Asa Preston, M.S.

Senior Research Associate

Asa Preston serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as a Senior Research Associate in Disease Investigations. In this role, she is responsible for taking care of the day to day activities of the Amphibian Disease Laboratory, including receiving samples from other zoos, institutions, and governmental agencies, entering data, extracting DNA, performing conventional and quantitative PCR, and reporting diagnostic results to laboratory users. She also performs molecular diagnostics on San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance collection animals for our veterinary and pathology staff. Her research interests include amphibian conservation and molecular diagnostics.

Asa’s current projects include improving and validating diagnostic testing methods for amphibian pathogens such as chytrid fungi (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans), genotyping isolates of non-tuberculous mycobacteria causing disease and malformations in Cururu toads on Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, and other ongoing projects.

Born and raised in Sweden, Asa earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biology from Uppsala University. After moving to the United States, she worked at Oregon State University as a Faculty Research Assistant, first in the Microbiology Department working on Baculavirus transcription complex and later in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology working on Ustilago hordei and other fungi. Asa’s favorite time is spent hiking with her family and capturing flowers and wildlife with her camera.