Kirsten Gilardi

Kirsten V. Gilardi: 2024 James H. Meyer Achievement Award Recipient

Congratulations to the OHI's Dr. Kirsten Gilardi for receiving the James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award from UC Davis. This award honors and recognizes her lifetime dedication to the health of wildlife, people, and the planet!

Interview with Kirsten Gilardi - TRANSCRIPT

Q: What led you to wildlife veterinary medicine?

KVG: I definitely had the dream to be working with wildlife. Can you imagine how fascinating and interesting it would be to be able to have all different kinds of animals as your patients?

Q: Did you ever think you'd be running a program that provides veterinary care to gorillas in the wild?

KVG: I would say it was my wildest dream that I, as a veterinarian, would be a part of a program that is centered on providing veterinary care to an endangered species and actually making a huge difference.

Q: You are also very dedicated to marine wildlife! Tell us a little about that.

KVG: We had the opportunity to develop a program called the SeaDoc Society, getting stakeholders involved in a program where we could be identifying what are the challenges for marine wildlife. And then I met people that had developed a program in Washington State to work with fishermen to remove abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear from the Puget Sound and the Georgia Straits...and wondered if we had something like that going on here in California. I came to realize we didn't have a program like that, and so this was the place where I could say "I love this program that's going on in Washington State. I think we need it here in California. I want to see if I can build this program." And they said "Go for it!" And so honestly that's what's kept me here at the University - it's just the opportunity to just pursue things that are a passion. The University is a place where that's been possible. 

Q: The James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award is one of UC Davis' highest honors. How did it feel when you learned that you were selected? 

KVG: When I got the email last week telling me that I was the award winner this year I was just stunned. Speechless. Teary. I mean, just delighted, totally delighted.

Learn more about Dr. Gilardi