Lafeber Award

A bird in the palm of someone's handDr T.J. Lafeber, Sr. was recognized as a pioneer in companion bird medicine and the human-companion bird bond. His concern for the health and welfare of his bird patients led him to develop medical treatments, diagnostic techniques, and nutritionally balanced foods.

His son, Dr. Ted Lafeber, and the entire bird community were greatly saddened by the loss of Dr. Lafeber Sr. in 2001. To honor his father’s contribution to avian veterinary medicine, Dr. Lafeber created the T. J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year award. This award is presented to an outstanding practitioner who is advancing the quality of health care for companion birds. Important criteria for this award include:

  • Clinical excellence
  • Innovation
  • Promotion of the profession
  • Contributions to the knowledge base
  • Caring and compassion to their avian patients and clients

Recipients of the T.J. Lafeber Award include:

2012 Dr. James Carpenter
2011 Dr. Thomas Tully
2010 Dr. Keven Flammer
2009 Dr. David Phalen
2008 Dr. Robert Dahlhausen
2007 Dr. Susan E. Orosz
2006 Dr. Jaime Samour
2005 Dr. M. Scott Echols
2004 Dr. Neil Forbes
2003 Dr. Brian Speer
2002 Dr. Teresa Lightfoot


Carpenter w Eclectus
Dr. James Carpenter is a professor and service chief of Exotic, Wildlife and Zoo Animal Medicine at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. He is past president of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) and the American College of Zoological Medicine. He was named Exotic DVM of the Year in 2000 and received the Emil Dolensek Award from AAZV for his exceptional contributions to the conservation and care of zoo and free-ranging wildlife.

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Dr. Thomas Tully & Dr. Ted Lafeber Dr. Thomas Tully is a professor of avian medicine and service chief at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Tully is well known for presenting research with practical clinical applications, and his research team has investigated ophthalmic, dermatologic, pharmacologic, cardiac and surgical problems of birds. Dr. Tully has also written and edited numerous texts. He is co-editor of the Manual of Exotic Pet Practice and the Handbook of Avian Medicine, as well as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine.

Shown here: Dr. Tully (left), Dr. Ted Lafeber (right)

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Photo of Dr. Kevin Flammer

Keven Flammer is a professor of Companion and Wild Avian Medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine where he has mentored and inspired many veterinary medical students, interns, and residents. Dr. Flammer’s specialty is companion avian medicine, including aviculture and pediatric medicine. In 2008, Dr. Flammer was awarded the Association of Avian Veterinarians Lifetime Achievement Award for his extensive and profound contributions to the field of avian medicine. His research focus has included the pharmacology of various antimicrobial drugs. His research has also been essential in helping veterinarians understand and control infectious diseases.

Shown here: Dr. Flammer (left), Dr. Ted Lafeber (right)

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Photo of Dr. David Phalen

Dr. David Phalen currently serves as an associate professor at the University of Sydney where he is the director of the Wildlife Health and Conservation Centre in New South Wales, Australia. In 1992, Dr. Phalen completed a Ph.D. program in veterinary microbiology at the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center at Texas A&M University (TAMU) focusing on infectious diseases of birds. Dr. Phalen served as the assistant director of the Schubot Center and an associate professor in TAMU’s zoological medicine service from 2002-2006. He has also been a researcher on a variety of projects including studies on parrot herpesvirus, avian gastric yeast and avian polyoma virus.
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Photo of Dr. Robert Dalhausen

Dr. Robert Dahlhausen is the founder of the Midwest Avian Research Expo (MARE) in Cincinnati, Ohio, an annual event that raises funds for avian medical research. Dr. Dahlhausen also founded Research Associates Laboratory, Inc., now Veterinary Molecular Diagnostics, Inc., which practiced the first commercial application of molecular diagnostic methods in veterinary medicine. Infectious disease is a field of special interest for Dr. Dahlhausen and he has studied proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) and avian borna virus. In fact, it was his research that led to the use of COX-2 inhibitors in the management of affected birds.

Shown here: Dr. Dahlhausen (right), Dr. Ted Lafeber (left)

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Photo of Dr. Susan Orosz holding a bird

Dr. Susan Orosz is a past president of the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Dr. Orosz has authored the award-winning text, Avian Surgical Anatomy: Thoracic and Pelvic Limbs, and she has published a variety of avian research topics including the use of antifungal drugs and antibiotics. From 1986-2000, Dr. Orosz served as an associate professor in avian and exotic animal medicine at the University of Tennessee. During her tenure, she developed the Avian, Exotic Animal and Wildlife Medicine Service as well as an avian residency program, training a number of residents.

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Photo of Dr. Jaime Samour holding a bird

Dr. Jaime Samour earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in avian reproductive physiology through the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 1987. Dr. Samour then began working in the Middle East, and he currently serves as director of the Wildlife Division at Wrsan, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates and Regional Coordinator for North Africa and the Middle East of the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission. Jaime has also served as the medical director of the Fahad bin Sultan Falcon Center, the world’s largest falcon medical, research and teaching facility.

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Photo of Dr. M. Scott Echols

Dr. M. Scott Echols was the 2007-2008 president of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) and he serves as a member of the AAV board of directors and editorial board. Dr. Echols is an adjunct professor of exotic animal medicine at Texas A&M University (TAMU) College of Veterinary Medicine, and he is a frequent lecturer at universities and conferences in the US and abroad. Dr. Echols is also the author, filmographer, narrator, and film editor of DVDs on bird husbandry and medicine through Avian Studios.

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Photo of Dr. Neil Forbes

Dr. Neil Forbes practices at Great Western Referrals in Swindon, United Kingdom. Dr. Forbes qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1983. Neil gained Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Specialist Status in the field of avian medicine and surgery in 1992, and his Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) in Exotic Bird Medicine by examination in 1997. He is also a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine since 1997. Dr. Forbes regularly lectures internationally and he serves as a Senior Lecturer at Bristol University, where he lectures and holds regular clinics. Neil has also authored and edited many publications on avian medicine.

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Photo of Dr. Brian Speer with a green bird

Dr. Brian Speer is the owner and the director of the Oakley Veterinary Medical Center and the Medical Center for Birds in northern California. Board specialty status was earned through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 1996, and certification in the European College of Zoological Medicine in 1999. Brian has served as chair of the Aviculture Committee for the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), on their board of directors, and is 1999-2000 past-president. He currently chairs the Aviculture committee for the AAV. In addition, Brian serves as a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network.

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Photo of Dr. Teresa Lightfoot

Dr. Teresa Lightfoot has published over 100 articles on birds and exotic species as well as the multi-media CD-ROM, Exotic Companion Animal Surgeries. Dr. Lightfoot is a co-editor of the textbook Clinical Avian Medicine as well as the Exotic Pet Medicine Text. She is also co-author of Exotic Pet Behavior. Dr. Lightfoot lectures frequently on avian and exotic medicine and surgery both nationally and internationally. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Association of Avian Veterinarians Gold Star Award in 1998, the Florida Veterinarian of the Year award for 2000 and the 2001 Exotic Veterinarian of the Year.

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