Welcome Holly!
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Welcome Holly!

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Holly’s passion for helping animals began at the age of three years old while watching the Crocodile Hunter on Animal Planet. From a young age, she knew she would have a career trying to improve the lives of animals and educating the public on conservation issues.

Holly received her Bachelor’s degree in biology from Stetson University in 2017. During her undergraduate career, she completed an internship at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. During this internship, Holly had hands on experience working in a zoo while also developing her own enrichment research project with red ruffed and ring tailed lemurs. In addition, Holly completed a senior research project in animal behavior investigating kin recognition in pygmy rattlesnakes in Florida.

In 2018, Holly was the Animal Behavior and Technology intern at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where she studied artificial light and sound effects on the behavior of park animals. With this experience, Holly gained more experience in zoo research while writing reports for zoo management on better welfare techniques.

Holly received her Master’s degree in biology at Sonoma State University in 2020. She specialized in animal behavior and zoo welfare, with her thesis focusing on the social behavior of hamadryas baboons at the Oakland Zoo. Holly used social network analysis (SNA) to understand the underlying social dynamics in the captive group of baboons. With the results of her research, she was able to inform zoo management on successful welfare techniques for captive hamadryas baboons.

Holly also recently assisted the Oakland Zoo in expanding their hamadryas baboon behavioral observation team by training several volunteers and interns in hamadryas baboon behavior, data collection and the SNA process. She hopes to continue a career assisting zoos in improving the lives of their animals through welfare focused research.

In her free time, Holly enjoys hiking, the outdoors, and traveling. She loves spending time with friends, family and her cat, Sugar.
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