New Wildlife Pathologist at Cornell University

Program Update: New Wildlife Pathologist at Cornell University

New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center


María J. Forzán was born and grew up in Mexico City.  She obtained her MVZ (DVM) degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and worked at a private zoo for a short time before moving to Prince Edward Island, where she obtained an MSc degree working on a parasitic disease of cormorants.  Having acquired a taste for pathology during her Masters work. She followed up with a residency in anatomic pathology, with a special emphasis on wildlife, that started at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and finished back on Prince Edward Island, at the Atlantic Veterinary College.  She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2004, while working at Finn Pathologists, a private diagnostic laboratory in England. After working in England for 3 years, María returned to the Atlantic Veterinary College as a diagnostic wildlife pathologist for the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.  As her work on surveillance and research of amphibian diseases grew, she decided to jump fully into the field by enrolling in a PhD program focused on establishing the pathogenesis of ranavirus in a native North American frog.  Following completion of the PhD program, María returned to her role as a diagnostic wildlife pathologist at the AVC until, in January 2017, she joined Cornell's Wildlife Health Laboratory team. We are fortunate that María has joined the Wildlife Health Laboratory at Cornell, and the NWDC team, so she can share her expertise in wildlife diagnostics, especially amphibian diseases.