Cheryl grew up as a farm girl on the Canadian prairies where she developed a keen interest in wildlife and biology. She pursued these interests, first by completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her education culminated in Masters of Veterinary Science in Anatomic Pathology with a Wildlife Health Option, which uses the Canadian Wildlife Health Centre as a training ground for wildlife pathologists. Her research addressed the potential use of coyotes as sentinels for Mycobacterium bovis in populations of elk and deer. During this time, other aspects of her program took her to the Canadian North to work with wood bison, the Atlantic coast to study aquatic pathology and the Canadian National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease where she assisted in foot and mouth virus infection trials in deer.
Following completion of ACVP board certification in 2007, Cheryl moved to Australia to take up a position as Diagnostic Veterinary Pathologist at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. She spent over 7 years in this position, conducting diagnostics on captive and free-ranging wildlife from Taronga Zoo, Western Plains Zoo and the Sydney area. In 2015 she left the zoo to pursue a lifestyle change with her husband, splitting her time between Scotland and Australia.
Since 2015, Cheryl has continued to work in various aspects of the fields of pathology and wildlife disease. She has held short-term teaching and diagnostic positions at the Universities of Sydney and Glasgow and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St Kitts, Caribbean. She also has ongoing contract work in diagnostic pathology with the International Zoo Vet Group and in wildlife disease with Wildlife Health Australia. In 2017 she delivered the Australian Animal Pathology Standards Program annual “Pathology Roadshow” on the topic Emerging Wildlife Diseases.