Caitlin Curry, Ph.D.

Research Coordinator

Dr. Caitlin Curry serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as a Researcher Coordinator in Conservation Genetics. In this role, Caitlin is conducting bioinformatic analyses of genomic data for projects aimed at identifying genetic factors that leave species vulnerable to decline and extinction.

Caitlin’s research is focused on using next generation DNA sequencing technologies and innovative strategies for understanding and conserving wildlife and managing how we coexist on this planet. She has a diverse background centered around wildlife and conservation. She believes that by understanding the characterization of wild populations, appropriate strategies can be developed to allow for the coexistence between humans and wildlife in the natural environment.

Caitlin earned her bachelor’s degree in animal behavior from the University of Washington, with a minor in anthropology, and her doctorate in conservation and population genetics from Texas A&M University. Her dissertation research focused on biodiversity of the African lion using ancient DNA in museum collections to explore how genetic diversity has changed over the past century. This research led to her to become a member of the African Lion Working Group, an affiliate of the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group and Conservation Planning Specialist Group. As an undergraduate, she interned with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, where she completed an analysis of relatedness and genetic diversity in the North American collection of captive African elephants and developed projects to produce reference genomes for various lemur species. She is also a certified dog trainer through the Animal Behavior College. A lifelong desire to work in the field of conservation has taken Caitlin around the world studying and working with animals to make a difference for the planet. Caitlin is a native San Diegan and is excited to be back in her hometown doing her dream job.