Tate Tunstall, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Dr. Tate Tunstall serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Postdoctoral Associate in Conservation Genetics.  In this role, he specializes in bioinformatics. His research interests include population genetics and how genetic diversity contributes to disease resistance.

Tate’s current focus is on the genomics of the northern white rhino and the southern white rhino. Specifically, he is examining the genetic differences between these taxa by quantifying the genetic diversity in the rhino cell lineages represented in the Frozen Zoo®, comparing genetic diversity and population histories of northern and southern white rhinos, and identifying genes that may be important in survival and reproduction. Tate’s future research interests include the genomics of the ‘alala, the California condor, and the mountain yellow-legged frog.

Tate earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in population genetics and disease ecology.  His previous postdoctoral position was at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he worked on chytrid fungus in Panamanian amphibians. During this time, Tate was a Fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He continues to stay involved with amphibian conservation through the Panamanian Golden Frog Conservation Group. Tate loves hiking, spending time outdoors, and meeting the animals he works with.