Dr. Natalie Stilwell's Biography

Dr. Natalie Stilwell is a graduate of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. She also obtained a MS in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and a PhD in Veterinary Medical Sciences from the University of Florida.


Dr. Natalie Stilwell (Steckler)

Natalie Stilwell (Steckler) brings 9 years of experience in veterinary consulting, writing, and editing.  A veterinarian by training, she founded Seastar Communications and Consulting LLC to combine her lifelong passion for education with her love of animals. Her advanced training in aquatic animal medicine and infectious diseases provides deep technical knowledge to her work and allows her  to understand how quickly the field of veterinary medicine is advancing.  Dr. Stilwell has focused her career on providing strategic solutions to suit her clients’ needs in an organized, efficient, friendly, and dedicated way to help her clients stay at the forefront of their fields.


Advanced Training In Aquatic Animal Medicine And Infectious Diseases

While attending veterinary school at Auburn University, Dr. Stilwell completed specialty training in wildlife, exotic, and aquatic animal medicine through elective courses and externships. She graduated cum laude with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree in 2010.

Dr. Stilwell spent 7 years pursuing advanced-degree training in aquatic animal health at the University of Florida (UF). During her Masters training in the Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (2010-2012), she concentrated on ornamental, food, sport, and bait fish aquaculture industries, as well as zoos and public aquariums.  She then joined the UF Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Veterinary Disease Laboratory as a postdoctoral associate and, later, as a doctoral student. She investigated emerging aquatic pathogens, including novel fungal and viral diseases in farmed food fish species, and provided diagnostic veterinary services to a variety of clients including zoos, public aquariums, aquaculture facilities, and other veterinarians. She successfully defended her dissertation and obtained her PhD in Veterinary Medical Sciences in 2017 .

During her training, Dr. Stilwell also discovered a passion for technical writing and editing as she developed peer-reviewed manuscripts, Powerpoint presentations, posters, lay articles, and research grants for her thesis, dissertation, and diagnostic cases. Her research was nationally recognized when she won Best Student Presentation award at the 2017 Eastern Fish Health Workshop, and she received the UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s Excellence in Doctoral Studies award.

Dr. Stilwell is active in the medical writing and exotic animal health communities, and she is currently a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Association of Fish Veterinarians (AAFV), and American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). She also completed AMWA’s Essential Skills Certificate in 2017. A proponent of lifelong education, Dr. Stilwell regularly gives presentations for graduate-level university classes, industry stakeholders, and national symposia, including the North American Veterinary Community, Annual Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles, and Auburn University Annual Conference. In addition to operating Seastar Communications and Consulting LLC, Dr. Stilwell works with her community doing volunteer conservation work, including recent projects with the American alligator and endangered Central American River turtle.