P&G Pet Care Wildlife Conservation Scholarship

Posted July 5, 2011

P&G Pet Care Wildlife Conservation Scholarship Program Established for Veterinary Students
In Partnership with Ohio State University and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

CINCINNATI — A new summer scholarship program has been established with the support of P&G Pet Care to provide hands-on scientific training to veterinary students interested in pursuing wildlife conservation research as a possible career focus. In a partnership between the Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), the P&G scholarship will provide salary, research and travel support to two veterinary students each year to conduct wildlife research studies with mentoring by OSU and CREW scientists.

“This opportunity provides veterinary students unique experiences in conservation and new career paths not available without the outstanding partnership between Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), P&G Pet Care, and The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine”, stated Dr. Michael Lairmore, Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies at The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

In this novel program, the veterinary student scholars will receive training in identifying critical conservation issues affecting wildlife species, designing hypothesis-based scientific studies and using state-of-the-art technologies for data collection and analysis.  Findings from their studies are expected to broaden our basic understanding of wildlife biology while assisting zoos in improving the care and management of wildlife species in human care.  In turn, the student scholars will gain exposure to the challenges and importance of wildlife research and hopefully continue their research training after veterinary school to become conservation-focused veterinary scientists.

“This partnership highlights the importance of veterinary medicine and the important role that veterinarians play in every community,” said Dr. Susan Giovengo, Manager, P&G Pet Care Professional Relations.  “Pet health and wellness is at the core of our mission so it is fitting that P&G Pet Care sponsors this program.”

The first two P&G Wildlife Conservation Scholars have been selected for 2011:  Emily Marshall, a first year veterinary student from Middletown, OH, and Melissa Nau, a second year veterinary student from Jersey Shore, PA.Ms. Marshall will be mentored by Drs. Tony Buffington of OSU and Bill Swanson of CREW in a study to investigate the potential causes for the high prevalence of bladder cancer observed in an endangered cat species, the fishing cat, in North American zoos.  As part of this study, Emily also will work with Russ Kelley, Senior Scientist for the Iams Nutrition Laboratories at P&G Pet Care, to learn to conduct dietary and biological sample analysis to identify nutritional factors possibly affecting cancer occurrence.  Samples will be assessed from fishing cats in North American zoos and compared to samples collected from wild fishing cats in Thailand.  Her findings may lead to the modification of zoo diets or management practices to help reduce the prevalence of bladder cancer in fishing cats.

Ms. Nau will be mentored by Drs. Carlos Pinto at OSU and Monica Stoops at CREW in a study to investigate hormonal analysis in the endangered Indian rhinoceros using saliva samples.  In CREW’s endocrinology laboratory, Melissa will learn to conduct enzyme immunoassays for the purpose of comparing reproductive hormone concentrations in saliva versus urine.  Salivary hormone analysis may provide an easier means to monitor the reproductive status of Indian rhinos.  Results from Melissa’s research could help to improve the breeding management of Indian rhinos in zoos.

In addition to the Wildlife Conservation Scholarship, P&G Pet Care has provided additional support to the Cincinnati Zoo in recent years.  In 2009, P&G Pet Care funded the Iams Animal Wellness Plaza located between CREW and the Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital.  The Iams Animal Wellness Plaza encourages zoo visitors to discover the important link between science and nutrition and the impact on animal health and the conservation of endangered species.

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About P&G Pet Care
For more than 60 years, P&G Pet Care (NYSE:PG), the maker of Iams and Eukanuba, has enhanced the well-being of dogs and cats by providing world-class quality foods and pet care products.  To learn more about Eukanuba® and Iams® Dog & Cat Foods or general pet care and nutrition information, call the Iams Consumer Care Center at (800) 446-3075.  You can also visit us on the Web at www.iams.com.

About Procter & Gamble
Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world.  The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun® and Fusion®.  The P&G community includes approximately 127,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide.  Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

About The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ranked 5th among the 28 veterinary colleges in North America, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has led the veterinary profession for 126 years, offering cutting-edge expertise in animal care, research, teaching and community involvement.  The college is located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges.  The Veterinary Medical Center serves 35,000 animal patients a year and offers a Clinical Trials Office that provides patients with the latest treatments available. From global health programs to basic cancer research, the college focuses on a “One Health” approach that combines animal health issues with human health concerns and environmental impact, to create a healthier world.

About CREW
The Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) is a global leader in wildlife conservation.  Established in 1991 as the first institution of its kind focusing on both plant and animal conservation research, CREW is dedicated to “Saving Species with Science®”.  World renowned for its accomplishments with its three Signature Projects – endangered rhinoceroses, imperiled small cats and North American plants – CREW also conducts substantial research with polar bears, amphibians and otters.  These conservation efforts, involving a diversity of scientific disciplines and multi-institutional collaborations, are expanding understanding of species biology, enhancing reproduction and genetic management, and ensuring a future for wildlife.

About the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
The world famous Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden was rated the #1 attraction locally and one of the top zoos in the nation by Zagat Survey.  It has also been recognized by Child Magazine as one of “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids.”  Over one million people visit the Zoo’s award-winning exhibits, and more than 500 animal and 3000 plant species annually. The Zoo is an accredited member of the American Zoo & Aquarium Association (AZA) and the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (AABGA), is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants, and engages in research and conservation projects worldwide.