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Kathleen Apakupakul, M.S., M.A.

Research Associate for the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine

Kathleen joined the Institute for Conservation Medicine (ICM) in October 2015 and has a background in conservation science, evolution and molecular biology. As Research Associate, she applies her expertise in these fields to conservation medicine research and assists in establishing One Health relationships between the Zoo and local research institutions. Prior to working at the Zoo, Kathleen was a research scientist and lab manager at both the University of California-San Francisco and Virginia Tech, studying the mechanisms regulating infection by herpes simplex virus. She also served two terms of national service with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. Her conservation medicine/One Health experience began with an internship at EcoHealth Alliance, where she worked on both fruit bat conservation and malaria vector ecology. Her experiences also extend to studies on superb starlings, leeches and other oligochaetes, and shellfish diseases. At the ICM, she uses molecular tools to tackle conservation issues, and as a proponent of capacity building strives to teach others the utility of such powerful tools in conservation work.


M.A. – Conservation Biology, Columbia University
M.S. – Biology, University of Michigan
B.A. – Biology, Johns Hopkins University

Areas of Expertise

Evolution and behavioral ecology
Molecular biology
Phylogenetics and systematics
Field and lab methods