Sea Turtle Hospital Staff

Catherine Eastman

Sea Turtle Hospital Program Coordinator
904-201-8414 | cbeastman@whitney.ufl.edu


Catherine Eastman (Cat) has been working with sea turtles in Florida since 1998. Growing up on the Atlantic Coast (in almost every state), Cat has always had a love for the ocean and its inhabitants. She started her career with sea turtles while studying at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. There, she joined the sea turtle conservation program at Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex as a marine turtle specialist. She transferred to University of North Florida to finish her degree and accept an Environmental Educator position at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. She taught environmental education to K-12 school kids and led beach and upland nature hikes to adults and undergraduates. During that time, she and her husband incorporated a conservation non-profit to help support sea turtle nesting beach work and research. When Cat is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son (and golden retriever) at the beach and running.


Brooke Burkhalter, DVM

Sea Turtle Hospital Veterinarian
904-201-8446 | bmburkhalter@whitney.ufl.edu

Dr. Brooke Burkhalter graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She spent 14 years in small animal private practice, caring for family pets and sick and injured wildlife within St. Augustine. She enjoys the internal medicine challenges and other aspects of veterinary medicine, but her main passion is soft tissue surgery. Dr. Burkhalter has advanced training in abdominal ultrasound, endoscopy, and CO2 laser surgery. Brooke has a lifelong love and admiration for all marine life, especially sea turtles. During her time in small animal practice, she spent several years volunteering at The Georgia Sea Turtle Center, assisting in the treatment of sick and injured sea turtles. Brooke is also a volunteer member of the Vilano Beach Sea Turtle Patrol, helping to protect nests and hatchlings along our beaches. As the lead veterinarian at The Sea Turtle Hospital, her primary responsibility is treating turtles affected by fibropapillomatosis. However, she is also very fortunate to work and collaborate with researchers to help better understand the disease and explore new treatment possibilities. Dr. Burkhalter is also an assisting veterinarian at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL and surgeon at Flagler Integrative Veterinary Center.

Dr. Burkhalter is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Their family consists of one daughter, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 gerbils, 1 guinea pig, and whatever orphaned wildlife babies are in need at any given time. When she is not working, Brooke enjoys being a softball mom, CrossFit, running, SUPing, and all other things outdoors.


Devon Rollinson

Sea Turtle Hospital Veterinary Technician
904-201-8446| devonrenee@whitney.ufl.edu

Devon was born and raised in New England where she developed a passion for nature and wildlife at an early age. It was Devon’s mother, an active wildlife rehabber, who nurtured Devon’s curiosity and desire to help all creatures big and small. She attributes her love for the field to growing up alongside a variety of North American wildlife. “I spent my childhood with orphaned raccoons, squirrels and the occasional fawn.”

After receiving a bachelors degree in Wildlife Care and Biology from Unity College in Maine; she spent some time on a rock in the middle of the Pacific (Hawaii) working with dolphins and sea lions. “It’s every kid’s dream: to become a dolphin trainer.” This is what led her to realize that marine animal conservation and rehabilitation was her calling and true passion.

After relocating back to the main-land, Devon began her career as a veterinary technician. More recently, she has worked with members from a local animal hospital to help injured and ill wildlife before joining the Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Lab. She is excited to be part of the Sea Turtle Hospital ”Pioneers” and is looking forward to working within her passion.

Devon enjoys spending her “free time” (when not caring for sea turtles and a variety of other animals) with her fiancé Mike and their two “furry” children; both lab-mix rescues from local shelters, Henry Jones and Joshua David, her side kick, Chuck the cockatiel and a few other “friends” who were in need of a home.  She also enjoys traveling, hiking, camping and anything water related.


Briana Schaffner

Sea Turtle Hospital Animal Care Technician
904-201-8446| bschaffner@whitney.ufl.edu

Despite growing up in the Garden State, Briana always had a passion for marine life. When her family decided to move to Florida, she chose to make it her career path. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biological Sciences from Florida Atlantic University with a concentration in pre-veterinary medicine. She has volunteered with the Sea Turtle Hospital since July 2017. When not working at the hospital, she works at her family’s horse stable.


Ashley Taylor

Sea Turtle Hospital VeterinaryTechnician
904-201-8446 | ataylor@whitney.ufl.edu

Growing up in Michigan, Ashley was exposed to the wildlife found in and around the Great Lakes. But it was actually during a trip to the Florida Keys that began her fascination with the amazing life the ocean holds while some pretty little fish nibbled at her toes. After surviving the cold weather for twenty years, Ashley decided to pursue her passion for sea life. She spent three years in Hawaii, and fell in love with sea turtles and the beauty of the ocean. She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in marine biology. Ashley completed an internship doing animal husbandry for fishes and invertebrates in Atlanta. She then transferred down to St. Augustine when a position opened up allowing her to do animal husbandry full time. During that time, she worked closely with two non-releasable turtles and managed to gain some experience working with cold-stunned turtles during the 2018 cold-stunning event. Ashley enjoys spending her free time with her partner, their cat and two dogs.


Ann Osborne, DVM

Sea Turtle Hospital Relief Veterinarian
904-201-8446

Dr. Ann Osborne graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 and currently practices small animal medicine at Moses Creek Animal Hospital in St. Augustine. Her passion for conservation and marine life began as a child growing up in Brevard County, one of the busiest sea turtle nesting beaches in the country. She majored in wildlife conservation and ecology as an undergraduate at UF and developed a deep interest for scientific and clinical research. During veterinary school, her favorite patients were three loggerhead sea turtles she worked with while on her zoology clinical rotation. Ann enhanced her veterinary education with supplemental courses in marine mammal and reptile medicine, which fueled her motivation to work with marine life and pursue a research project studying sea turtle plasma protein levels. This work, published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine, remains the clinical standard for sea turtle blood protein reference ranges. Ann is excited and honored to be a part of the Sea Turtle Hospital team, helping to improve the health and rehabilitate sea turtles as well as gaining a better understanding of disease processes, including fibropapillomas in sea turtles through research. Ann lives in St. Augustine with her husband, two young daughters and two dogs.


Andrea Kaser, DVM

Sea Turtle Hospital Relief Veterinarian 
904-201-8446

Dr. Andrea Kaser graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Dr. Kaser spends most of her time working with small animals and exotics at Pine Lakes Animal Hospital in Palm Coast.  She enjoys challenging cases in medicine and surgery and has advanced training in ultrasound and endoscopy.  Ever since she was a little girl, she has had a fascination with the ocean and marine life.   While in undergraduate school, she volunteered at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island where her favorite responsibility was hand feeding moray eels.  After moving to Florida, Dr. Kaser worked at Sea World where she gained experience with a wide variety of marine animals and developed a special interest in sea turtles.   After four years as Sea World, she decided take her education to the next level and attend veterinary school.   Dr. Kaser enjoys spending time at the Turtle Hospital helping in any way possible.  She looks forward to gaining experience in treating and rehabilitating sea turtles at the Turtle Hospital and making a difference in the ocean’s sea turtle population.

When not working with animals, Dr. Kaser and her husband, Greg, enjoy traveling and scuba diving.  So far, their favorite travel destination has been Norway and their favorite scuba diving experience was with great white sharks in Guadalupe Island.    


SEA TURTLE HOSPITAL FOUNDING TRUSTEE COMMITTEE

SEA TURTLE HOSPITAL FOUNDING TRUSTEE COMMITTEE

  • Nancy Condron
  • Marcella Matthaei
  • Martha Dobes
  • Craig Barszo
  • Linda Myers
  • John Perkner
  • Maximillian Polyak, DVM, Mphil