Chelsea C. Thomas, M.S.


Conservation & Science


Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology


Research Coordinator


M.S. – Zoology, Washington State University
B.S. – Biology, Valdosta State University

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Areas of Expertise

  • Conservation biology
  • Demography and phenology
  • Community ecology
  • Database management
  • Statistical programming


Chelsea is an ecologist interested in applied conservation biology and management of at-risk species. She joined Lincoln Park Zoo’s Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology in January 2020 as the research coordinator for the COMPADRE/COMADRE database, which contains population models of plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria.

Prior to joining the zoo, Chelsea worked as a research technologist for the Conservation Biology Lab at Washington State University in Vancouver. Her work focused on conservation of at-risk butterfly species and included: interactions between larvae of Fender’s blue butterfly and attendant ants, as well as effects of habitat structure on myrmecophily; ecotoxicology and larval development in butterflies; demography and phenology of western monarchs; phenological shifts in butterflies associated with Department of Defense lands across the United States; and community interactions in habitats associated with at-risk butterflies.

In her current position, Chelsea coordinates ongoing development of the COMPADRE/COMADRE database—working with principal investigators, digitization teams, programmers, and other stakeholders. She also provides quality assurance/control (QA/QC) and public outreach for the project.