Beginning Jan. 18, 2022, the Zoo is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. All visitors ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces at the Zoo, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to wear a mask in outdoor areas. Select animal buildings remain closed.

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Randall Jiménez Quirós, Ph.D., M.S.

Postdoctoral Fellow
B.S. and M.Sc., National University, Costa Rica; Ph.D., Ulm University, Germany

Randall Jiménez Quirós is a biologist and postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Conservation Genomics. He studies the innate skin defense in Appalachian salamander species against chytrid disease. Randall investigates how host skin microbiomes and peptides interact and affect chytrid disease dynamics in species that differ in chytrid susceptibility. His research focuses on the functional importance of host-secreted peptides and microbiomes (the mucosome) on pathogen-killing ability to better understand pathogen resistance and to provide information for conservation actions.

Jiménez is a tropical biologist with a background in wildlife conservation, particularly with amphibians. He has experience working with endangered amphibians in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, specifically host-skin microbiomes and population monitoring. Jiménez and his collaborator Gilbert Alvarado rediscovered the frog Craugastor escoces after 30 years of being unseen and 12 years of being declared extinct by IUCN. His work with amphibians aims to provide relevant information to support amphibian conservation actions.
Jiménez earned his bachelor’s degree in tropical biology in 2010, and his master’s degree in wildlife conservation in 2014, both from the National University of Costa Rica. He did his doctoral studies at Ulm University in Germany, where he worked with Simone Sommer. He did an internship with Karen Warkentin at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute where he studied amphibian phenotypic plasticity. He received training in biostatistics and bioinformatic analysis at Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation.
Recent Publications: 

R.R., Jiménez, G. Alvarado, J. Estrella and S. Sommer. 2019. Moving beyond the host: unraveling the skin microbiome of endangered Costa Rican amphibians. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10.

R.R., Jiménez, and S. Sommer. 2017. The amphibian microbiome: natural range of variation, pathogenic dysbiosis, and role in conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 4.

R.R., Jiménez, E. Barquero-Calvo, J.G. Abarca and L.P. Porras. 2015. Salmonella isolates in the introduced Asian house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) with emphasis on Salmonella Weltevreden, in houses of two regions in Costa Rica. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 15.