. James, and J. Pare. Health assements of common loons in New York and New Hampshire. Presented at the 70th Annual Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Conference, 13-15 April, Portland, ME
  • Kneeland MR, Aceto H, Nolen-Walston RN. Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Features and Prognostic Indicators in Hypertriglyceridemic Equids (1997-2013). Oral presentation at 2013 ACVIM Forum, Seattle, Washington
  • Kneeland MR. Evaluating village chicken Newcastle Disease vaccination Programs in Mambwe, Zambia: Retrospective analysis and participatory rural appraisal. October 7, 2009. Student Research Day, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, MA
  • Pokras MA, Kneeland MR, Major A, et al. Lead objects ingested by Common Loons in New England. May 12-15, 2008. Ingestion of Lead From Spent Ammunition: Implications for Wildlife and Humans International Conference, Boise State University, ID

Professional Memberships

  • Association of Avian Veterinarians
  • American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Biodiversity Research Institute