Catherine Avila, M.A.

Research Associate

Catherine “Cat” Avila serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Research Associate in Conservation Genetics.  In this role, she joins our cytogenetics team, where her responsibilities include contributing to the Frozen Zoo® by establishing cell lines representing a variety of taxa.   Additionally, she assists in the characterization of species via karyotyping.  Cat is particularly interested in helping to establish cell lines from currently unrepresented or underrepresented species.

Prior to her current role, Cat worked with our Reproductive Sciences team as a Research Fellow.  Following this, Cat moved to the Safari Park where she worked as a zookeeper, specializing in hoofstock and hand-rearing.

Cat earned her bachelor’s degree in Animal Physiology from University of California, San Diego and her master’s degree in Animal Science from University of California, Davis, with an emphasis in nutrition.  The focus of her research was fat digestion in ruminants and preruminants.  Cat has volunteered in elementary school classrooms to introduce children to gardening, conservation, and American Sign Language.  She is thrilled to return to direct involvement in exciting conservation research.