Location: Bowdoin / Earth and Oceanographic Science / Research / Speakers and Panelists

Earth and Oceanographic Science

Speakers and Panelists

Valerie Shearn-Bochsler

Valerie Shearn-Bochsler, DVM, MPH, Dilp. ACVP

Veterinary Research Pathologist
USGS, National Wildlife Health Center
Madison, WI 


As a veterinary pathologist at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, I work on a wide variety of both avian and mammalian wildlife health issues.   I have developed a special interest in the effects of harmful algal blooms on wild bird populations as a result of investigating mortality events in which algal toxins have played a role.  Currently I am involved in research involving the pathogenesis of avian vacuolar myelinopathy in waterfowl and eagles, and also of steatitis in herons.  Both of these conditions are suspected to be linked to the exposure to cyanobacteria.

Relevant Publications:

Sipiä, V. O., J. C. Franson, O. Sjövall, S. Pflugmacker, V. Shearn-Bochsler, T. E. Rocke, & J. A. O. Meriluoto.  Exposure of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to the hepatotoxic cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena. Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry 2008, 90: 437-444.

Shearn-Bochsler, V, M. Williams,  R. Harris, & Leighfied, T.  Saxitoxin poisoning as a cause of mortality in common terns (Sterna hirundo) during the 2005 severe harmful algal bloom off the southern New England coast.  56th Annual Wildlife Disease Association Conference, Estes Park, CO, August 2007