Tristan is a wildlife veterinarian and epidemiologist. He trained as a veterinarian in New Zealand and did his PhD in wildlife epidemiology at the UC Davis One Health Institute working with sea otters and other marine mammals. After running a consulting firm and working in academia he co-founded the Center for Wildlife Studies in 2019, where he serves as Vice President and Wildlife Veterinarian. Tristan joined BRI as our Consulting Wildlife Health Program Director in 2020.
Through the Center for Wildlife Studies, Tristan provides field veterinary services and consults on wildlife health management for state and federal governments as well as conservation NGOs and some of the finest zoos and aquaria in the US. He has handled and worked with a wide range of captive and free-ranging wildlife from lions and Tasmanian devils to penguins, pinnipeds and sea otters.
At BRI, Tristan will work collaboratively with BRI’s Program Directors and field staff to develop, implement, and assist with wildlife studies requiring veterinary expertise and services. As our consulting veterinarian, Tristan will also assist with the development of BRI’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) applications.
B.V.Sc. Veterinary Science, Massey University
Ph.D. Wildlife Epidemiology, University of California, Davis
Miller MA, Moriarty ME, Henkel L, Tinker MT, Burgess TL, Batac FI, Dodd E, Young C, Harris MD, Johnson CK. 2020. Predators, Disease, and Environmental Change in the Nearshore Ecosystem: Mortality in southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) from 1998-2012. In Press: Frontiers in Marine Science
Burgess T.L., M.T. Tinker, M.A. Miller, J.L. Bodkin, M.J. Murray, L.M. Nichol, J.A. Saarinen, S. Larson, J.A. Tomoleoni, P.A. Conrad, & C.K. Johnson. 2020. Spatial epidemiological patterns suggest mechanisms of land-sea transmission for Sarcocystis neurona in a coastal marine mammal Nature Scientific Reports 10:3683
Burgess T.L., M.T. Tinker, M. Miller, J. Bodkin, M. Murray, L. Nichol, S. Larson, J.A. Saarinen, P.A. Conrad, & C.K. Johnson. 2018. Defining the risk landscape in the context of pathogen pollution: Toxoplasma gondii in sea otters along the Pacific Rim. Royal Society Open Science (2018 5 171178).
Plourde B.T., T.L. Burgess, W.A. Eskew, T. Roth, N. Stephenson, & J. Foley. 2017. Are disease reservoirs special? Characteristics of hosts responsible for pathogen spillover. PLoS One 12(7):e0180716.
Burgess T.L., C.K. Johnson, A. Burdin, V.A. Gill, A.M. Doroff, P. Tuomi, W.A. Smith, & T. Goldstein. 2017. Brucella infection in Asian Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris lutris) on Bering Island, Russia. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 53:864–868.
Burgess T.L., C.W. Witte, & B.A. Rideout. 2017. Early-life exposures and Johne’s disease risk in zoo ruminants. Journal of Veterinarian Diagnostic Investigation 30:78–85.
Miller M.A., T. L. Burgess, E. Dodd, K. Nielsen, J. Rhyan, S. Jang, B. Byrne, F. Gulland, M.J. Murray, P.A. Conrad, & W.A. Smith. 2017. Isolation and characterization of a novel marine Brucella from a southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) with granulomatous arthritis, myelitis and hepatitis. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 53:215–227.
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