Emma Choi, M.S.

Research Associate

Emma Choi serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Research Associate in Conservation Genetics. In this position, she uses genetic methods to provide services for the San Diego Zoo and investigate research questions that align with San Diego Zoo Global’s conservation mission. Her responsibilities include extracting and quantifying DNA, sex determination, and parentage analysis.

Currently, Emma is providing genetic services to support management of endangered species, such as Hawaiian forest birds, San Clemente loggerhead shrikes, and burrowing owls. In addition to these services, she is preparing genetic relatedness and parentage analyses for the managers of the Pacific pocket mouse breeding program to aid the success of the program. She is also working on constructing a SNP panel to evaluate genetic differences in two geographically isolated populations of Bighorn sheep.

Emma completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of California, San Diego obtaining a B.S. in General Biology and an M.S. in Marine Biology. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, she monitored trends in the spawning activity of marine fishes along the California coast via the molecular identification of fish eggs. In this data, she observed spatial and temporal variation in the abundance and diversity of fish eggs and explored environmental factors that may have been associated to the observed variation. Through Emma’s education she became fascinated with the natural processes that give rise to biodiversity gaining an immense appreciation for diversity and a passion for conserving it.

SCIENCE AT WORK