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Sharon Deem, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl ACZM

Director of the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine


Sharon is the Director of the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine (ICM), for which she serves as the first Director since its launch in September 2011. The ICM takes a holistic approach to wildlife conservation, public health and sustainable ecosystems. In addition to global health and conservation projects, Dr. Deem is training the next generation of One Health practitioners. Her first role with the Saint Louis Zoo was as the veterinary epidemiologist based in the Galápagos Islands as part of the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Avian Health in the Galápagos Islands.

In 2018 and 2020, she delivered TEDx talks on One Health. She has published extensively on conservation and health topics with over 150 journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Deem also is the first author of the 2019 textbook “Introduction to One Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Planetary Health,” which has been used in the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) One Health semester course for the past 5 years.

Prior to the Saint Louis Zoo, Dr. Deem worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society and Smithsonian National Zoo with much of that time living and working in African and South American countries. Dr. Deem holds a DVM from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, a Ph.D. in veterinary sciences (epidemiology) from the University of Florida and after a three-year residency in zoo and wildlife medicine became board-certified in the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM). She served in an executive role for ACZM over eight years.

Dr. Deem is currently the president of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (Nov. 1, 2023-Oct. 31, 2024).

Sharon has a special fondness for elephants, sea turtles and jaguars.


Diplomate - American College of Zoological Medicine following Residency in Wildlife and Zoological Medicine, University of Florida
Ph.D. - Veterinary Sciences (Epidemiology), University of Florida
DVM - Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
B.S. - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Areas of Expertise

Wildlife Health
Conservation Medicine
One Health
Clinical Zoological Medicine

You can follow her on X (formerly Twitter) @deemsharon or at her website