Morgan Maly is a Ph.D. candidate and graduate student researcher at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Species Survival and Center for Conservation Genomics. Maly's interests are in conservation genetics and genomics. She's particularly interested in utilizing genetic and genomic data to manage endangered species populations, the role of microbiomes in species conservation and management, and host/microbe interactions. Her current work is focused on improving cheetah captive breeding and population management and understanding dietary factors associated with gastrointestinal (GI) diseases in captive cheetahs. 

Maly's projects include:

  • Using novel genetic markers to estimate empirical relatedness, inbreeding, and fitness of captive and wild cheetahs to improve captive breeding and metapopulation management of cheetahs
  • Identifying the relationships among diet, gastrointestinal health and gut microbiome in captive cheetahs
  • Investigating how factors such as sex, age, kinship and cohabitation may influence the gut microbiome of captive cheetahs
  • Characterizing the gut microbiome of captive cheetahs

Maly earned her bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in African studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. She earned her master's degree in animal science with a minor in biotechnology from North Carolina State University in 2015, where she focused on pubertal development via reproductive hormones and body weight in captive male and female cheetahs. She is currently working on her doctorate in genetics at North Carolina State University.