MARVET (Marine Veterinary Medicine)
MARVET (Marine Veterinary Medicine) Cayman is an introductory marine medicine externship that is offered to veterinary students, veterinarians and associated groups. The externship includes a series of lectures, hands-on laboratories, and field activities with focus on the veterinary management of sea turtles, dolphins, coral, and marine fish. The program also explores mangrove ecosystems and the conservation efforts with the endangered Blue Iguanas.
The externship is hosted by St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine. St. Matthew’s veterinary students are active participants in the workshop, for credit, without having to go through the typical application process. The externship is coordinated by Dr. Samantha Shields (Dean at St. Matthew’s) and is co-taught by world renowned veterinarians and biologists active in the aquatic, wildlife and conservation medicine fields. Under their direct supervision, students can participate in diagnostic wet labs with emphasis on physical examination, hematology, necropsy techniques and various diagnostic techniques. They can also attend field activities with exposure to the endangered Blue Iguanas, natural coral and fish populations and Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. Lectures focus on topics such as (but not limited to):
- Contemporary concepts in marine conservation medicine, including anatomy and physiology of aquatic species
- Ecosystem biology and health of coral reefs and mangroves
- Emerging issues in marine mammal, sea turtle, and marine fish conservation, as well as marine wildlife ecotoxicology, diagnostic surveillance, morbidity and mortality assessments
- Aquaculture water quality
- Marine wildlife medicine career opportunities
World renowned experts along with the beautiful natural surroundings of Grand Cayman and the St. Matthew’s University campus combine to make MARVET Cayman a unique and educational experience.