Aparna Chandrashekar, M.A.

Senior Research Associate

Aparna Chandrashekar serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Senior Research Associate in Conservation Genetics. She oversees daily operations in the Molecular Genetics laboratory, supports AZA Species Survival Programs and breeding programs, and works with internal and external collaborators on projects aligned with the Institute’s conservation mission. Her responsibilities include logging of genetic samples, sex determination, parentage identification, and sequencing for species.

Aparna is interested in how we can use genetic techniques and data to identify and manage vulnerable wildlife populations. She currently assists with a variety of recovery projects that focus on Peninsular bighorn sheep, Pacific pocket mice, and San Clemente loggerhead shrikes.

Aparna earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from New York University, where she developed an interest in research and conservation genetics by assisting on a project assessing the genetic diversity in silver langurs. She earned her Master’s degree at City University of New York, Hunter College, focusing on the demographic history of the critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemurs found in Ranomofana National Park, Madagascar. In addition, she has done fieldwork with the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program and the Caribbean Primate Research Center.