Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Team

Our Work

Meet Our Team

Alaqua’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has assembled a highly experienced wildlife specialty team with a combined 30 years of experience working with wildlife in clinical settings.

All staff members have met requirements associated with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) permitting regulations which include thousands of hours working hands on with wildlife and other specific requirements for various species. Medical, husbandry, nursery, transport, rescue, capture, and release experience with all species was mandatory for this specialized licensing.


Shelby Robinson, MES
Wildlife Director

Shelby has been in the field of wildlife rehabilitation for over 10 years. Her love for wildlife rehabilitation came from an internship during graduate school at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society’s Wildlife Center (PAWS) in Lynnwood, WA. She has served as the Release Specialist and Wildlife Veterinary Technician at South Florida Wildlife Center; the Lead Wildlife Rehabilitator at Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge; and has completed species-specific training at PAWS. She has presented at wildlife conferences and been awarded grants at both local and international levels. It has always been a dream of hers to develop a wildlife rehabilitation program for a community in need.

Tyler Brown
Nursery Manager
Tyler received her B.S. in Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation from Arkansas State University. After moving to Florida, she completed an extensive internship at Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge where she was able to gain hands-on experience in a wildlife rehabilitation center. She joined Alaqua’s wildlife team after being hired initially as an animal care technician.

Chris Teboe
Office Manager
Chris has worked in a veterinary clinic setting since 2014, and received his Veterinary Assistant Certification from Okaloosa Technical School. Although he has worked with domestic animals and exotic birds, he specializes in herpetology (reptiles and amphibians). When he is not running the Wildlife office, he is working for the local animal ER as a Critical Care Veterinary Technician. He has been a great asset since opening our doors in 2021.

Jim Johnson
Lead Rescue Technician
Jim Johnson has volunteered full-time with the rehabilitation center since its inception in 2021. Coming from an eclectic background as a musician, quality control manager, process management, and construction, he fully immersed himself into the world of wildlife rehabilitation. He was a quick learner and eager to assist with any and all tasks. Due to his dedication and newly acquired skills, along with his critical thinking, he was hired as the lead rescue technician in early 2023. Jim’s specialties include hand rearing baby raptors, going on complex rescue missions, fixing any and everything we break, and finding suitable release environments for our many patients.

Cindy Lavine
Wildlife Care Technician
Cindy moved to the Emerald Coast from North Carolina over ten years ago where she was studying and practicing wildlife rehabilitation. Her background is in emergency medicine where she gained invaluable skills as an emergency room RN. She is a valuable member of our rescue team, taking on Bay County solo, and an amazing neonatal bird foster mom. Cindy has rescued 100’s of animals during her time with us and is an incredible asset to our medical team.

Michelle Funderburk
Wildlife Care Technician
Michelle has been a PADI Divemaster for over 10 years working with numerous zoos, aquariums, and wildlife rehabilitation centers throughout her travels. She came to Alaqua Wildlife Center as a volunteer that quickly escalated to a specialized member of the raptor rescue team and a neonatal bird foster mom. We were able to officially add Michelle to our team in 2023 where she continues to be an integral asset to our team in all capacities.