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Oklahoma State University
Center For Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Avian, Exotics and Zoo Medicine Faculty and Staff


Joao Brandao, DVM, MS, Dipl. ECZM (Avian)

joao brandao

Dr. João Brandão, Assistant Professor of Zoological Medicine at the Oklahoma State University earned his veterinary degree from the University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Dourvo in Vila Real, Portugal. He completed exotic animal medicine and zoological medicine internships at the Great Western Referrals (Swindon, UK), Tufts University (North Grafton, MA), and the University of Georgia (Athens, GA). Brandão completed a three year zoological medicine residency and Master of Science degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the Louisiana State University. He became a diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Avian) in 2018. View Dr. Brandao's publications.

Nicola Di Girolamo, DMV, MSc (EBHC), GP Cert (ExAP), PhD, DECZM (Herp)

nicola di girolamo

Dr. Di Girolamo is an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. Originally from Rome, Italy, he earned his DMV (DVM equivalent) and a Ph.D. in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Bologna in Italy. Di Girolamo is also a diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Herpetology). His research interests range from diagnostic techniques in exotics to the application of evidence-based practice and meta-research in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Di Girolamo comes to OSU from the Tai Wai Small Animal and Exotic Hospital located in Sha Tin, Hong Kong.


Lauren Schmidt, DVM

lauren schmidt

Originally from Deerfield, Ill., she earned her DVM degree from the University of Illinois. Schmidt's research interests include
endocrinology, analgesia, and epidemiology in exotic and zoo species.

Before starting veterinary college, Lauren hiked the
Inca Trail and backpacked through Europe. In her spare time,  she enjoys traveling and anything outside, especially biking and hiking.

Veterinary Technician

Ian Kanda, RVT

ian kanda

Ian is a Veterinary Technician in the Avian, Exotic and Zoological Service at OSU's Veterinary Medical Hospital. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, he earned a Diploma of Animal Health Technology from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His research interests include blood cell morphology and parasitology of exotic pets and wildlife, wildlife conservation, advancements in captive husbandry and in clinical procedures for minute patients.

In his spare time, Ian enjoys nature--looking for reptiles and amphibians, bird watching and hiking--especially if he is collecting data for conservation measures.