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Researchers - Pamela Tuomi

Senior Veterinarian


Why did I want to study Alaska's marine animals?
Fascination with similarities (and especially the differences) between companion animal medicine and marine animal physiology and medicine. So many things to observe and try to figure out. Applies to all marine life from invertebrates to megafauna.

How did I get into the Marine Biology field?
Always into biology and vet medicine but got into marine mammals by accident – the accidental discharge of oil into PWS by the Exxon Valdez in 1998.

Dr. Tuomi developed her interest in wildlife and exotic animal medicine while working as a veterinary student, and continued over the last 36 years as a small animal  practitioner and clinic owner and , since 1997, as the Senior Veterinarian at the Alaska SeaLife Center with special interest in marine animal medicine. She is a member of Association of Avian Veterinarians, the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians and the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine. During the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Wildlife Rehabilitation effort, Dr. Tuomi worked at Otter Rehabilitation Centers in Alaska as staff veterinarian responsible for medical care and monitoring of oil contaminated sea otters from capture through release. Since that time, she has remained active in ongoing marine mammal research in Alaska and in developement and publication of information related to marine animal medicine and oil spill rehabilitation. She has worked as a veterinary consultant while continuing regular duties as a full time veterinarian supporting animal health and research at the Alaska SeaLife Center . Project participation has included sea otter, harbor seal, Steller sea lion and eider duck capture, surgery, health assessment and necropsy projects  in Alaska, Canada and Russia.

Burek,  K. A. ,  J. L. Bodkin, A. M. Doroff, V. A. Gill, P. Tuomi, M. A. Miller, S. S. Jang, 2005. “Valvular Endocarditis and Septicemia Due to Streptococcus infantarius ss coli Organisms in Stranded Northern(Enhydra lutris kenyoni) and Southern Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris nereis)” in Proceedings of International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine,  Seward, AK, Rhonda Patterson ed., Vol. 36, Pg 215-217.   

 Petrauskas, L. P. Tuomi, S. Atkinson. 2004. “Non-invasive monitoring of stress hormone levels of a female Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) pup undergoing rehabilitation.” 5th International Symposium on Physiology, Behaviour and Conservation of Wildlife, September 26-29, 2004, Berlin, Germany.
Tuomi, P., M. Gray, and D. Christen, 2004. “Clinical Manifestations and Treatment of Discospondylitis In An Adult Captive Harbor Seal”. in: Proceedings of International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine, Galveston, TX., L. Gauge, ed., Vol. 35, Pg 34-36

Noll, N. and P. Tuomi, 2004. “Diagnostic Approach To Dementia And Seizures In A Juvenile Northern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)”.  in: Proceedings of International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine, Galveston, TX. . L. Gauge, ed., Vol. 35,  Pg 32-33.

Mulcahy, D.M., P. A. Tuomi, G.W. Garner, C.Y. Jay, 2003. “Immobilization of free-renging male Pacific Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) with carfentinil citrate and naltrexone hydrochloride” Marine Mammal Science,  Vol. 19, No. 4, pp846-850

  Desh, C.E, M.D. Dailey, P. Tuomi, 2003 “Description of a Hair Follicle Mite (ACARI:
Demodecidae) Parasitic in the Earless Seal Family Phocidae (Mammalia: Carnivora) From the
Harbor Seal Phoca Vitulina Linnaeus, 1758” International Journal of Acarology Vol. 29, No.3
pg. 231-235

Mulcahy, D.M.,  P.  Tuomi , and R. S. Larsen, 2003,  Differential Mortality of Male Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) and King Eiders (Somateria spectabilis) Subsequent to Anesthesia With Propofol, Bupivacaine, and Ketoprofen,  Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 17(3):117–123, 2003

Tuomi, P., 2001, "Sea Otters" in: Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine, Dierauf, L.A. and F.M.D. Gulland, eds., CRC Press, Baca Raton, FL  pg. 961-988.

Tuomi, P.,  M. Grey, and D. Christen, 2000, "Butorphanol and Butorphanol/ Diazepam Administration for Analgesia and Sedation of Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina)", in: Proceedings of American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and International. Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine Joint Conference, Baer, C.K. and R.A. Patterson, eds., New Orleans, LA , pg 382-383.

Tuomi, P. and K. Burek.  1999.  Septic peridontis in an adult northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris) secondary to perforation of gastric parasitic ulcer.  in Proceedings, International Assoc. for Aquatic Animal Medicine, Boston. Ma., Vol. 30, pg. 63.
 Tuomi, P., S. Donoghue, J. Otten-Stranger, 1995. "Husbandry and Nutrition", in: Emergency Care and Rehabilitation of Oiled Sea Otters: A Guide for Oil Spills Involving Fur-bearing Marine Mammals, Williams, T.M. and Davis, R.W., eds., University of Ak. Press, Fairbanks, Ak., pg. 103-120.

Tuomi, P. and T. Williams, 1995. "Rehabilitation of Pregnant Sea Otters and Females with Newborn Pups", ibid, pg. 121-132.

Tuomi, P., and T. Williams, 1995, "Effects of Oiling and Rehabilitation on Pregnant and Newborn Sea Otters", in Proceedings of IWRC Oiled Wildlife Symposium, Seattle, Wa., Rineer-Garber, C., ed., pg. 218-221.

Tuomi, P., T. Williams, and J. Snodgrass, 1991, "Factors Affecting Perinatal Survival in Captive Sea Otters During Oil Spill Rehabilitation", in Proceedings, International Assoc. for Aquatic Animal Medicine, Marineland, Fla., Vol. 22, pg. 20-23.

Tuomi, P., 1990, "Husbandry", In: Sea Otter Rehabilitation Program - 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Williams, T.M. and Davis, R. W., eds, International Wildlife Research, pg.118-132.

Tuomi, P., 1990, "Husbandry - Valdez Rehabilitation Center", in: Bayha, K. and J. Kormendy, Tech. coord., Proceedings of the Sea Otter Symposium Following the T/V Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Anchorage, Alaska, April 17-19, 1990, USFWS Biol. Rep. 90(12), pg. 274-284.

Harris, R.K., et al, 1990, "Oral Lesions in Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) caused by a Herpes-like Virus", in Proceedings, International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine 21st Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C., Vol. 21 pg. 29.

Tuomi, P., 1990, "Medical Care and Husbandry of Wild Sea Otters During Oil Spill Rehabilitation", In: The Effects of Oil on Wildlife: Research, Rehabilitation and General Concerns, Proceedings from: Oil Spill Symposium, Herndon, Va., October 16-18, 1990, Sheridan Press, Hanover, Pa., pp.196-210.

Tuomi, P., 1990, "Rehabilitation Notes: Sea Otter Pups (Enhydra lutris)", Wildlife Journal, International Wildlife Council, Vol. 13, No. 9, pg 9-14.


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