Chia Tan, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Chia Tan serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Senior Scientist in Global Partnerships. She has extensive research experience and is considered the world’s leading expert on bamboo lemurs and snub-nosed monkeys. In her current research with Asian leaf monkeys and aye ayes, she incorporates camera trap technology into her field methodologies in order to study spatial and temporal patterns in wildlife and human activity.

In her role, Chia develops, oversees, and conducts cross-disciplinary projects focusing on conserving endangered primate species in Asia and Madagascar. Through collaborations with a broad array of partners, including zoo colleagues and collaborators in the academic, government, and private sectors from over 20 countries, she succeeds in maintaining a large array of in-situ conservation programs. Her capacity-building program, Training in Primatology Series (TIPS), and children’s education program, Little Green Guards, are two examples of her integrated partnership efforts. These far reaching programs have been replicated by many of her collaborators in regions where wildlife and habitat conservation is a top priority.

Chia earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles and her doctorate from the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences at State University of New York, Stony Brook. She holds adjunct faculty positions in the Department of Anthropology at San Diego State University and the Department of Biology and Chemical Engineering at Tongren University, China. Chia is dedicated to fostering young scholars, and has provided field training and mentorship support to close to 150 U.S. and international students.

SCIENCE AT WORK