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Krista Jones, D.V.M.

B.A., Pomona College; M.S. and D.V.M., University of California, Davis

Dr. Krista Jones is a Keller Family Secretarial Scholar and One Health Scientist with the Global Health Program, which takes a One Health approach to improve the lives of wildlife, people and domestic animals. She manages the team’s expanding field program in Kenya, working closely with partners in Kenya, within the Smithsonian and elsewhere in the U.S. Dr. Jones is passionate about One Health and conservation, with a particular interest in how disturbances and behavior impact pathogen transmission in wild populations, as well as how disease moves across landscapes and how populations are affected.

Infectious diseases pose a serious threat to people and animals alike. With the changes in human land use and habitat destruction, there is increasing contact between wildlife and both domestic animals and people. Consequently, there is greater risk of transmission of novel pathogens between these groups, resulting in outbreaks of new diseases in human populations, such as SARS and MERS. Wildlife are not only at higher risk of exposure to new diseases. Their smaller, fragmented populations can also be less likely to survive outbreaks of existing pathogens. Dr. Jones focuses on understand the emergence, spread and impact of these diseases, and how we can best prevent or respond to them.

Dr. Jones' projects include:

  • Investigating the underlying cause of emerging skin disease in black rhinos
  • Evaluating population genetics of lions and cheetahs in the Maasai Mara to provide insight into their genetic health, behavior and population structure
  • Researching vector-borne diseases in Kenya, including work with the Center for Conservation Genomics' "ecto-baits"
  • Developing future studies on giraffe skin disease, together with colleagues at the Conservation Ecology Center and other collaborators
Dr. Jones received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Pomona College, then went on to the University of California, Davis for her M.S. in ecology and her D.V.M. She completed a zoological medicine internship at Louisiana State University, serving as an onsite veterinarian for the Baton Rouge Zoo. As a Fulbright Scholar, she worked with Jon Arnemo’s Conservation Medicine team on large carnivore and ungulate (moose, bison and muskox) projects throughout Norway and Sweden. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. through Murdoch University on the impact of perturbations on the health and behavior of a critically endangered Australian marsupial called the woylie (or brush-tailed bettong), which can be seen in the Smithsonian's National Zoo in the Small Mammal House.
Dr. Jones has always been passionate about global conservation and has worked with wildlife around the world, including howler monkeys in Belize, island spotted skunks in California, Tibetan macaques in China, brown bears in Sweden, hyenas in Kenya, and spotted quolls in Australia. She also has a strong interest in the health and livelihoods of people and how more extensive interactions between humans and wildlife can increase risks for both groups. Through her work with GHP, she has the opportunity to simultaneously address the health of both animals and people.
Recent Publications: 
Jones, Krista L., Rafferty, C., Hing, S., Thompson, R. C. A. and Godfrey, S. S. 2018. Perturbations have minor impacts on parasite dynamics and body condition of an endangered marsupial. Journal of zoology, 124-132.
Hing, Stephanie, Jones, Krista L., Rafferty, Christine, Thompson, R. C. Andrew, Narayan, Edward J. and Godfrey, Stephanie S. 2017. Wildlife in the line of fire: evaluating the stress physiology of a critically endangered Australian marsupial after bushfire. Australian Journal of Zoology, 385-389.
Hing, Stephanie, Northover, Amy S., Narayan, Edward J., Wayne, Adrian F., Jones, Krista L., Keatley, Sarah, Thompson, R. C. Andrew and Godfrey, Stephanie S. 2017. Evaluating Stress Physiology and Parasite Infection Parameters in the Translocation of Critically Endangered Woylies (Bettongia penicillata). EcoHealth, 128-138.