Conservation & Science Staff Bios

Megan Reinertsen Ross, Ph.D.

  Vice President of Animal Care and Education
Lincoln Park Zoo


  • Ph.D. – Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • M.S. – Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • B.S.—Biology and Psychology, James Madison University

About Megan Ross:

Megan Ross received her B.S. in biology and psychology from James Madison University in 1996. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999 and 2001, respectively. Megan’s master's thesis evaluated the role that captive husbandry plays in pairing success in Chilean flamingos. Her dissertation research, conducted at Lincoln Park Zoo, focused on the effects of ultraviolet light on bird behavior.

Megan began her tenure at Lincoln Park Zoo in 2000 as the Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds. In this role, she was responsible for creating the collection plan for bird species at the zoo, performing noninvasive behavioral research and overseeing the bird department’s operations. She also became coordinator of the Guam Rail Species Survival Plan® (SSP) and Bali Mynah SSP®, both critically endangered bird species.

In 2006, Megan was promoted to general curator, ovseeing different animal areas and animal records at the zoo. In 2010, she was promoted to vice president of animal care. In this role, Megan oversees the entire animal department. She continues research related to her primary interests, including animal welfare and applied animal behavior, and has continued her role as coordinator for both the Guam Rail and Bali Mynah SSPs®.


Ross, M.R., Gillespie, K.L., Hopper, L. M., Bloomsmith, M.A., & Maple, T.L. 2013. Differential preference for ultraviolet light among captive birds from three ecological habitats. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 147: 278-285.

Ross, S.R., Ross, M.R., and Clark, A.B. 2010. Ethosearch: A comprehensive repository of ethograms for use in animal behavior research. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research, 369 (abstract).

Travis, D.A., Gamble, K., Ross, M. and Barbiers, R. 2005. Development of a tool for assessing and managing the risk of avian mycobacteriosis during avian translocation. Proceedings of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Kehl, N. and Ross, M.R. 2002. The breeding behaviour of a pair of cinereous vultures at Lincoln Park Zoo. Aviculture Magazine, 108: 3-7.

Ross, M.R. 2002. The Effects of Ultravoilet Light on Bird Behavior. George Institute of Technology (Doctoral Dissertation, George Institute of Technology, 2001). Dissertation Abstracts International - B, 62/11, 5360.