The Organising Committee is responsible for the ICARE conference in the chosen country, organising everything from venue to food to the conference programme. The ICARE 2019 London committee is made up of the following individuals:
It’s a bit lonely... there are no committee members yet.
Co-ordinator / Chairman, ARAV liaison
Iain Cope BSc(VetSci)Hons BVM&S CertAVP(ZM) MRCVS RCVS recognized Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine
Iain Cope has worked with rabbits, exotic pet, wildlife and zoo animals since he graduated in 2006 from Edinburgh University. He gained his certificate in Zoological Medicine in 2011 and since 2014 is an RCVS recognized Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine. He currently works in private practice in Cambridge working exclusively with rabbit and exotic/zoo species. He teaches nurses and veterinary surgeons on exotic species and also talks internationally. He has been published in peer reviewed veterinary journals. He is on the board for the journal UK VET: Companion Animal and is currently the ARAV and AEMV International Representative for UK and Ireland.
Iain is liaison to the ARAV Committee and the ICARE Steering Committee.
Vice Chairman, ECZM liaison
Steve Smith BVetMed (Hons.), CertZooMed, DipECZM (Avian), MRCVS
Steve graduated in 2002 from the Royal Veterinary College, London and spent 2 years in small animal practice in Hampshire. In 2004 he started a 4 year European College of Zoological Medicine internship and residency program run jointly between Great Western Exotics and the University of Bristol. In 2006, Steve gained the RCVS Certificate in Zoological Medicine. In 2008 he completed his residency program and joined a large independent mixed practice in Buckinghamshire to set up an avian and exotics service. In 2011 he gained the ECZM Diploma in Zoological Medicine (Avian). In 2016 he became the sole charge, full-time vet at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, one of he busiest wildlife hospitals in Europe. Steve has lectured at multiple conferences to vets and nurses and has published in various texts and journals including BSAVA Manuals. He enjoys all aspects of avian medicine, especially work with birds of prey and pigeons, and he also has an enthusiastic interest in backyard poultry medicine and legislation.
Livia Benato has worked with rabbits and exotic animals since she graduated in 2002. She finished her residency in Rabbit and Exotic Animal Medicine in 2011 at the University of Edinburgh. She then worked for one year at Chester Zoo as a Veterinary Officer before moving back to Scotland in 2013 where she worked as a University Veterinary Clinician at the University of Glasgow. In October 2015 she started working at CityVets in Exeter as a Small Mammal and Exotics Veterinary Associate. Since 2014, Livia is a European Recognised Specialist (ECZM) in Small Mammal Medicine.
Venue and Accommodation
Matthew Fiddes BVSc DZooMed MRCVS RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.
Matthew graduated from Bristol University in 2004 and has subsequently worked in exotic animal practice. In 2009 he gained the RCVS Certificate in Zoological Medicine and the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine with the avian subspecialty in 2013. Since 2015 he is a RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo & Wildlife Medicine.
He is currently principal at CJ Hall Veterinary Surgeons, London’s only specialist exotic pet private clinic, with an 80% first opinion and referral exotics caseload covering a range of species (reptile, small mammal, avian, fish and zoo species.)
He has lectured students, presented at veterinary conferences internationally, authored book chapters and published peer reviewed journal papers on a wide variety of subjects from fish anaesthesia and parrot behaviour to poultry red mites and reptile clinical pathology. He is a committee member of the Veterinary Invertebrate Society.
Marketing, Promotional Material, and AEMV Liaison
Nathalie Wissink-Argilaga Lic.Vet GPCert(ExAP) Cert AVP(ZooMed) DZooMed(Reptilian) MRCVS RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoological Medicine
Nathalie graduated from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) in 2004. After seeing practice in several exotic/wildlife practices and zoos around the world, she completed a one-year internship at Davies Veterinary Specialists.
Nathalie started working at The Scott Veterinary Clinic in 2006, where she is now a clinical director and head of the exotic animal department. In 2008 she passed her GP certificate in exotic animal practice and she holds the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Zoological Medicine) since 2010.
In 2017 she completed the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine to become an RCVS Recognised Specialist, she is also the veterinarian for Woburn Safari Park.
Nathalie is liaison to the AEMV Committee.
Secretary and Treasurer
Charlotte Hussey BSc. (Hons) BVM&S MRCVS
Charlotte graduated from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Sciences in 2011, having previously attained an honours degree in Physiology with Biochemistry at Southampton University.
Having cultivated a passion for exotics during her time at vet school, she started working in a mainly small animal practice, electing to see as many of the exotic pets as possible. She later set up an exotic animal ward in a veterinary hospital in Kent, where she worked for several years.
Charlotte opened her own practice, Skylark Vets Limited, in Kent in 2017. The practice is fully mobile with all facilities built into a large van. Charlotte finds that treating birds, reptiles and small mammals in their own environments makes a huge difference to their stress levels during veterinary visits!
Communications and IT
Catherine Thomas BVM&S, MRCVS, CertAVP(ZooMed), RCVS recognised Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine
Catherine has worked as an exotic animal vet since graduating from Edinburgh Vet School in 2006. She started her own exotic pet veterinary service in Suffolk in 2014 and completed the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice, designated in Zoological Medicine, in 2015.
Catherine joined the ICARE London 2019 committee as the communications coordinator.
DVM CertZooMed Dipl. ECZM (small mammal) MRCVS European Veterinary Specialist in Zoological Medicine (Small Mammals)
Elisabetta graduated with honours from the University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy, in 2002. Her interest in exotics became clear shortly after her graduation anticipating a career mainly based on non-conventional animal medicine and surgery. After a small animal focused internship, she’s been working solely with exotics since 2003 in a private practice in Italy. She undertook an externship in France, mainly based on reptile medicine and then completed an externship program at the “Angell Animal Memorial Hospital” in Boston (USA) focusing on exotic animal medicine and surgery. In 2007 she moved to UK where she initially worked in private practice and wildlife charities.
In 2009, Elisabetta started the first European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) Residency in Small Mammal Medicine, which she completed at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh. From September 2010, she holds the RCVS Certificate in Zoological Medicine. In 2014, she obtained the ECZM Diploma, Specialty “Small Mammal”. She works at Highcroft Veterinary Referrals, Bristol (UK) where she is head of the exotic service.
Practicals Coordinator, Student Liaison
Sarah Pellett BSc(Hons) MA VetMB CertAVP(ZooMed) DZooMed(Reptilian) MRCVS. RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoological Medicine.
Sarah Pellett graduated from University of Cambridge in 2006. During her degree she spent time in exotic practices and zoos both in the UK and abroad. She spent three years working at a first opinion and referral exotic animal practice in Manchester where she completed the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Zoological Medicine). Sarah now works at Animates Veterinary Clinic, Thurlby, in Lincolnshire, seeing a wide range of first opinion and referral exotic animal cases. In 2017 she completed the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine so she is now an RCVS recognised Specialist in Zoological Medicine.
She is a member of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS), the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV), the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV), the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) and the European Association of Avian Veterinarians (EAAV). She is also the veterinary adviser on invertebrate health for the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA), Terrestrial Invertebrate Working Group and a member of the committee for the Veterinary Invertebrate Society. She has recently become involved with the work for BIAZA Reptile and Amphibian Working Group.
Practicals Coordinator, EAAV Liaison
Michelle O'Brien BVetMed CertZooMed MRCVS, DipECZM(ZHM), RCVS recognised Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine
Michelle O’Brien is one of the Veterinary and Wildlife Health Officers for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) based at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. After graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 1999 she spent six and a half years in general and exotics referral practice, seeing a mix of small animal, zoo and exotic pet species. She gained the RCVS certificate in Zoological Medicine in 2005 and since 2015 is an RCVS recognized Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine. Michelle has worked at WWT since 2006 and is part of the team that provides veterinary care at seven of the nine WWT centres in the UK and provides veterinary advice to a number of conservation programmes including the Great Crane Project and Spoon-billed sandpiper conservation breeding programmes.
Sponsors and Exhibition
Dr Mark B Hedberg DVM MRCVS
Mark comes from a background of small and exotic practice in the Middle East and the United Kingdom. Following this he ran CPD and conference events for 4 years at the UK's College of Animal Welfare.
In between arguing with spreadsheets and developing exhibition projections for ICARE 2019, Mark currently owns a Vets4Pets practice in south Cambridgeshire, where he retains a keen interest in treating birds and reptiles (as well as the more usual mammalian visitors!).
Registered veterinary nurse, Cert in Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Species, MSc (Applied animal Behaviour & Animal Welfare), BSc (Hons) (Zoology) Wendy started off training and working in a mixed practice in Midhurst, West Sussex and qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2000. Wendy then became keen to pursue additional qualifications with an Honours degree in Zoology and a Masters in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare. She has experience working as a keeper in a number of zoos and returned to vet nursing at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, where she spent 9 years as the dedicated exotics and wildlife vet nurse. During this time Wendy had the opportunity to be involved in vet and nurse student teaching and developed her passion and knowledge for nursing exotic pets and their welfare needs. She has lectured at various veterinary conferences, contributed towards two BSAVA manuals, and other veterinary publications. In October 2015 Wendy started her new role as Marwell Zoo’s RVN and is excited about contributing to the teams’ commitment to welfare and conservation.