Tandora Grant

Conservation Program Specialist

Tandora Grant serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Conservation Program Specialist in Population Sustainability. Her work focuses primarily on conservation recovery strategies for Caribbean iguanas. Tandora is the Program Officer and Red List Authority for the IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist Group. In this role, she coordinates the creation and revision of assessments for 45 species of iguanas on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The collated information on threats, research needs, and conservation status is used to create national and international laws, draw attention to global conservation needs, and enhance protection efforts. Tandora’s field research experience includes several species of rock iguanas, and she continues to work closely with reintroduction programs for Grand Cayman and Jamaican iguanas.

Tandora also serves as AZA SSP Coordinator and Population Management Advisor for the Jamaican Rock Iguana and Grand Cayman Blue Iguana programs. Having developed studbooks for these species, she evaluates genetic and demographic statistics to determine captive breeding pairs and wild release candidates. She incorporates molecular data in order to further define the fitness of reintroduced populations and guide management actions. For United States zoo populations, the focus is on long-term sustainability of genetic diversity, and promoting education, awareness, and support for the ongoing recovery efforts for wild iguanas.

In addition to iguanas, Tandora’s projects have included recovery efforts for the San Clemente loggerhead shrike and ecology of the San Diego coast horned lizard. She is the author of more than a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles, including Science, and over 40 technical reports and popular publications. Tandora earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. She enjoys rock climbing and being outside hiking trails with her dogs.

SCIENCE AT WORK