U to Zoo: Psychology Alumni Lead in Wildlife and Conservation

School of Psychology alumni are now sharing expertise at major city zoos and wildlife conservation funds.

June 2, 2022

Megan Ross (M.S. PSY 99, Ph.D. PSY 01), never considered that the time she spent as a child, "always digging in the dirt, looking at the bugs, picking up the worms," would eventually lead to being the first woman president and CEO of Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo.

Fellow School of Psychology alumni have also ended up in leadership positions at some of the country's most prestigious zoos and conservation societies:

Christopher Kuhar (Ph.D. PSY 04), executive director of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Kristen Lukas (M.S. PSY 95, Ph.D. PSY 99), director of conservation and science at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Estelle Sandhaus (M.S. PSY 04, Ph.D. PSY 13), director of conservation and science at the Santa Barbara Zoo

Tara Stoinski, Ph.D. PSY 00, and CEO of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. (Fun fact: Georgia Tech President and fellow School of Psychology alum Ángel Cabrera was Stoinski's statistics teaching assistant.)

The five School of Psychology alumni are profiled in the spring 2022 edition of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Read about their time at Georgia Tech and their current roles in wildlife and conservation:

Meet Megan Ross, CEO and scientist-in-chief at the Lincoln Park Zoo. In January 2022, Ross became the first woman to lead the zoo in its 154-year history.
Alumna Tara Stoinski is CEO of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. She oversees a staff of about 300 based in Africa and the group’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Also in the "Inspired by Nature" edition:
Georgia Tech researchers venture out of the lab to find clues to everything from how to better communicate with robots to curing disease. Here are some of their wildest innovations inspired by nature.
Wildlife at Home on Campus
Atlanta is often called the “city in a forest” because of its lush canopy of trees, uncommon for a major city. In the heart of that forest sits Georgia Tech’s 400-acre campus. And within campus lies a variety of wildlife that has made Georgia Tech its home.

For More Information Contact

Jennifer Herseim
Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Association

Jess Hunt-Ralston
Director of Communications
College of Sciences at Georgia Tech

Summary: Renay San Miguel