Christa Horn, M.S.

Conservation Program Specialist

Christa Horn serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Conservation Program Specialist in Plant Conservation. In this role, she works to conserve the flora that animals and people depend on for food, shelter, and more. In addition to collaboratively managing our aguaje palm project in Peru, Christa provides support with project planning, GIS and data management, and grant administration, budgeting, and logistics. Her primary research interest is in plant population ecology, applied to various conservation scenarios in land management, sustainable harvesting, and restoration.

Christa’s current research focuses on the sustainable management of aguaje palms in Peru, a project that includes demography studies, silviculture, community training and workshops, and GIS. The overall goal is to ensure that enough palm fruit persists in the wild not only for human harvest, but also to sustain the palm population and provide adequate forage wildlife. By collecting data on the growth and survival of palms in wild populations and those recovering from destructive harvesting and in an agroforestry setting, Christa hopes to be able to inform local harvesters of the various care and management options available. With she currently focuses on a few villages, her ultimate hope is to share the results region-wide to amplify the impact.

Christa earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Earth Systems from Stanford University. She draws on her interdisciplinary background in ecology, botany, anthropology, and geography to carry out her research. In her free time, Christa enjoys exploring San Diego County and hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

SCIENCE AT WORK