Jennifer Tobey, M.A.


Jennifer Tobey serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as a Researcher in Population Sustainability. Her behavioral research focuses on mate choice, welfare, and husbandry needs of the animal collections at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Her long-time focus on behavioral data collection has branched out to include vocal communication utilizing audio recording and analysis, scent communication involving scent collection and analysis, and visitor effects and noise disturbance.

For many years, Jen’s work has examined maternal effort, food preferences, behavior, and mate choice in our colony of koalas. Her work at the San Diego Zoo has been applied to in-situ fieldwork efforts spanning different areas of the range of koalas in Australia. More recently, her work has expanded to primates where her focus has been on visitor effects, welfare, and social structure. She is also involved in a large-scale welfare project that includes all collection animals.

Jen earned a joint bachelor’s degree in Biology/Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College and her master’s degree in Psychology from Cal State San Marcos, with a focus on comparative psychology. She is an active member of the San Diego Zoo Animal Welfare Panel and is involved with the Koala Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. When she is not at work, Jen enjoys creating native habitat space at her home for monarchs, opossums, blue birds, and other local southern California animals.