Colleen Wisinski, M.S.

Research Coordinator

Colleen Wisinski serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Research Coordinator in Recovery Ecology. In this role, she has worked with golden eagles and cactus wrens and is currently the field team leader for the burrowing owl project. She is interested in conservation biology, population dynamics, and habitat use by birds.

Colleen’s main research focus is nesting and foraging ecology of the breeding population of burrowing owls in San Diego County. She is responsible for collecting data in the field, managing and analyzing results, and working with colleagues to make recommendations about management of the species to local land and wildlife managers. Using direct observations, camera traps, GPS dataloggers, and color banding, she is learning about foraging activities, reproduction, and survival of owls in San Diego. One of Colleen’s favorite aspects of the project is capturing, banding, and blood-sampling the owls for genetic analysis.

Colleen earned bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. She earned her master’s degree in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University, Bozeman, where she examined survival and habitat use of greater sage grouse in southwestern Montana. Before coming to San Diego Zoo Global, Colleen worked as a wildlife rehabilitator training raptors for educational purposes, and as a whooping crane tracker using radio and satellite telemetry to monitor a reintroduced crane population. She is a longtime member of The Wildlife Society and has presented her work at numerous conferences. Colleen loves working outdoors and being creative in figuring out how to answer research questions in the field. Her love for animals and nature grew from time spent outdoors in the North Woods of Wisconsin.

SCIENCE AT WORK