Congratulations to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s (RUSVM) Dr. Kimberly Stewart for her recent Champions Award from the International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS). ISTS Champions Awards are presented annually to individuals or communities, governmental or non-governmental organizations that have carried out outstanding work towards the effective conservation of sea turtles. Awardees have been nominated by their ISTS peers. Kimberly Stewart, MS, DVM is an Associate Professor of Exotic and Avian Medicine at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) and the Founder and Director of the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN).
“I am honored to receive this Award from the ISTS and thankful to the individuals who nominated me. It takes a strong team to make all of the various components of the sea turtle program work and I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of the amazing and dedicated team that makes positive things happen for sea turtles in St. Kitts.”
Dr. Kimberly Stewart completed her BS and MS in Biology at Georgia Southern University before getting her start in conservation working as a sea turtle technician on two of Georgia’s remote barrier islands. Those experiences travelled with her to St. Kitts, where she attended veterinary school at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. It was here, in the Caribbean, that her sea turtle career blossomed. Not long after arriving to the island, she created the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network in 2003. Since then, she has completed veterinary school and transitioned to a full- time faculty member at RUSVM while simultaneously growing the sea turtle network and working diligently to shape the face of conservation in St. Kitts. Under Dr. Stewart’s leadership, the network has since grown to include both morning and night patrols for all species nesting on the island; in- water capture of foraging juveniles; a sea turtle health assessment program; sustainable livelihood development; and a conservation and sea turtle health education program.
Dr. Stewart now serves as faculty advisor for multiple student organizations and provides exemplary leadership for conservation agencies throughout the Caribbean including: WIDECAST, UNESCO’s man and Biosphere Bureau Committee, the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, and the St. Christopher National Trust Environment Committee. Dr. Stewart has a strong history of collaboration with national and international partners.