Asako Navarro, M.S.
Asako Navarro serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Senior Research Coordinator in Conservation Genetics. She is currently involved in a number of research projects using genetic techniques to assess populations of local endangered species such as the Stephens' kangaroo rat, Pacific pocket mouse, and Peninsular bighorn sheep. Her responsibilities also include performing genetic sexing, paternity, and species identification. Additionally, she helps with the maintenance and expansion of the Frozen Zoo® tissue and DNA collection.
Asako’s main interests lie in utilizing population and landscape genetics to aid in the management of zoo-based and wild populations of endangered species. Identifying population structure and gene flow between genetically distinct populations can help inform management decisions and guide priority setting.
Asako earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her graduate work focused on using a hybridization-based bead array method to assess phytoplankton community dynamics. She began her career at San Diego Zoo Global in the Undergraduate Summer Student Fellowship Program, working on the use of molecular markers to assess post-translocation success in Stephens' kangaroo rats. Asako loves being surrounded by people who share her passion for wildlife and have dedicated their lives to conservation. When she is not at work, she enjoys hiking, snorkeling, tide pooling, and bird watching.