Ashley Heard-Ganirs journey into veterinary medicine was far from traditional or direct. Although a native born Texan, her family and research experiences have allowed her to travel all over.After graduating from the University of Hawaii, Hilo in 2007 with a bachelors degree in marine science, her intention was to pursue a doctorate in marine mammal research. However, a research scholarship at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration introduced her to veterinary medicine. She continued to pursue her passions in ecology, conservation, and education exploring many jobs including: teacher, college lecturer, scientific diver, shark tagger to name a few. However, the seed of passion had been planted and she realized that her calling was, indeed medicine. The family moved from Hawaii in 2010 so she could complete additional coursework and gain technical experience as a technician before applying to Texas A&Ms Veterinary Medicine Program. She graduated from A&M with honors in 2016, after completing a unique alternative track focused on small and exotic/aquatic medicine. Her additional veterinary interests include nutrition, dentistry, clinical research, imaging, and internal medicine. Outside of medicine, her life centers on family, painting and sharing the aloha spirit through volunteering/education.She feels most at home in Texas and on the big island of Hawaii where her cultural passions and family roots are found. She married her husband and best friend in 2007 and has one daughter. Her current animal ohana includes a rescued veiled chameleon, a rescued cat, turtles, and many fish/invertebrates.