Jen Zhao is the data manager for the eMammal program at SCBI’s Conservation Ecology Center. The eMammal program allows citizen scientists to work in collaboration with researchers at the Smithsonian Institution and North Carolina State University, in a mission to document mammals throughout the world. Citizen volunteers place “camera traps”, infrared activated cameras, across the landscape in parks and other natural areas to collect photos of mammals.
B.A., Princeton University
Within this, eMammal is a tool for processing, storing and analyzing camera trap data. These camera trap photos help researchers answer questions about mammal distribution and abundance, and to ultimately use this information for conservation management. For eMammal, Zhao manages outreach, IT support, back-end maintenance, front-end improvements and overall software development.
Jen earned a bachelor’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University in 2016. She also has a minor in quantitative and computational biology and has a background in theoretical ecology and computer science. She was a part of the Integrated Science program, which focused on the intersection of the sciences and is excited about applying this knowledge to the intersection of computer science and ecology. Her undergraduate thesis work focused on understanding social networks of domestic horses and using R to understand GPS tracker data as quantitative measures of behavior.