Natalie Calatayud, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Natalie Calatayud serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Recovery Ecology. Her research interests include reproduction, endocrinology, and nutrition in frogs and toads. Natalie’s main research focus is the recovery and reintroduction of the critically endangered mountain yellow-legged frog. In addition, she acts as a consultant for the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife’s boreal toad recovery team, where she oversees a captive breeding population at the Native Aquatic Species Restoration Facility.

In working to increase the reproductive output of the boreal toad, Natalie uses exogenous hormones to induce breeding behaviors and employs in vitro fertilization techniques. Boreal toads bred in captivity can then be reintroduced into the wild to help augment wild populations. Although Natalie’s projects concentrate on reproduction, her work requires a broader understanding of various aspects of amphibian physiology, including nutrition, responses to environmental change, and disease.

Natalie earned her bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Manchester, after which she volunteered in Reproductive Sciences, an experience that influenced her decision to pursue a career in conservation. Natalie then obtained her doctorate in Reproductive Physiology and Molecular Biology of marsupials at Melbourne University. She returned to the United States to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at Mississippi State University, where she discovered her passion for amphibians. Natalie has published her research in peer-reviewed journals and presented her work at a number of international conferences.