Nicole Ravida serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Senior Research Coordinator in Reproductive Sciences. Her research interests include assisted reproductive techniques, cryopreservation of sperm, oocytes, and reproductive tissues, and monitoring estrous cycles of animals through vaginal cytology.
Nicole researches new cryopreservation methods for sperm, oocytes, and embryos for a variety of species. She is involved in gamete rescue, in which sperm and oocytes from deceased animals are harvested, cryopreserved, and stored in the Frozen Zoo®. She researches in vitro maturation, fertilization, and embryo culture in felids, cervids, and bovids. Nicole has most recently worked on establishing cryopreservation protocols for desert tortoise sperm and is collaborating with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to improve in vitro oocyte maturation and fertilization protocols for California mule deer as a model for endangered deer species.
Nicole earned her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from North Carolina State University. In collaboration with the San Diego Zoo Global Library, Nicole created the San Diego Zoo Sperm Atlas, which displays photos of sperm from close to 200 species.