Dr. Johnson earned his BS in Biology from North Carolina State University in 1988, and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from NCSU-College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. He worked in small animal and emergency medicine for 4 years before starting North Carolina's first all-exotics practice. Dr. Johnson serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at NCSU-CVM. He is Board Certified in Exotic Companion Mammal Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) and is past president of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV). Dr. Johnson publishes and lectures nationally about avian and exotic animal medicine. His areas of special interest include surgery, orthopedics, zoological medicine, and exotic animal dentistry.
Dr. Christine Eckermann-Ross joined Avian and Exotic Animal Care after graduating from North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. Prior to veterinary school, Dr. Eckermann-Ross earned a BS in Biochemistry and worked as a research specialist in Radiation Oncology at UNC/CH. Dr. Eckermann-Ross serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at NCSU-CVM, and has lectured at professional conferences on avian and exotic animal medicine and acupuncture. She is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and herbalist. She has special interests in avian medicine, acupuncture, herbal medicine, surgery, and oncology.
Dr. Emanuele earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. She received her B.S. in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, and has conducted research with octopuses, cuttlefish, and sea turtles. Dr. Emanuele became North Carolina’s first Certified Aquatic Veterinarian in 2018, a distinction awarded by the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Emanuele’s special interests include ophthalmology, nutrition, aquatic animal health, geriatrics, and pediatrics.
Dr. Victoria Bender earned a BS in Biology from Duke University in 2011, followed by a DVM from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. During veterinary school, she spent time learning at various zoological institutions and conducted research on the immune systems of elephants and manatees. She started as an intern at Avian and Exotic after graduation and has been with the team ever since!
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Bender speaks with local groups and classes about topics veterinary medicine. In 2019 she was elected to the board of the Association of Exotic Companion Mammals (AEMV) as a member at large and will be serving a two year term in that position.
Dr. Bender’s special interests include avian medicine, exotic companion mammals, dentistry, surgery, and behavior.
Dr. Locke earned her BS in Biology from North Carolina State University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The University of Georgia in 2011. During veterinary school she focused her studies on exotic animal medicine and has externed with many leaders in the field, at zoos and Georgia’s Poultry Disease and Diagnostic laboratory.
After graduation, she worked in small animal practice seeing exotics for 7 years, during which she also worked with us as a relief doctor. Two of those years she spent as medical director for a corporate practice. She currently is working on a research project on bald eagles.
Dr. Locke’s special interests include surgery, orthopedics, endoscopy, avian and zoological medicine, dentistry and avian cardiology.