Carlos A. de la Rosa, Ph.D.

Natural Lands Manager

Dr. Carlos (Charlie) A. de la Rosa serves San Diego Zoo Global as Natural Lands Manager. In this role, he oversees recovery and restoration efforts, biodiversity monitoring activities, and research on the 800-acre Biodiversity Reserve, adjacent to the Safari Park. His research background centers on human impacts on biological systems in Southern California and northwestern Mexico, especially through invasive and domestic species, and in applying ecological theory and methods to help solve conservation problems. 

Situated in the San Pasqual Valley of San Diego North County, the Biodiversity Reserve is home to 30 breeding pairs of cactus wrens, as well as red diamond rattlesnakes, Engelmann oaks, and many other unique and beautiful species of Southern California's coastal sage scrub. Charlie is responsible for assessing and managing invasive species, developing project partnerships, and coordinating research efforts in the Reserve, as part of San Diego Zoo Global’s initiative to end extinction in San Diego County and beyond. 

Charlie earned bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and German at the University of Florida and his doctorate in Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and University of California and Mexico (UC-MexUS) Dissertation Grant recipient. His dissertation focused on the effects of traditional cattle ranching on tropical dry forest tree diversity and abundance, and predictors of free-ranging cattle foraging preferences, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains of southeastern Sonora, Mexico.  In his free time, he can be found cooking, doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, or hiking, fishing, and exploring the diverse habitats of California and Mexico. 

SCIENCE AT WORK