Alison Flanagan, Ph.D.


Dr. Alison Flanagan serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as a Researcher in Recovery Ecology. Alison's research background and present interests are widespread. Most recently, her work has been centered on evaluating how inbreeding and captive housing conditions influence reproductive success in the ‘Alala, or Hawaiian crow, one of the world’s most endangered birds. In the past, Alison led a number of research projects relevant to marine and coastal benthic habitat characterization in New York and San Francisco Bay waters.

Alison presently leads the Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program's historical data research efforts. She enjoys working with the Hawaii team and local students to uncover factors that will promote the successful breeding and recovery of the 'Alala, among other endangered Hawaiian forest birds. Having personally experienced the importance of mentorship in her development as a scientist, Alison is particularly passionate about mentoring early-career researchers. One of her top priorities and interests is to help people achieve their conservation goals by guiding research that adds to our understanding of how to best facilitate the recovery of endangered species.

Alison earned her bachelor's degree at California State University, Monterey Bay, where she was a Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program Scholar. She completed her doctorate in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, and received the Brinkhius Award for the Best Dissertation in her academic year. Before joining San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Alison held a postdoctoral position with the United States Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center.