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San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Senior Scientist / Veterinary Pathologist - Conservation Science

The Senior Scientist/Veterinary Pathologist supports San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance's mission and vision of saving species worldwide by uniting our expertise in animal care and conservation science with our dedication to inspiring passion for nature and leading the fight against extinction. The Senior Scientist/Veterinary Pathologist develops programs for scientific research; conducts independent and collaborative research in a specialized area of biological science. This position reports to the Department Director.



  • Have primary case responsibility in the diagnostic pathology service for the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park and field conservation programs
  • Manage scientists and/or researchers in assigned research/laboratory and conservation operations including, but not limited to, interviewing, hiring, performance management and scheduling of assigned tasks
  • Develop highly complex scientific research programs in a specialized field of study enhancing SDZWA's reputation and conservation approach
  • Determine study subjects, research parameters and methodology, and cost requirements taking into consideration SDZWA long-term strategic goals and conservation needs and trends
  • Evaluate funding sources, prepare grant applications and recommend grant sources, while working closely with SDZWA business partners
  • Consistently update research parameters to ensure a high level of data research integrity
  • Make presentations to various groups with the goal of educating on the scientific research methods used, the shared goals and recommendations
  • Publish in and edit papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and popular literature to enhance the visibility of SDZWA
  • Oversee a variety of conservation programs
  • Teach/train doctoral and post-doctoral students, volunteers, and others as needed
  • Organize international symposia on behalf of SDZWA



The Disease Investigations group at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has an immediate opening for a diagnostic pathologist (senior scientist level internal classification), with an expected starting date in Summer/Fall 2021. A DVM or equivalent degree and ACVP or ECVP Certification or eligibility is required.  Experience in pathology of non-domestic animals is also required. A PhD degree in a relevant field or demonstrated aptitude, and productivity in research, experience in national and international free-ranging wildlife conservation programs, and experience in molecular laboratory techniques are highly desirable. Experience with pathology database management and electronic medical records is desirable, but not required. Responsibilities include participation in the diagnostic pathology service for the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park and conservation field programs, providing dedicated support and being an organizational liaison for Disease Investigations and partners to field conservation programs, conducting collaborative applied research in a multidisciplinary team environment, and instructing residents, fellows, and veterinary student externs. The Department staff includes four board-certified pathologists, a molecular diagnostician and researcher, epidemiologist, pathology fellow (post-residency), pathology resident, histotechnologist, and additional support staff. The Department facilities include on-site histopathology and molecular diagnostic laboratories.  In addition, please send a CV and a statement of career goals to  Application deadline is May 15, 2021 or until qualified candidate is identified.


  • Must have experience conducting increasingly responsible research in a specialized field
  • Must have a noteworthy publication record in peer-reviewed scientific journals



  • DVM or equivalent education is required
  • American or European College of Veterinary Pathologists (Anatomic) board certification or eligibility is required 
  • Ph.D. in a specialized area of biological science and/or equivalent education is preferred



  • Knowledge of governmental regulations applicable to animal research, hazardous materials, and safety required
  • Demonstrated effective leadership skills to lead highly diverse teams
  • Strong working knowledge of grant writing process and grant best practices
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Able to prepare and present compelling presentations to large audiences
  • Able to operate moderately complex computer software programs
  • Demonstrated ability to keep up to date with scientific advances in research and research methodology
  • Current standing in scientific community and professional connections

How to Apply

Senior Scientist / Veterinary Pathologist - Conservation Science - Career Portal (


  In addition, please send a CV and a statement of career goals to  Application deadline is May 15, 2021 or until qualified candidate is identified.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
2920 Zoo Dr
San Diego, CA

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