Every month, the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) features one of their members in a spotlight article. For May 2023, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Alexis Liesen, Class of ’25, was selected to be featured. For the original article on AAV’s website, click here.
AAV Member Since:
What was the first bird job you ever had?
The first bird experience I have ever had was volunteering at the Wildlife Medical Clinic at the University of Illinois during my undergraduate degree. There I was exposed to wildlife avian medicine including passerines, raptors, and waterfowl. From that point on I was hooked on avian medicine. I was able to learn how to complete basic medical procedures on many species of wild birds such as administering fluids and medication, and laser therapy on raptors in recovery. The Wildlife Medical Clinic set me on the path I am on now and I hope to continue that by working with domestic and wild birds throughout my career.
Most memorable AAV experience or contribution?
My most memorable AAV experience was bringing back RUSVM’s Student Chapter of the AAV. When I arrived on St. Kitts to begin veterinary school, I immediately sought out the AAV chapter on campus. I was disappointed to find out that it had become inactive during the COVID-19 pandemic. I then became determined to bring back our student chapter to provide my classmates with opportunities to learn about birds. I took on the President position of RUSVM’s Student Chapter of the AAV, recruited officers, and collaborated with professors to restore the AAV chapter at my school. Since then, we have become a thriving chapter of AAV and host many different wet labs and lecture to supplement RUSVM students’ avian education.
What is your favorite avian species and why?
That is a very difficult question. I would have to say poicephalus parrots! I have my own Meyer’s Parrot and I am just in love with the personality and demeanor that many poicephalus parrots have. I have found these parrots very easy to train as well. They are hilarious, intelligent, and sometimes spicy creatures and I can’t get enough of them.
What was your favorite class or activity in vet school/vet tech school/college?
My favorite activity in vet school has definitely working with the wildlife on St. Kitts! Through the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, I was given the opportunity to help organize the rescue and rehabilitation of a juvenile brown pelican! The pelican, who we affectionately called Peli Brown, became the very first rehabilitated and released bird in St. Kitts history.