On November 9, 2018 at 3 p.m., in the Sandoval County Commission Chambers, two national subject experts will provide a public education session on wildlife fertility control and Porcine Zona Pellucida, or PZP.
PZP is considered the industry standard fertility control vaccine that has been successfully used in wild horse populations for decades. It was developed by the late Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick with whom both presenters worked closely. Presenting at the free public education session will be:
- Dr. Allen Ruthberg
- Dr. John Turner Jr.
Dr. Allen Ruthberg is the Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Trained as a Behavioral Ecologist, in 1984 he earned his Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Washington, Seattle, and carried out a series of field studies on behavior and reproduction in American bison and wild horses.
After seven years of teaching undergraduate Biology at Vassar College and elsewhere, Dr. Ruthberg joined The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) as Senior Scientist for wildlife and habitat protection, where he served from 1991 to 2000. While at the HSUS, he acted as a subject expert and public advisor for the protection of wild horses, endangered species, and urban wildlife, especially white-tailed deer, and he served a two-year term on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board (1998 – 2000). At HSUS he also initiated filed studies of immunocontraceptive vaccines for the non-lethal control of deer and wild horse populations, work he’s continued since joining the Cummings School faculty in 2000.
Dr. Ruthberg is the author or co-author of two dozen published papers and book chapters on the use of immunocontraception in deer and wild horse populations, and edited the 2005 book, Humane Wildlife Solutions: The Role of Immunocontraception, published by HSUS Press.
As Director of CAPP’s M.S, degree program in Animals and Public Policy, Dr. Ruthberg nurtures and guides student research projects related to human-wildlife relationships. Student projects have broadened into research collaborations focusing on how wild horses removed from the range successfully transition from their wild state, and how perceptions of deep and deer management are affected by exposure to or participation in immunocontraception projects.
Dr. John Turner, Jr. is an endocrinologist (PhD, Cornell University; Postdoctoral training, UCLA) with extensive expertise in reproductive biology and stress physiology. He is a Professor of Physiology engaged in teaching and research at the University of Toledo College of Medicine (UTCOM) and his research endeavors have included pioneering research in the field of wildlife contraception, effects of the chronically deteriorating habitats on stress levels of wildlife and fish and the psychophysiology of human stress-related disorder and their treatment. He has extensive filed experience with wild horses and he has been heavily involved in the development and testing of PZP-22 controlled-release contraceptive vaccine and its applications. Dr. Turner has received multiple awards for his work, including the United States Forest Service Chief Award in 2005, and he has published more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in PZP-based research.