Director – Jeremy Adam Levine
Jeremy moved to Costa Rica, opening a Spanish, yoga, surf, and fire dancing school in 2007. Because of the areas need for an animal rescue center and his love for the local wildlife he decided to start Wild Sun. Coupling volunteering with his program allows travelers to learn and give back while experiencing one of the worlds most beautiful and biodiverse areas.
Jeremy is certified in wildlife rehabilitation and pain and wound management from the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and has an MBA from USC Marshall plus a BA in Television, Radio and Film from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. He is dedicated to helping local wildlife and educating all about the importance of our ecosystems and maintaining balance.
Biologist- Vernun Arias Vega
Vernun has over 20 years of experience working with wild life in Costa Rica. His focus is on wildlife management and environmental sustainability. He has worked extensively with reintroduction as a tool for wildlife conservation. To date Vernun has successfully bred and released 160 scarlet macaws which are actively breeding in the wild, bringing our area a current population of over 230 birds! Vernun is also on the board of directors of the Association for the Biological Corridor of the Nicoya Peninsula.
Veterinarian- Dr. Nina Deanne Sharer
Dr. Nina Deanne Sharer is from the United States originally and moved to Costa Rica in 1993. Deanne is bilingual and studied to be a vet at the University of Veritas Coronado in San Rafael, Costa Rica. She has years of experience rescuing wildlife and has run her own private practice in Montezuma and Santa Teresa.
Student Veterinarian - Elizabeth Works
Liz graduated magna cum laude from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in biology. While there, she spent several years working with the Cape Romain Loggerhead Nest Recovery Project, a program that sparked her interest in wildlife conservation. Liz is currently in her final year at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where her main focus has been pursuing a career in wildlife veterinary medicine. During her third year of school, she completed a veterinary externship at Wild Sun Rescue Center, where she gained knowledge and experience in the husbandry, care, and rehabilitation of local species. The experience allowed her to combine her love of veterinary medicine with her passion for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Now Liz is coming back this spring to work with us full time!
Wildlife Rehabilitator & Business Project Manager- Heidi Hansen
Heidi moved to Costa Rica several years ago and was inspired to help the native wildlife after seeing the troubles they were facing. She brings her business skills to help the centers different programs succeed and inspire others to become advocates for conservation. You can often find her on her four wheeler rescuing animals or showing students the beautiful area we live in!
Senior Site Manager- Carmen Atwater
Carmen studied environmental science and biology at the University of North Carolina with a focus on ecology and natural resources. There she was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, UNC’s oldest and highest honorary society, for her commitment to environmental sustainability and conservation. She has several years of experience working with wildlife in both research and rehabilitation settings. Her experience in wildlife rehabilitation, animal care, field biology, and environmental education go hand in hand with her passion for conservation.
Senior Site Manager- Ezra Mendales
Ezra received his degree in Evolutionary Biology and Conservation from the University of Toronto specializing in primatology. Before working in Costa Rica, he worked at field stations in Panama and Ecuador as well as at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. His research focuses on South American primate ecology and evolution. Ezra's previous work at primate rescue centers as well as his passion for tropical conservation has brought him to the Wild Sun team.
Consultant- Halley D Buckanoff, BS, CVT, CWR
Halley is the lead veterinary technician at the VHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of the North Carolina Zoo. There she cares for various native wildlife species including bears, otters, squirrels, opossums and many types of local birds. She also manages over 150 volunteers and interns at the center.
Halley holds at BS in Biology from Lewis and Clark College. She has over 10 years of experience practicing medicine and husbandry as a certified vet tech for exotic, zoo and local wildlife species.
Halley has previous experience as a field biologist. She holds a permit from the United States Fish and Wildlife commission for banding with which she currently conducts post-release survival studies on common backyard birds.
In addition, Halley teaches certification courses for the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council in Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation, Pain and Wound Management, Nutrition and more.