Olga Amelkina is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Species Survival. Amelkina’s research employs transcriptomic technologies to investigate the gonadal tissue response to various preservation protocols. She uses the functional networks created from transcriptomic data to better understand the complex response of tissue to non-physiological stresses and to provide directions for studies and improvements of biobanking techniques that can be used in conservation efforts of endangered species.

Amelkina’s current projects investigate coding and non-coding RNAs in ovarian and testicular tissues of domestic cats focusing on two specific preservation methods: vitrification and microwave-assisted dehydration. Her work also focuses on improving and establishing the protocols of microwave-assisted drying technique for mammalian tissues.

Amelkina earned her Master of Science at the Novosibirsk State University in her hometown in Russia, where she studied the effect of animal domestication on glucocorticoid system at the Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Institute of Cytology and Genetics. She then moved to Berlin for her graduate research on corpus luteum physiology in lynx species at the Department of Reproduction Biology, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research. She earned her doctorate degree from Humboldt University of Berlin. Amelkina did her first postdoctoral research at the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, investigating the kisspeptin system in felids. She joined the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in 2018 as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Pierre Comizzoli’s laboratory at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C.