Megan Owen, Ph.D.

Director of Population Sustainability

Dr. Megan Owen serves San Diego Zoo Global as Director of Population Sustainability. In this role, she oversees the division’s diverse programs, establishing key links with other departments and teams across San Diego Zoo Global, government agencies, and partner NGOs working to conserve wildlife around the world. Megan’s work spans a range of conservation applications, from conservation breeding, to developing post-release monitoring strategies, to understanding species ecology and mitigating the impacts of human activities in critical wildlife habitats. Megan’s own research has largely focused on the application of behavioral and sensory ecology to conservation strategies for large carnivores, including polar bears and giant pandas.

Megan earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the City College of New York, and her doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Megan serves as a member of the IUCN’s Bear Specialist Group, research advisor to the AZA-Bear TAG, Polar Bear and Giant Panda SSPs, and research advisor to Polar Bears International. Megan strives to connect the public with conservation research programs, and frequently interacts with school groups and other non-scientific audiences. She is passionate about connecting children of all ages with nature and the outdoors, and integrates this perspective into her outreach efforts.