Lara Joseph has had a lifelong interest in communications and the care of animals under human care. These passions lead to her bachelor’s degree in documentary film-making with the intentions of aiding in the production of wildlife documentaries. Her passion has evolved to focusing on the reinforcers of animal behavior in human care. She dedicates her time and studies to behavior and behavior modification techniques using positive reinforcement interaction and her continuing education of master’s classes in applied behavior analysis.

Lara lives in Ohio where she owns and operates The Animal Behavior Center, an animal behavior and training facility based on teaching people how to train, force-free through empowering the animal and creating strong, reliable, trust-building relationships using positive reinforcement and applications in behavior analysis. She travels, lectures, consults, and presents workshops nationally and internationally on behavior, behavior change, positive reinforcement training, and enrichment. She has served on the board at Nature’s Nursery, a wildlife rehabilitation center where she has and currently serves as Director of Training for the animal division. She enjoys working with such organizations as Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence, animal shelters across the nation, and The Indonesian Parrot Project, where she also sits on the advisory board.

Lara is a professional member of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance and the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators. She writes many articles for journals such as The Pet Professional Guild, The American Federation of Aviculture, and is a guest blogger for Deaf Dogs Rock and My Safe Bird Store, and writes for several periodicals on behavior. Lara’s lectures and presentations have taken her many places including The Philadelphia Zoo, The Ohio State University’s Exotic Veterinarians Club, Wheaton College Division of Applied Behavior Analysis, The International Wildlife Rehabilitators Conference, and the Association for Avian Veterinarians.

Alicia McLaughlin, DVM

Dr. McLaughlin received her DVM degree from Oklahoma State University. She completed a veterinary internship in exotic animal medicine at the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine (CBEAM), and is now an associate veterinarian at this practice. Dr. McLaughlin has been involved in veterinary research and leadership throughout her career, and has authored/co-authored articles in both professional journals and national conference proceedings.  She enjoys sharing her knowledge with local exotics groups, and is a regular contributor to the Pacific Science Center's annual "Get Set To Be A Vet" children's camp. Dr. McLaughlin has a special interest in animal behavioral modification using positive reinforcement training, and is passionate about providing low stress veterinary visits for all of her patients. She is currently working towards becoming a board certified specialist in avian medicine. In her spare time, Dr. McLaughlin enjoys relaxing with her veterinarian husband in the great outdoors and providing environmental enrichment for her pets. She currently shares her home with 2 dogs, 2 white bellied caiques, 1 blue throated macaw, 4 leopard geckos, 1 gargoyle gecko, 1 New Caledonian Giant Gecko, 2 ball pythons, 1 rainbow boa, and multiple freshwater fish. 

Anneliese Strunk, DVM, Diplomat ABVP (Avian)

Dr. Strunk was born and raised in Houston, Texas. In high school, she developed her interest in avian and exotic animals through a volunteer program at the Houston Zoo. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She spent her first year out of school as an associate at Research Boulevard Pet and Bird Hospital seeing small animal and exotic cases. Seeking advanced knowledge in avian and exotic Animal medicine, Dr. Strunk went on to complete an internship in Exotic Animal, Wildlife and Zoo Medicine at the University of Georgia in 2002, followed by a three-year residency in the Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine Service at the University of California at Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in 2005. After completing her residency, Dr. Strunk moved across the country to help start the Avian and Exotics Department at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, NJ. She saw primary care and referral avian and exotics cases as both an associate and department head until moving back home to Texas in August 2009. She spent 5 years in Austin at Research Boulevard Pet and Bird Hospital as an associate and Medical Director for Exotics. In 2010, she achieved board certification in Avian Practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). 

Dr. Strunk is the author and co-author of a number of articles in both professional journals and national conference proceedings. She is on the board of directors for the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV). Dr. Strunk has a strong research background, covering a variety of topics including avian clinical pathology and reptile ophthalmology. She has presented her research and clinical case reports at national meetings of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) and the ARAV. She enjoys giving presentations to referring veterinarians, clients, schools, as well as area pet clubs. Dr. Strunk has a special interest in surgery, endoscopic techniques, small mammal dentistry, ophthalmology, and teaching. In her free time, Dr. Strunk enjoys making fused glass art and jewelry, silversmithing, and cloisonné. She shares her home with a variety of birds, reptiles, cats and a super cute dachshund cross (not to mention her dedicated, pet-loving husband, Shu).

Jason Crean, MS, EdD is a degreed biologist, an avid aviculturist specializing in the propagation of green aracaris and white-backed mousebirds, President of The Avicultural Society of Chicagoland, and First Vice-President for the American Federation of Aviculture.  Dr. Crean often speaks to avicultural groups across the country and acts as consultant to zoos and other institutions, including the Wildlife Genetics lab at Loyola Medical Center and Chicago Nature Museum.  He also runs a live animal education program that does free interactive programs for a host of different audiences. 

Crean is also a biology instructor at the high school and university levels and a curriculum designer and instructor in the Education Department at the Chicago Zoological Society.  Crean has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the highest award a teacher can receive in the US, by President Obama in 2009, the 2010 High School Science Teacher of the Year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as awards from the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Illinois Science Teachers Association, the Golden Apple Foundation, among others. He serves as President-elect for the Illinois Science Teachers Association, Vice-President for the Illinois Association of Biology Teachers, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching and the College Board's National Science Advisory Panel.

Karen Shaw Becker received her degree in veterinary medicine from the Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Becker completed exotic animal internships in California and at the Berlin Zoo, Germany, and is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture and Homeopathy. Dr. Becker was the founder of Natural Pet Animal Hospital, Feathers Bird Clinic and TheraPaw Rehabilitation and Pain Management Clinic, in Illinois. She is also licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rehabilitate injured and orphaned endangered species through her non-profit organization, Covenant Wildlife.
As a proactive wellness veterinarian, Dr. Becker frequently lectures and writes about species appropriate nutrition, maintaining a balanced immune system and a resilient frame (her “Three Pillars of Health”).  She has co-authored the Whole Dog Journal’s Best Homemade Diet Book of All Time award, “Real Food for Healthy Pets.” She has appeared on the hit show, Animal Planet, and is deeply honored to be named one of Chicago's Top Ten Vets, according to Chicago Magazine. Dr. Becker is also the veterinary consultant for Mercola Healthy Pets, the largest pet wellness website on the internet.

 She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association; American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association; Association of Avian Veterinarians; Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians; Association of Wildlife Veterinarians; International Veterinary Acupuncture Society; American Association of Veterinary Acupuncturists; Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy; National Wildlife Rehabilitator's Association; International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care; International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management; American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

My name is Patricia Sund and  I live in Florida. My family consists of 3 African Greys: Parker, Pepper and Nyla.  I’m a Flight Attendant and I write. I also like to cook. When I got my first Grey, Parker years ago, I decided that if I was going to do this “Parrot” thing right, I was going to have to learn a few things. So I sat down and read absolutely everything I could find on the Internet. I bought every book, even the outdated ones, and purchased every training video available. I enrolled in and  completed the Natural Encounters Inc. “Companion Parrot Training Seminars” I and II. After completing these, I  enrolled in, completed and earned a Certificate of  Excellence in Dr. Susan Friedman’s online course,  LLP: Living and Learning with Parrots. These courses are life-changing and I recommend them highly. They will change the way you view your birds, as well as the way you view the world.

I started writing for BIRD TALK Magazine in 2007.  In March of 2009, I began writing a column for BIRD TALK titled “Memo to Parker and Pepper” which is apparently making an impact and is now into its fourth year of publication.  I have written articles for Barbara Heidenreich’s Magazine, “Good Bird,” internal articles for the Company I fly for, American Federation of Aviculture’s Bird Watch Magazine, Phoenix Landing’s, Phoenix Beakin’ and the Alamo Exhibition Bird Club Newsletter. I have done presentations in Positive Reinforcement Training for bird clubs as well as doing children’s presentations for the Boys and Girls Club and several schools. I also spoke at The Long Island Parrot Society, the Raleigh Durham Caged Bird Society, the Midwest Bird Expo, Phoenix Landing and the Rocky Mountain Society of Aviculture Expo.