Jean-Pierre Montagne, M.S.

Research Coordinator

Jean-Pierre (J.P.) Montagne serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Research Coordinator in Recovery Ecology. He has been part of our conservation-focused research projects since 1995, when he started as a volunteer after graduating from the University of California, San Diego. J.P.'s interests include applying current animal behavior theory to improving methods used in conservation management, specifically, translocations and reintroductions.

J.P. is part of a team working with San Diego State University to create natural nesting habitat for burrowing owls by translocating California ground squirrels into protected areas in San Diego County. Ground squirrels are ecosystem engineers that alter habitats by digging burrows and thinning vegetation in a way that will attract nesting burrowing owls. One of J.P.’s goals is to examine how temperament, or personality, affects how well squirrels adapt to translocation. To do this, he measures how bold or shy a specific squirrel is, and assesses how this affects their survival and movement patterns following translocation.

J.P. earned his master’s degree in Biology from San Diego State University. During his time with the Institute for Conservation Research, J.P. has worked with white rhinos, horned lizards, ground squirrels, and many other local and exotic species. He derives strong personal satisfaction from the knowledge that his work contributes to preservation of species and conservation of habitats. When not at work, J.P. enjoys being outside in all capacities with his dogs.

SCIENCE AT WORK