Marina Karastamatis, M.A.

Senior Research Associate

Marina Karastamatis serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as a Senior Research Associate in Community Engagement. In this role, she is responsible for assisting with the coordination and implementation of the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP), a graduate program offered through San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance in partnership with Miami University in Ohio. Marina primarily aids in program management, developing, updating, and facilitating graduate curriculum, coordinating logistical aspects of the AIP, and supporting student professional development.

Marina earned her bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and her master’s degree in Biology from Miami University in the Advanced Inquiry Program in association with San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Her master’s research focused on the role of visual media in shaping public perceptions of threatened species and environmental issues, and how media can be used as a tool to promote positive attitudes, beliefs, and action towards conservation. As a graduate of the program she now assists, she strives to support and encourage current students drawing from her own experience.

Prior to working at SDZWA, Marina spent five years at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as an Animal Handler, where she cared for and worked with a variety of animal ambassadors, and delivered engaging and educational presentations to the public. She is enthusiastic about wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship, and aims to incorporate these passions into all aspects of her work with the Community Engagement team.