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Rachel is the state wildlife veterinarian for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, based out of Ames, IA. In addition to investigating morbidity and mortality events, she contributes to research projects examining the impacts of infectious diseases and other health issues on free-living wildlife populations. Rachel grew up in central New Jersey and studied animal science at Cornell University, where she volunteered logging forest elephant calls on spectrograms for the Elephant Listening Project. She then attended veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania, spending a summer with USFWS surveying Kittlitz’s murrelets in Alaska. She moved to Ames in 2016 to earn her PhD in Wildlife Ecology from Iowa State University studying house finch eye disease, transitioning into her role with the Iowa DNR in 2019. She also serves on the board of the Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, an organization dedicated to outreach, education, and restoration of Iowa’s imperiled tallgrass prairie