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Are you a student interested in conservation medicine, One Health, or wildlife disease? We host a variety of events including a Virtual Student Workshop on Conservation Medicine-One Health-Wildlife Diseases, a biannual Conservation Medicine & Biology Course in Costa Rica, and we will be hosting the 71st Annual International Conference of the Wildlife Diseases Association at our main campus! 

Please read the Prospective Student Section to gain more insight on how to become a student of the Hernandez Lab. If you want to work with me, email me and we will schedule a time to talk via Zoom or in person. Please be persistent. Certain times of the year are very busy and I have to prioritize my current students (under and grad) over prospective students. Persistence pays off! I am looking for people who want to work with urban wildlife, who are interested in continuing white ibis work, Salmonella work, antimicrobial resistance etc, among other things, but my main theme “anthropogenic activities that influence wildlife health and pathogen dynamics” still stands.

Our lab is interested in all aspects of wildlife disease! Recent research explores how pathogens affect wildlife populations, communities and ecosystems, from an applied perspective. We attempt to understand how anthropogenic changes to the landscape affect wildlife disease dynamics. Such research encompasses the intersection of human, animal and wildlife health and integrates ecological principles to inform the fields of conservation medicine and One Health.

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White Ibis
White Ibis Flock



The University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and SCWDS are jointly hosting the 71st annual international conference of the Wildlife Disease Association July 29-August 4th, 2023; Athens, Georgia. Its theme is “People, Passion, & Purpose: The Pathway to Wildlife Health” Sonia serves as the local Host Committee Chair and most of her graduate students are playing major roles in this conference. The basis of this conference is to find holistic solutions to these challenges that optimize outcomes for humans, animals and the environment. For a preliminary program, details about Athens, our sponsors and more, please visit 


Summer 2023

  • Dr. Hernandez is currently the Vice-President at the Wildlife Diseases Association, and serves as the local Host Committee Chair of the 71st Annual International Conference of the Wildlife Diseases Association.

  • Visit the website of the Conference for more information 

Spring 2023

  • PhD. Student Doreen Chaussadas was awarded a UGA Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

  • PhD. Candidate Jorge Rojas-Jimenez and Ph. Student Matt Tatz both from the Integrative Conservation (ICON) Program, presented at the Symposium on Integrative Conservation (SIC) 2023.

Summer 2022

  • Dr. Hernandez as Course Instructor and PhD Candidate Jorge Rojas Jimenez as Teaching Assistant, joined the Conservation Medicine & Biology Course held in Costa Rica by June.

  • With 19 students participating, the course was a success!

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