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Emma Houck



Current position: 


Current facility:

Rosamund Gifford Zoo

Year zoo career began:


Emma Houck works as a faculty member at Cornell University, a position where she spends the majority of her time serving the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY as a clinical veterinarian. She works closely with the veterinary and animal care teams to ensure wellness for each and every animal- from cockroaches to elephants! She also teaches veterinary students about zoo species and researches ways to improve the welfare of these species under human care.

Emma volunteered in high school and her undergraduate studies with a variety of animal organizations like wildlife rehabilitation centers and research facilities to gain a broad understanding of animal needs, behavior, and safety. In her final year of her undergraduate studies, Emma completed a six-month paid internship at the veterinary hospital at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where she assisted with zoo and wildlife cases. After earning a bachelor’s degree in animal biology, Emma earned a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine. She spent the next five years completing a one-year internship at a dog/cat specialty care clinic, a one-year internship at a zoological companion animal clinic, and a three-year residency at a zoo to gain specialized training in zoological medicine. She is a Boarded Specialist in Zoological MedicineTM through the American College of Zoological Medicine.

Emma loves that zoological veterinary medicine means she can always advance the knowledge and care of animals in zoos and aquariums. She advises aspiring zoo veterinarians to learn all you can about the many options there are to work with animals and how to work well with others because communication is the key to excellent animal care. Emma’s favorite animal is the individual that is right in front of her! If you look closely, every single species on our planet is so intricately and uniquely adapted to its natural environment- it’s hard not to be amazed by each animal you meet.

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