We are pleased to announce the appointment of Siga Lapinskas as the Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation (ZWNF) Resident at the Toronto Zoo. This position came available with the generous support of the Sue Crissey Animal Nutrition Residency Fund (SCARF) of the Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation (ZWNF). This fund was established in 2006 by the Chicago Zoological Society, in cooperation with the AZA Nutrition Advisory Group (NAG), to acknowledge and honor the significant impact that Sue Crissey had on the field of zoo nutrition during her 15 years of service at Brookfield Zoo. The goal of this fund continues to be the support of residencies in nutritional studies that will improve the welfare of animals in zoos and aquariums.
Siga will train and assist at the Toronto Zoo Nutrition Science Branch to become a Zoo Nutritionist, qualified for employment in an AZA/CAZA accredited facility. This 2-year educational/learning position will allow her to observe, participate and review the operations, managerial activities, meetings, courses, presentations, research, development, and training programs of the Nutrition Science Branch of the Toronto Zoo.
Siga started her career as a summer nutrition intern at the Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas. She enjoyed it so much that upon returning to her undergraduate studies at Colorado State University, she immediately wanted to change her major as she realized her path to zoo nutrition would be unique. As a Master of Science in Animal Science from The Pennsylvania State University, Siga returned to the world of exotic animal nutrition as the comparative nutrition intern at Lincoln Park Zoo in Lincoln Park, Illinois. During that internship, she was encouraged to apply for the Gilbert Martin Exotic Animal Nutrition Fellowship at San Diego Zoo Global. After completing this 6-month fellowship, Siga returned to San Diego Zoo Global as a Research Associate, providing nutritional support to species identified by the organization as high priority species for conservation including African Elephants, Pacific Pocket Mice, and the Hawaiian Endangered Bird Conservation Program.
We look forward to Siga continuing her relationship with the international Zoo community and to further her knowledge and skills in pursuit of joining the field of zoo nutrition as a professional Zoo Nutritionist. Congratulations Siga!