Joseph Garner

Conservation & Science
AZA Population Management Center
PMC Program Assistant
B.S. – Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation; Central Michigan University

Areas of Expertise

  • Urban Ecology
  • Mammalogy
  • Conservation Behavior Change


I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where I spent lots of time visiting both Brookfield- and Lincoln Park Zoo. This is where my love of animals and conservation began, with my passion growing more over time with several amazing experiences, such as participating in a Humboldt Penguin encounter or volunteering at the local wildlife rehabilitation center.

As an undergraduate at Central Michigan University, I gained lots of experience conducting biological research and interacting with wildlife. I independently researched black-footed ferret breeding and subsequent reintroduction in the Great Plains region, presented on zoonotic disease outbreaks in zoological parks, and compared avian and mammalian biodiversity between Central Michigan’s campus and the surrounding nature preserves.

After graduating in 2023, I began work as a field research intern for the Urban Wildlife Institute at Lincoln Park Zoo, monitoring the biodiversity in the Chicagoland area with trail cameras, as well as audio recorders for capturing bat calls. I also collaborated with the zoo’s evaluation team to conduct a survey at Montrose Beach that aimed to understand the perceived benefits and barriers to leashing one’s dog.  After my internship ended, I transitioned to my current position of PMC Program Assistant, where I now focus on distributing breeding and transfer reports between zoos, as well as providing general administrative support. In this position, I hope to contribute to the well-being of imperiled species across the globe, increasing their populations, and fighting the threat of extinction.

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