Art books

Dr. Laura Donohue Combines Art and Veterinary Medicine for New Wildlife Book

Written by Melanie Greaver Cordoba

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Student Laura Donohue, DVM Class of 2022, combines her artistic talents and her passion for animals in a new wildlife book to be published by Johns Hopkins University Press. The book, titled Wildlife Health and Diseases in Conservationfeatures over a hundred of his illustrations that depict common wildlife disease cycles and their social, cultural and economic influences.

The book‘s co-editors, Dr. David Jessup, wildlife veterinarian at the University of California-Davis, and Dr. Robin Radcliffeassociate professor of practical wildlife and conservation medicine at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, invited Donohue to join the project last year.

Donohue’s art accompanies each of the 25 chapters, which range from Ebola in the endangered mountain gorillas to avian malaria and the extinction of Hawaii’s forest birds. In addition to describing the disease in question, each chapter author discusses non-biological factors important to their topic, including the social, financial, legal, and political factors at play.

The editors hope that the combination of rigorous science, storytelling and illustration will make this book a useful guide for readers. Dr Radcliffe praises Donohue’s work: “She was able to capture the disease risk landscape – all of the elements that contribute to a disease and could impact conservation efforts. For some, it may be habitat loss or increased transportation, for example. Laura helped illustrate these ideas and gave the book a really rich visual element.

“I’m proud to have worked on this book with the editors and authors,” says Donohue. “I feel like I’ve contributed to the learning that comes from it, not just for me, but for those who will use it in the world when it’s released.”

Wildlife Health and Diseases in Conservation will be available from Johns Hopkins University Press in 2023. Funding for this project and Donohue’s position include Cornell University, University of California, Davis, Wildlife Disease Association, USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, International Wildlife Veterinary Services, the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians and Veterinarians Without Borders.

Written by Melanie Greaver Cordoba. The full version of this story appears on the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine website.

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