Dr. Ardente founded Ardente Veterinary Nutrition LLC in August 2017, based on a long-term goal of combining her passion for nutrition with zoo and aquatic veterinary medicine. As a veterinarian with advanced training in animal nutrition and research, she understands that nutrition plays a critical role in the prevention and treatment of disease and seeks to address clinically-relevant nutrition concerns for all species. In her work, Dr. Ardente is inquisitive, energetic, dedicated, efficient and organized. She is active in the veterinary nutrition and zoo/aquatic communities and has established excellent rapport and collaborations with colleagues in those fields.
Current clients include Animal Necessity LLC, where Dr. Ardente serves as the Research and Training Consultant; the National Marine Mammal Foundation; Turtle Back Zoo; Cape May County Park & Zoo; Birmingham Zoo; and CMAC Agriculture. Previous clients include Brookfield Zoo; CuriOdyssey; S.E.A. Aquarium (Singapore); and Terra Sage Dog Gourmet.
Dr. Ardente realized her strong interest in nutrition while attending veterinary school at North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 and stayed at NCSU the following year to complete a nutrition-focused internship. During this internship, she managed the diets of canine and feline patients of the NCSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital and worked closely with the North Carolina Zoo to study chimpanzee nutrition.
Dr. Ardente subsequently pursued a PhD in animal nutrition at the University of Florida (UF) College of Veterinary Medicine. She investigated the role of nutrition in kidney stone development in bottlenose dolphins under human care, and she successfully defended her work and finished her PhD in 2016. Dr. Ardente then went on to complete a post-doctoral associate position with UF and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Animal Nutrition Center. In this role, she gained experience managing the nutrition of all animals, from insects, to sheep and goats, to birds and reptiles, to stingrays and eels, to elephants and giraffe.
In her personal life, Dr. Ardente likes to stay busy. She is a new mom of a little boy – Grady – and enjoys spending time with him, her husband Andrew, and her German Shorthaired Pointer Fancy. They take advantage of the warm FL weather and do many outdoor activities, like running, kayaking, fishing, and mountain biking. She also likes to stay involved in her local community by volunteering for a local veterinary clinic that serves veterans and low-income and homeless pet owners.