How long have you worked
at the Memphis Zoo?
years (3 in Research, 1.5 in Animal Programs as a CHINA Keeper)
What is your educational
and MS in Biology, forest/avian ecology Master’s thesis
What interested you to
pursue your current career path?
a decade in conservation research, I decided I wanted to spend my day-to-day
life involved in husbandry rather than data collection and analysis of wild and
endangered animals. I don't regret the years in the field and in the lab,
especially as it illuminates my current work, but I truly feel 'at home' as a
Briefly describe what
your typical day looks like.
CHINA we start the day training our giant pandas, then feed and clean
throughout the CHINA Exhibit. Early afternoon we make time for training and
enrichment with our pandas, primates, hoofstock, etc. The closing process
starts mid-afternoon, and it's typically a race against the clock. All day we
feed and enrich the pandas - they have no set mealtimes but must eat all day
long (when they aren't napping, of course)!
What is your favorite Zoo
have been so fortunate to be a part of a bird conservation project the Memphis
Zoo has helped fund for many years. With (now retired) Curator Herb Roberts, I
have been to the Mariana Islands each spring for 4 years with the MAC Program. I help capture and move
native, rare birds from one island to another to avoid a non-native predatory
snake, using skill sets from my previous life as a researcher as well as
learning new ones. By far my best memory was riding in the helicopter with the
birds and releasing them on their new, safe island. We flew over a recently
active volcanic island on the return trip!
What is your favorite
animal (and why)?
How can I choose between giant pandas and
azure-winged magpies? Francois' langurs and our hog deer? It's the variety in
CHINA that is so challenging and so endearing. Outside of work, I am a rescued
dog lover and a birder. Wild birds have been a passion of mine since childhood
- how they are integrated vertically and seemingly inextricably with their
environment fascinates me.