Conservation & Science Staff Bios

Edward Wilkerson

  Informatics Analyst
Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology

Education

  • B.A. – University of Chicago

Areas of Expertise

  • Software development
  • Database design
  • Website development
  • Requirements development

About Edward Wilkerson:

Edward Wilkerson Jr. received a B.A. from the University of Chicago. He entered the software industry as a programmer for CNA Insurance, where he developed an accounting system for personal-property insurance policies. He subsequently worked at Time Life as a software applications programmer.

Much of his current software expertise was gained as a software developer for Applied Systems, a major vendor of software for the insurance industry. At Applied, he managed the development and testing of the software needs for five insurance companies.

In 2007 Edward began his career as informatics analyst for conservation and science programs at Lincoln Park Zoo. His main focus is developing the database, software and web interface for the USDA/AZA Avian Influenza Surveillance System. This system will be used to enter data from the sampling and testing of birds in zoos across the country, aiding officials in monitoring for the presence of avian influenza.

From becoming involved with the zoo community Edward has developed an interest in the interrelation of animals and diseases. Much of his recent work has centered on managing demographic, health and metric data about animals. Systems he has worked on include ethograms for Gombe Mother-Infant Research, deer carcass data from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the creation of a database to house animal endocrine methodologies and protocols for hormonal analysis.

The problem of how to best store this data and present it in a meaningful way that facilitates analysis is a challenge for which there is no simple answer. The best solutions come from not only knowing the quality of the data but also understanding the nature of the zoo community.