Kira Marshall, M.S.

Research Associate

Kira Marshall serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Research Associate in Reproductive Sciences. She currently works as a part of the Northern white rhino initiative. Kira is interested in a wide variety of scientific areas within conservation biology, including reproductive physiology, epigenetics, population dynamics, and ecological interactions. 

Kira’s main research focus is monitoring hormone cycles in the rhinoceros using non-invasive sampling techniques to track reproductive cycles and pregnancy. She also assists with other rhino activities including semen collection and freezing, assisting with artificial insemination, and helping with ultrasounds to detect follicle growth, ovulation, and pregnancy. 

Kira earned her bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Colorado State University and her master’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a focus on developmental epigenetics.  For her thesis, she studied the effects of follicle stimulating hormone and biological aging on the epigenome of the mouse oocyte. Before coming to San Diego Zoo Global, Kira gained experience in wildlife rehabilitation, environmental mitigation, and animal husbandry of laboratory animals, as well as large exotic animals in a sanctuary.  In 2011, she was an Undergraduate Summer Student Fellow at the Institute, an experience that sparked her love for ecology and species conservation.