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Director of Research: Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences


Ph.D. – Endocrinology/Reproductive Physiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S. – Endocrinology/Reproductive Physiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A. – Zoology and Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Areas of Expertise

Comparative reproductive physiology and behavior
Wildlife contraception
Reproductive management
Olfactory communication

About Cheryl Asa

Cheryl Asa has been director of the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Reproductive Management Center, formerly AZA Wildlife Contraception Center, for 27 years. During that time she has also directed the Saint Louis Zoo’s Research program in Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences, which focuses on studies of basic and applied aspects of reproductive processes in a wide range of species, especially factors affecting reproductive success. For more than 20 years, she also has taught courses in Animal Behavior at Washington University, and in Endocrinology and Behavioral Endocrinology at Saint Louis University.

Her primary research interest is in comparative reproductive strategies, their differences and adaptive value. An understanding of the broad array of reproductive systems is necessary for addressing the challenge of maintaining sustainable populations facing modern zoos. She also participates in recovery programs for the endangered Mexican gray wolf and island fox, managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

Cheryl has published more than 150 articles in scientific journals, co-edited the book Wildlife Contraception: Issues, Methods and Application, and was lead author on the Fertility Control chapter of the recent National Academy of Sciences report on feral horse population management.