Dr. Barb Linnehan is the Director of Animal Health & Welfare, leading the veterinary and medical records teams. Barb has worked for the NMMF as a clinical veterinarian since 2017, caring for the Navy’s dolphins and sea lions. Her marine mammal medicine experience includes transports, field operations, and advanced technique development. She has participated in the NMMF’s wild dolphin conservation work and assisted with the health assessment of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Barb’s particular research interests include marine mammal cardiology, the microbiome, and neurology. Prior to joining the NMMF, Barb completed a small animal internship at MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She received her B.S. from Cornell University and her D.V.M. and Certificate in Aquatic Animal Health from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She became a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine in 2023 with a focus in Aquatics.

Barb is originally from Lowell, MA. She earned her undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

She attended veterinary school at The University of Florida, graduating in 2015 with her DVM and Certificate in Aquatic Animal Medicine. She then completed a one-year small animal rotating internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA, and a Veterinary Fellowship at the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia, Canada. She joined the NMMF as Post-Doctoral Veterinary Fellow in 2017 and was subsequently hired as a staff veterinarian in 2018. In addition to caring for the Navy’s marine mammals, she has worked with the conservation medicine team to examine the cardiotoxic effects of oil on dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico as part of CARMMHA. She previously spent two summers with the NMMF & Navy Marine Mammal Program, as a training intern (“yellow hat”) in 2009 and a veterinary extern in 2013. She has one dog, Koko, a black lab mix, and enjoys paddleboarding and skiing in her free time.