Nicholas Pilfold, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Dr. Nicholas Pilfold serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Postdoctoral Associate in Recovery Ecology. He is a large carnivore biologist by training, and his research centers on bear species, with an emphasis on conservations issues posed by climate change.

Nicholas primarily studies the polar bear, with study locations in the Beaufort Sea and Hudson Bay, Canada. His research examines trends in sea ice and climate in relation to biological responses of polar bears, including habitat selection, foraging ecology, and migration. Specific projects include predator-prey relationships between polar bears and ringed seals, long-distance swimming patterns during migration, and physiological responses of polar bears to seasonal cycles in feeding. In addition, he is an active collaborator on bear projects that include giant pandas, Andean bears, sun bears, and sloth bears, and is interested in identifying broad ecological patterns useful to the conservation of all bear species.

Nicholas earned his bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of British Columbia and his doctorate in Ecology at the University of Alberta. His interest in large carnivore research was initially spurred while volunteering on small wildlife reserves in South Africa. Prior to joining San Diego Zoo Global, Nicholas worked with researchers at the University of Alberta and Environment Canada.

SCIENCE AT WORK