James has authored numerous scientific papers and contributed to a range of books. He has presented at a number of veterinary conferences and has also made a range of appearances on TV and radio. James has a large collection of reptiles and birds that is forever growing. His interests outside of the aforementioned include surfing, kite-surfing, basketball and snow-boarding.
- Dr. James Haberfield
- Dr. Shane Simpson
Dr Shane Simpson is well known amongst the reptile keeping community as “The Reptile Doctor” and brings his wealth of experience in the field of reptile and amphibian medicine and surgery to The Unusual Pet Vets. He regular presents on the topic to fellow veterinarians, veterinary nurses and reptile keepers both here in Australia and internationally. In addition, he has contributed to several veterinary text books, held positions on animal ethics committees and does a considerable amount of work training wildlife rehabilitators about caring for injured reptiles.
When not working at The Unusual Pet Vets, Shane can be found just up the road still treating dogs and cats at Karingal Veterinary Hospital where he is also a co-owner of the practice.
Shane has a diverse reptile collection that his wife and two daughters are OK with as long as they stay behind the glass. He also has a big, dopey Bloodhound Cross dog named Butter.
- Dr. Hamish Baron
Dr Hamish Baron moved from New Zealand to study veterinary science at the University of Queensland, after graduation he took a position at UQ as a rotating intern in small animal and exotic pet medicine. Following the internship he took over as Director of the Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital at the University of Sydney where he was based for four years, also undertaking a residency training programme in Avian Medicine and Surgery. He will complete his avian residency in late 2018 and will sit exams to become one of seven avian specialists in Australia. Hamish is currently undertaking a PhD exploring novel treatments for Macrorhabdus orthinogaster through the University of Sydney. When he’s not working, Hamish can be found in the rivers of northern Tasmania, Victoria or Southern NSW looking for sapphires with his dog, Henrietta, a poodle X who loves to steal socks.
- Dr. Trent Van Zanten
Trent graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2015 with a strong passion for exotic animals, and on graduation was fortunate enough to land a position working alongside Dr Shane Simpson at the Reptile Doctor (Karingal Vet Hospital). Here he gained a wealth of experience treating a plethora of species, learning surgical procedures and accruing medical knowledge aiding the diagnosis and treatment of disease in reptiles, birds and small mammals, amongst the usual fare of dogs and cats. While Trent continues to work part time with dog and cats at the Karingal Vet Hospital, he joins The Unusual Pet Vets with the aim to provide the gold standard in veterinary care for all unusual animals – his absolute favourites!
Trent is a keen advocate of continual education and is constantly attending conferences, workshops and lectures from veterinary leaders around the world, while at the same time building his own repertoire of presentations, papers and research, to further develop his skills and offer his own knowledge to others in the veterinary community. One of his major interests is endoscopy and coelioscopy in exotic animals, and it’s untapped applications in both diagnostic and surgical management of disease.
When he’s not working, Trent is often busily cleaning cages and looking after his animals at home! He has a large collection of elapids, blue tongues, pythons and monitor lizards, with a particular focus on mulga snakes, taipans and arid blue tongues. In addition he has kept a wide range of birds over the years but is focussed now on breeding the larger South American parrots – a continual challenge but that’s all part of the fun!
Outside of the animal world, Trent is a fanatical motorbike rider, enjoys surfing (despite the lack of skills in this department!) and is a regular gym goer and bushwalking enthusiast – however most trips to the great outdoors will be spent looking for wild reptiles or particular birds, instead of the beautiful scenery around him..
- Dr. Michelle Sutherland
Michelle originally hails from the UK and moved to Australia in 2012. She has completed a residency training programme in Avian Medicine and Surgery, during which she studied with bird specialists in Australia and the USA. Michelle is currently working towards obtaining specialist status in Avian Medicine through the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. By examination, Michelle has achieved Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Avian Health, and is one of only a few vets in Australia to hold a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Zoological Medicine, obtained through the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which included training in the medicine and surgery of birds, rabbits, rodents and ferrets, and reptiles. Michelle enjoys working with all kinds of exotic pets, be they feathered, furry or scaly, but has a particular soft spot for birds and small mammals. Her experience working in the UK left her with a love of bunnies that will last for life!
Before she was a vet, Michelle worked as a wildlife researcher in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and the UK. She has written a number of scientific papers and is a regular contributor at veterinary conferences. Outside of work, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter and can be found bushwalking, wildlife watching and enjoying the produce of the great Australian vineyards. She also plays the ukulele (badly), and is terrorised by a very cheeky cockatiel called Marmalade.
- Vet Nurse Erin
Erin started working with exotics when she was after a new challenge in her career has been lucky enough to work with some fantastic vets and nurses. She has been able to and will continue to learn and expand her skill base.
At home she is owned by two lazy dogs, two geckos, two pythons, a conure, a black cockatoo and the human family!
- Vet Nurse Alianna
Alianna moved to Melbourne in 2016 to pursue her passion in reptile and exotic veterinary medicine after finishing Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Massey University in New Zealand. She has a strong interest in reptiles, especially elapidae (Venomous snakes), goannas and geckos but absolutely loves caring for all kinds of unusual pets from fluffies to scalies! On her days off work, she likes to go for skateboarding, surfing, rescuing wildlife or being a bookworm and hanging with her 2 kitties: Brad Kitt and Angfelina Joflea, a lorikeet named Señor, and 30+ reptilian pets.
- Vet Nurse Leonie
Leonie has been working in small animal practice for 8 years and has joined our team to follow her passion for exotics nursing. She has always had a love for reptiles, keeping reptiles most of her life and coordinating wild reptile rehabilitation with WIRES for several years in western NSW. Throughout her nursing she has also developed a love for small mammals, especially rabbits.
At home leonie has 3 pythons, a monitor, and a cat named Sora.
- Vet Nurse Georgia
Georgia has been working as a vet nurse for several years and is very excited to persue her passion for reptiles and all the other exotic pets at the Unusual Pet Vets. This passion has lead her to many interesting jobs and lots of further study, but Veterinary Nursing is where she feels she is meant to be. At home Georgia has a collection of reptiles, Titan her Greyhound and Nala her cat. She is so excited to be part of this incredible team.