Sharon Deem

Dr. Sharon Deem is a wildlife veterinarian and epidemiologist. She also is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM).

Sharon first came to the Galapagos in 2007, living there with her family from 2007 – 2010. While in the Galapagos, Sharon served as the veterinary epidemiologist for the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Avian Health in the Galapagos.  This work included studies on the parasites and pathogens that increasingly threaten the endemic and native avifauna of the islands.  Additionally, based at the Charles Darwin Foundation, Sharon provided veterinary support to a number of wildlife health efforts in the Islands.

While living in Galapagos, Sharon’s husband Stephen Blake started the Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme (GTMEP) in 2009. As a member of the GTMEP team, Sharon continues to work in the Galapagos and she generally visits twice a year to conduct research and health studies on tortoises as part of this long-term project.

She is the Director of the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine (ICM) in St. Louis, MO. Sharon is the author of over 125 referred articles, 25 book chapters, and numerous non-referred papers. She is also the author of the 2019 book, Introduction to One Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Planetary Health. Sharon has a special fondness for elephants, jaguars, and turtles of all sizes and shapes! 


The mission of the Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station is to tackle the greatest threats and challenges to Galapagos through scientific research and conservation action, in order to safeguard one of the world’s most important natural treasures.

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