Sarah Sharp

Sarah Sharp


Sarah is a veterinarian for the Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Program at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, based on Cape Cod. There, she provides medical care for stranded dolphins, whales and seals, researches their health and diseases, and applies that research to improve their welfare and conservation. Sarah was the 2016 Conservation Veterinary Medicine Summer Fellow at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego, CA. This Fellowship was a combination of clinical work and field research investigating the long-term health effects of the Deep Water Horizons oil spill on the coastal population of bottlenose dolphins in Louisiana. Prior to that, Sarah worked as an Associate Veterinarian at a busy emergency and referral hospital south of Boston. Sarah's primary interests are in marine animal health and conservation, minimizing human impacts on the marine environment, and the role of marine animals as indicators of marine ecosystem health. In her career, she seeks to work across disciplines to bridge the gap between the fields of veterinary medicine and environmental conservation in the interest of cultivating a more holistic approach to environmental stewardship. Sarah graduated with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with Honors and Thesis from Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. During veterinary school, she conducted research to investigate whether prognostic indicators could improve the care provided to stranded common dolphins by predicting post-release success. This study was the first of its kind to identify hematological and physical parameters from stranded dolphins that correlated with their survival after release and her findings are now being utilized in the field to improve decision-making procedures. At Tufts, Sarah served as co-President of the WAZE (Wildlife, Aquatics, Zoo and Exotics) Club, and chaired the 2013 Spring Symposium Committee that brought in speakers from across the country to discuss "Human Impacts on Wildlife and Exotic Species" and the role of veterinarians in impact mitigation and prevention. Prior to starting her veterinary studies, Sarah was the Stranding Coordinator for the Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Program at the International Fund for Animal Welfare. During her seven years in the field, she responded to approximately 50 mass stranding events, oversaw response to over 1200 individually stranded marine mammals, pioneered IFAW's cetacean satellite tagging program, and trained stranding responders both domestically and internationally. Prior to her marine mammal work, Sarah served in the Americorps Cape Cod environmental and disaster service program for two years, first as a member and then as a Crew Leader. She graduated from Stanford University in 2002 with a degree in Human Biology, and a focus on marine biology.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, DVM
Current Position:
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Coastal & Marine Issues
Conservation Science & Biology
Environmental & Public Health
Currently Working On:
marine mammal stranding health and veterinary care

A vibrant community of environmental leaders