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Dr. Julie Barnes Named Director of Animal Health at Santa Barbara Zoo


Dr. Julie Barnes BVSc MSc has been selected as the Santa Barbara Zoo’s new Director of Animal Health. She was the Zoo’s relief veterinarian for more than five years before taking this full-time position.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Barnes join our team,” said Zoo Director Nancy McToldridge. “She has experience with our collection and staff as a relief veterinarian. We have tremendous respect for her clinical abilities, as well as her ability to fit in with our team.”

Dr. Barnes graduated from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and completed a Master’s degree in Wild Animal Health at the London Zoo. Returning to Australia, she was a relief veterinarian at several zoos and wildlife parks and then was employed as a full-time clinical veterinarian at the Taronga Zoo (Sydney, Australia) for seven years, which included work as a veterinarian on seal research projects on two research cruises in Antarctica.

Dr. Julie Barnes BVSc MSc
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Press Release

Dr. Julie Barnes BVSc MSc

She moved to Santa Barbara in 2004 and worked as a part-time clinical veterinarian at the Los Angeles Zoo and University of California, Santa Barbara, until 2010. She began as the Santa Barbara Zoo’s relief veterinarian in 2005.

Dr. Barnes has published papers in scientific journals including The Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine and Marine Mammal Science; written book chapters; and taught undergraduate and postgraduate students from veterinary schools both in Australia and the U.S. including Sydney University, Melbourne University, Western University of Health Sciences and the University of California at Davis.

At the Santa Barbara Zoo, Dr. Barnes is responsible for all preventative and responsive medical care for the facility’s diverse collection and is a member of the Zoo’s management team. She manages the animal health program, including emergency and procedural health care, supervision of quarantine protocols, and much more. Dr. Barnes is also involved with Zoo guests, sharing her expertise through education programs and with the Zoo’s field conservation programs, including those with California condor and Channel Island fox.



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