Daniel Essary

Senior Research Associate

Daniel Essary serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as a Senior Research Associate in Recovery Ecology. Daniel coordinates work with the desert tortoise project. Much of Daniel's work is conducted in the Mojave desert around Barstow, California.

Before Daniel rejoined the staff at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, he spent eight years conducting research with desert tortoises at the Desert Tortoise Research Center near Las Vegas, NV. Daniel now works on our desert tortoise headstarting program, caring for and collecting data on juvenile desert tortoises before they are released back into the wild.

Daniel earned his bachelor's degree in Geography at University of Southern Mississippi. He then joined FEMA/Project Recovery in 2005 to help with displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, he moved west to work with the desert tortoise, where his career has continued to this day.

Daniel enjoys being outside either hiking or fishing when weather permits. Daniel is also known for his love of cooking, especially southern and Cajun type dishes.