Jennifer Burchell, M.S.

Senior Research Coordinator

Jennifer Burchell serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Senior Research Coordinator in Disease Investigations, where she is involved in project design, data management, and literature research. She is responsible for organizing and maintaining the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, as well as implementing diagnostic protocols and procedures to incoming volunteers and interns. She also serves as safety representative and is responsible for safety training and monthly lab inspections. Her research interests lie in disease diagnostics and next generation techniques.

Jennifer’s current projects include the watershed and avian mycobacterium projects. The watershed project, which utilizes various sampling and molecular techniques, focuses on surveillance of various water sites in and around the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for disease agents. In the avian mycobacterium project, Jennifer is culturing mycobacteria from avian tissues and utilizing cutting edge molecular techniques such as next generation sequencing to strain type the isolates.

Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from San Diego State University and her master’s degree in Forensic Science from National University. Her areas of expertise include molecular techniques, cell culture, mycobacterial culture, sequencing analysis, and real-time PCR analysis. Whether she is mountain biking, hiking, or surfing, she always takes the time to observe the natural world around her.

SCIENCE AT WORK