Joseph Ree, Ph.D.
Dr. Joseph Ree serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Postdoctoral Associate in Plant Conservation. In this capacity, he is spearheading research into the use of cryopreservation and tissue culture to preserve Nuttall's sage scrub oak (Quercus dumosa). He will also work with partners to develop broad-spectrum approaches applicable to a wide range of the species' genetic diversity. He is especially interested in exploring the underlying biochemical mechanisms that decide plant cell fate.
Joseph will be developing protocols to grow representative members Nuttall's scrub oak in tissue culture. After he develops a baseline protocol, he will then investigate the main factors that control success or failure in a wide range of individual Nuttall's scrub oaks. He will also develop cryopreservation methods that apply to the majority of all individuals so that a viable population may be taken out of liquid nitrogen, revived, grown, and then returned to field conditions. His goal is to make a set of protocols that not only lead to the successful conservation of Nuttall's scrub oak but also have applicability to other critically endangered plant species.
Joseph earned his bachelor's degree in BioResource Research at Oregon State University and his masters and doctoral degrees in Plant Genetic Resources at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina), Santa Catarina, Brazil. His thesis research focused on the underlying mechanics of somatic embryogenesis in peach palm (Bactris gasipaes) and their cryopreservation. In his free time, Joseph listens to audiobooks while he cooks, cleans, exercises, or anything else that gives him an excuse to put his mind on autopilot so he can dive into a new story.