Associate Professor of Captive Wildlife Care and Education/ Center for Experiential and Environmental Education
PhD, Animal Behavior (Psychology), University of Washington
MS, Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston
BS, Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Cheryl is a native of New England who grew up in Massachusetts. Her initial interest in animal behavior was focused mainly on the study of primates. She worked in various animal laboratories at the University of Massachusetts, but it was the combination of caretaking and research with the schools’ primate colony and internships at New England Regional Primate Center and the American Museum of Natural History in New York that helped her get her first zoo job. The experience and training in research she received as an undergraduate allowed her to initiate behavioral studies in a zoo setting shortly after she began working at the Franklin Park Zoo. Recognition of her work with prosimians led to her quickly becoming a steering committee member of the AZA Prosimian Taxon Advisory Group. Reproduction in a prosimian species was also the subject of her master’s thesis in Biology. Cheryl next took a job as a zookeeper at the Woodland Park Zoo. Again she worked a wide variety of species but focused her efforts and research on one in particular, the Malayan sun bear. She became studbook keeper and then Species Survival Plan (SSP) Chair, serving on the Bear Taxon Advisory Group for over a decade. Once again, the species she took care of and represented nationally and internationally became the subject of her graduate work. Cheryl received her doctorate in Animal Behavior (Psychology) from the University of Washington for her studies on the reproductive behavior and biology of the sun bear. She continues to publish her research and stay involved in conservation work on behalf of this species. Cheryl is currently working as an advisor to a research program in Borneo that hopes to facilitate in situ captive breeding and reintroduction of sun bears to protected forests.