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Sustainability of Zoo Populations

Can reproductive technologies support animal management plans? Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine Seminar (FIVM) Series returns April 21 for a talk by Dr. Gabriela Mastromonaco

Dr. Gabriela Mastromonaco

Over the past 50 years, ex situ conservation programs have been implemented in an effort to mitigate the continued loss of threatened and endangered animals. Long-term population sustainability in zoos requires the maintenance of genetically diverse and demographically stable populations for a defined timeframe. But management of captive wildlife species presents a challenge as various factors, including natural mating strategies and animal temperaments, can influence animal well-being and reproductive success.

On Friday, April 21, Dr. Gabriela Mastromonaco will talk about the use of reproductive biotechnologies and alternative strategies to enhance breeding outcomes, improve distribution of genetic material and reduce disease transmission.  

Dr. Mastromonaco has spent more than 20 years researching and applying reproductive technologies in domestic and non-domestic species.  She obtained her PhD in reproductive biotechnology from the University of Guelph where she focused on in vitro embryo production techniques as potential tools for genetic preservation.

In 2007, Dr. Mastromonaco joined the Toronto Zoo as Curator of Reproductive Programs and Research where she is responsible for planning and implementing research projects to investigate fundamental questions on reproductive biology of non-domestic species, as well as integrating results into conservation management programs. She currently maintains adjunct professor positions at University of Guelph, Laurentian University and Trent University as part of her commitment to the training of graduate students in reproductive sciences.