Megan Owen, Ph.D.

Vice President of Wildlife Conservation Science

Dr. Megan Owen serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as Vice President of Wildlife Conservation Science, Endowed Benirschke Chair. Central to Megan’s work is the fostering of strategic collaborations with other departments and teams across San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, government agencies, and partner NGOs working to conserve wildlife around the world.

Megan’s work spans a range of conservation applications, from conservation breeding, to developing post-release monitoring strategies, to understanding species ecology in support of recovery efforts and in mitigating the impacts of human activities in critical wildlife habitats. Megan’s own research has largely focused on the application of behavioral and sensory ecology to recovery strategies for large mammals, including polar bears, giant pandas and African elephants.

Megan earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the City College of New York, and her doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Megan serves as a member of the IUCN’s Bear Specialist Group and serves on the USFWS Polar Bear Recovery Team Science and Monitoring Working Group. Megan is also co-chair of the Polar Bear Research Council and serves as a research advisor to the AZA-Bear TAG, Polar Bear and Giant Panda SSPs. Megan strives to amplify the impact of our conservation work by engaging the public in our efforts and sharing the stories of our work and of the species we protect.