Background And Education
awards and honors
My current research focuses are: 1) developing and utilizing assisted reproductive technologies for improved carnivore reproduction; 2) understanding management-based causes of infertility in captive-held carnivores; 3) improving management and health for more efficient reproduction, and 4) evaluating the comparative reproduction, genomics and health of ex situ and wild cheetahs.
We are currently conducting numerous research projects on cheetahs and black-footed ferrets including investigation into gastrointestinal microbiomes; assisted reproduction including artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer; short-term reproductive suppression; and investigation of poor fertility due to abnormal reproductive microbiomes. In addition to managing six keeper staff, I work with and train graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and interns, while pursuing my own research interests in ovarian function, pregnancy and assisted reproduction.
I have been the SSP Program Leader for cheetahs since 2014, guiding the management of the 350+ cheetahs in the SSP. In 2012, I was instrumental in the formation of the Breeding Centers Coalition Group (BCC). The BCC works to increase husbandry knowledge and expertise, as well as cub production, by sharing information and improving collaboration across the 10 breeding centers. The group regularly discusses high priority management, husbandry, and breeding challenges and has worked together to generate a larger number of cubs produced annually to increase effective population size, and stability and growth in the overall cheetah population.