Dr. Pat Latas has a BS in botany and MS in biology; DVM from Oregon State, and has a certificate in Science Illustration from University of California at Santa Cruz is currently serving as a consultant for avian health, welfare and well-being; across the spectrum from local bird hoarding cases to global conservation of birds and evaluation of naturalized urban parrots.
She has had a parallel career in natural history illustration, providing work for a number of publications including her own. She has focused her efforts on conservation and awareness of the precarious status of so many species, whether "common" or endangered.
It all started with a tiny, naked house sparrow when she was a little kid. Some how that bird survived and returned to its flock...Her first college career included bird banding, field biology, and ecological studies in Chiapas, Kansas, and other exotic locales. Sidetracked by vet school, she returned to her biology roots as a bird, reptile and wildlife veterinarian. Along the way, she doodled a few sketches.
Dr. Pat served as the avian wildlife veterinarian for several rehabilitation centers, where patients exemplified avian biodiversity: from Costa’s Hummingbirds to Golden Eagles, Roadrunners to Townsend’s Warblers, Touits to Toucans. She was the veterinarian for Arizona Bird Clinic, the only veterinary facility in the state that worked solely with avian species.
Many collaborations with SoCal Parrot (the only licensed wildlife rehabilitation and release facility solely for the naturalized wild psittacines in Southern California) have extended the data base and knowledge of 3 species of endangered parrots unavailable and inaccessible in their native ranges. Networking with parrot researchers around the world and providing leadership in the Parrot Researchers Group (Steering Team and coordinator for the Veterinary working group), Parrot Conservation Alliance (Steering Team) and International Alliance for the Protection of Parrots has greatly expanded her learning and teaching moments!
Dr. Latas also serves on number of committees, including Southern Arizona Animal Cruelty Task Force, Arizona Bar Animal Law, Association of Avian Veterinarians Welfare and Conservation Committees, International Committee for International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.
Dr. Latas was deeply honored to be selected to work as a kakapo volunteer on pristine Whenua Hou Island with the Department of Conservation in New Zealand, in 2011 and 2014.
Dr. Latas donates numerous art works to charity fundraising. She donates artwork to a number of conservation organizations.