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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Tricia Rowlison, Ph.D.

Research Specialist
B.S., University of Missouri; M.S., Mississippi State University; Ph.D., University of Maryland

Tricia Rowlison is a research specialist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Species Survival. Rowlison’s research focuses on investigating sperm maturation in the domestic cat model. Specifically, she is analyzing the secretion of small vesicles within the male’s reproductive tract, termed "epididymosomes."

Through her work, she has characterized the protein content of these vesicles and identified key proteins that are transferred to the transiting sperm cell population. She has also demonstrated a beneficial effect of the epididymosomes on sperm ability to successfully complete fertilization. Rowlison continues to investigate the potential use of these vesicles to improve assisted reproductive techniques for wild felids.
Rowlison earned her bachelor’s degree in animal sciences at the University of Missouri, and her Master of Science in animal and dairy sciences at Mississippi State University. She earned her doctorate in animal and avian sciences at the University of Maryland in conjunction with SCBI. Rowlison continued as a postdoctoral researcher with SCBI in 2018 in Dr. Pierre Comizzoli’s laboratory at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
Recent Publications: 

Rowlison, Tricia M., Ottinger, Mary Ann and Comizzoli, Pierre. 2017. Deciphering the mechanisms involving cenexin, ninein and centriolin in sperm maturation during epididymal transit in the domestic cat. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 193-196. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.12831

Rowlison, Tricia M., Ottinger, Mary Ann and Comizzoli, Pierre. 2017. Key factors enhancing sperm fertilizing ability are transferred from the epididymis to the spermatozoa via epididymosomes in the domestic cat model. Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics, 221-228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10815-017-1083-3