Megan Owen, Ph.D.

Associate Director

Dr. Megan Owen serves San Diego Zoo Global as Associate Director of Recovery Ecology. In this role, she oversees the division’s large carnivore research programs, including giant panda, polar bear and Andean bear programs, establishing key links with other epartments and teams across San Diego Zoo Global, government agencies, and partner NGOs working to conserve wildlife around the world. Megan’s work spans a range of conservation applications, from conservation breeding, to developing post-release monitoring strategies, to mitigating the impacts of human activities in critical wildlife habitats.

Megan’s overarching interest is in applying research findings to conservation management as well as in using scientific methods to identify conservation challenges. Megan’s own research is largely focused on the application of behavioral and sensory ecology to conservation strategies, both in the field and in managed settings.

Megan earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the City College of New York, and her doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Megan serves as a member of the IUCN’s Bear Specialist Group, research advisor to the AZA-Bear TAG, Polar Bear and Giant Panda SSPs, and research advisor to Polar Bears International. She has authored or co-authored peer-reviewed scientific publications and regularly publishes blog and popular articles. Megan strives to connect the public with conservation research programs, and frequently interacts with school groups and other non-scientific audiences. She is passionate about connecting children of all ages with nature and the outdoors, and integrates this perspective into her outreach efforts.