Dr. Ariel Loredo
Dr. Ariel Loredo is an MPVM alumna who is pursuing a PhD in epidemiology en route to a career in wildlife population medicine. Ariel grew up in San Diego where she spent most of her free time hiking in the canyon behind her house with her dogs (Cinnamon & Rex), riding her bike, volunteering at the vet office, taking classes at the zoo, and reading a ton of books (Lord of the Rings and any high fantasy). During summers, her family typically travelled to Mexico to visit the beef ranch her paternal grandfather runs and there she mainly rode the horse around, chased the goats/chickens, and helped out with household chores.
She always knew she wanted to be a veterinarian and discovered a love for research as an undergrad, particularly in herpetology, but didn't know how to incorporate the two. When she came to UC Davis for vet school, she was torn between her interests in zoo medicine and medicine or free-ranging wildlife. Although she did an emergency and critical care internship and enjoyed clinical work, she found herself missing research a lot. Undertaking the PhD was a consideration but she wasn’t positive she was ready to devote that much of her life to research. The MPVM was a part of a strategy to help figure out if a clinical life with great training in research was the right path, or if a research-based life with a PhD and a touch of clinical medicine was right. She chose the latter.
Ariel believes that being Latina helps make international work easier in a way. She feels comfortable working in developing countries and finds that being able to relate and speak some Spanish makes it easier for her to chat and interact with people and seem more approachable. During her training, she didn’t experience particularly negative racial or minority prejudice. In fact she thinks people often stereotype Latinos as all experiencing lower socio-economic status but she grew up in a relatively affluent area and had the privilege of a family that could support her education. It’s very important to her to help encourage and support other LatinX individuals who might have lacked the opportunities and advantages that she had.
Looking forward, Ariel aims to use her PhD ideally working in a position that will let her work on the wildlife-human interface studying disease transmission/risks, on one that would let her take an active field work role with wildlife. It could be academic, NGOs, zoos, or even government anywhere in the world. She credits the MPVM with giving her the experience and a path to be able to see clearly that this career is what she wanted and how to accomplish her goal.