Rachel Chock, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Dr. Rachel Chock serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Postdoctoral Associate in Recovery Ecology. As a behavioral ecologist, her research involves combining the fields of animal behavior, ecology, and applied conservation. She is particularly interested in recovery of local endangered species.

Rachel’s research is focused on endangered small mammals in Southern California, including Pacific pocket mice, San Bernardino kangaroo rats, and Stephens’ kangaroo rats. She is working collaboratively with partners to identify and fulfill research needs related to habitat suitability and landscape connectivity for these species. Rachel brings experience from both fieldwork and modeling to guide and assess habitat restoration and reintroduction plans. She is also focused on incorporating genetic analyses into a behavioral and ecological understanding of these endangered species to inform landscape level management of fragmented populations.

Rachel earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clark University in Biology and Environmental Science, and her doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in Biology, where her research focused on understanding competitive and affiliative behavior and differences in habitat selection between co-occurring species to guide reintroduction and translocation practices for Pacific and Los Angeles pocket mice. She is a member of the Animal Behavior Society, where she has served on the Conservation Committee, as well as a member of The Wildlife Society and the American Society of Mammalogists.

SCIENCE AT WORK