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Mark Pokras

Mark Pokras
Associate Professor Emeritus
Associate Professor Emeritus
Wildlife Clinic & Center for Conservation Medicine

Campus Phone:



  • Residency in Zoo & Wildlife Medicine - 1985 - 1988 
  • DVM - Tufts University - 1984
  • BS - Cornell Universtiy - 1971
  1. Kneeland, M.R., Spagnuolo, V.A., Evers, D.C., Paruk, J.D., Attix, L., Schoch, N., Pokras, M.A., Stout, V., Dalton, A., Silber, K. 2020. A novel method for captive rearing and translocation of juvenile common loons. Zoo Biology.
  2. Grade, T., Campbell, P., Cooley, T., Kneeland, M., Leslie, E., MacDonald, B., Melotti, J., Okoniewski, J., Parmley, E.J., Perry, C., Vogel, H., Pokras, M. 2019. Lead poisoning from ingestion of fishing gear: A review. Ambio.
  3. Specht, A.J., Kirchner, K.E., Weisskopf, M.G., Pokras, M.A. 2019. Lead exposure biomarkers in the Common Loon. Science of the Total Environment.
  4. Mordarski, D.C., Leibler, J.H., Talmadge, C.C., Wolfus, G.M., Pokras, M.A., Rosenbaum, M.H. 2018. Subclinical lead exposure among backyard chicken flocks in Massachusetts. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery.
  5. Grade, T.J., Pokras, M.A., Laflamme, E.M., Vogel, H.S. 2018. Population-level effects of lead fishing tackle on common loons. Journal of Wildlife Management.
  6. Martinsen, E.S., Sidor, I.F., Flint, S., Cooley, J., Pokras, M.A. 2017. Documentation of malaria parasite (Plasmodium spp.) infection and associated mortality in a Common Loon (Gavia immer). Journal of Wildlife Diseases.
  7. Franceschini, M.D., Evers, D.C., Kenow, K.P., Meyer, M.W., Pokras, M., Romero, L.M. 2017. Mercury correlates with altered corticosterone but not testosterone or estradiol concentrations in common loons. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.
  8. Muthupalani, S., Torres, P.A., Wang, B.C., Zeng, B.J., Eaton, S., Erdelyi, I., Ducore, R., Maganti, R., Keating, J., Perry, B.J., Tseng, F.S., Waliszewski, N., Pokras, M., Causey, R., Seger, R., March, P., Tidwell, A., Pfannl, R., Seyfried, T., Kolodny, E.H., Alroy, J. 2014. GM1-gangliosidosis in American black bears: Clinical, pathological, biochemical and molecular genetic characterization. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism.
  9. Kornetsky, R., Rock, M., Pokras, M. 2013. A rapid postmortem screening test for lead toxicosis in common loons (Gavia immer) and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases.
  10. Bellinger, D.C., Burger, J., Cade, T.J., Cory-Slechta, D.A., Finkelstein, M., Hu, H., Kosnett, M., Landrigan, P.J., Lanphear, B., Pokras, M.A., Redig, P.T., Rideout, B.A., Silbergeld, E., Wright, R., Smith, D.R. 2013. Health risks from lead-based ammunition in the environment. Environmental Health Perspectives.
  11. Martinez, J., Pokras, M.A. 2010. What is your diagnosis?. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery.
  12. Fiorello, C.V., Nisbet, I.C.T., Hatch, J.J., Corsiglia, C., Pokras, M.A. 2009. Hematology and absence of hemoparasites in breeding common terns (Sterna Hi Run Do) from cape cod, Massachusetts. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.
  13. Pokras, M., Kneeland, M., Ludi, A., Golden, E., Major, A., Miconi, R., Poppenga, R.H. 2009. Lead objects ingested by common loons in New England. Northeastern Naturalist.
  14. Pokras, M.A., Kneeland, M.R. 2008. Lead poisoning: Using transdisciplinary approaches to solve an ancient problem. EcoHealth.
  15. Evers, D.C., Savoy, L.J., Desorbo, C.R., Yates, D.E., Hanson, W., Taylor, K.M., Siegel, L.S., Cooley Jr., J.H., Bank, M.S., Major, A., Munney, K., Mower, B.F., Vogel, H.S., Schoch, N., Pokras, M., Goodale, M.W., Fair, J. 2008. Adverse effects from environmental mercury loads on breeding common loons. Ecotoxicology.
  16. Mayer, J., Kaufman, G., Pokras, M. 2006. Allometric Scaling. Reptile Medicine and Surgery.
  17. Bogomolni, A., Ellis, J., Gast, R., Harris, B., Pokras, M., Touhey, K., Moore, M. 2006. Emerging zoonoses in marine mammals and seabirds of the Northeast U.S.. OCEANS 2006.
  18. Harris, R.J., Tseng, F.S., Pokras, M.A., Suedmeyer, B.A., Bogart, J.S.H., Prescott, R.L., Newman, S.H. 2006. Beached bird surveys in Massachusetts: The seabird ecological assessment network (SEANET). Marine Ornithology.
  19. Haefele, H.J., Sidor, I., Evers, D.C., Hoyt, D.E., Pokras, M.A. 2005. Hematologic and physiologic reference ranges for free-ranging adult and young common loons (Gavia immer). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.
  20. Pierce, K.E., Harris, R.J., Larned, L.S., Pokras, M.A. 2004. Obstruction and starvation associated with plastic ingestion in a Northern Gannet Morus bassanus and a Greater Shearwater Puffinus gravis. Marine Ornithology.

General Research Interests

  • Functional and surgical anatomy of birds and reptiles.
  • Environmental pathology (including toxicology) of wildlife species.
  • Captive management of aquatic reptiles, birds and mammals.
  • Allometric scaling as a tool for understanding comparative clinical medicine.
  • Development of minimally invasive field techniques for wildlife health studies.

Selected Research Projects

  • Lead (Pb) toxicosis in wildlife and public health.
  • Seanet -- threats to aquatic birds.
  • WebAtlas of Wildlife Anatomy & Pathology.
  • Surveys of vernal pools and other campus resources.
  • Presence of antibiotic resistant organisms in native wildlife.

Other campus activities

  • Sponsor a variety of student projects & selectives.
  • Host “Open Mike” nights on campus.
  • Advise student WAZE group (Wildlife, Aquatics, Zoo & Exotics).
  • Lead campus & regional nature walks.