Colleen Lenihan

Blogger Profile: Colleen Lenihan

Colleen Lenihan serves the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research as a postdoctoral associate in the Applied Animal Ecology Division. She joined the Zoo as a postdoctoral fellow in early 2011 and hit the ground running, launching a new program focused on burrowing owls and their habitat right here in San Diego County. Colleen specializes in the behavioral ecology of birds and mammals. Her recent research focuses on the ecology and behavior of ground-dwelling squirrels and the important dual role these species play by acting as prey, and modifying habitat structure and dynamics within the grassland community. Her background includes a long interest in raptor conservation that led her to work with most of the west’s birds of prey, including efforts to re-introduce peregrines, Harris’ hawks, and burrowing owls. In 1990 she co-founded the California Burrowing Owl Consortium. Colleen received her bachelor of science degree from Oregon State University. She spent some very happy years as an itinerant field biologist peregrinating across the West before returning to graduate school in the ecology group at the University of California, Davis, where she earned her a master of science degree, followed by a long-awaited Ph.D.
Burrowing Owls: Closer than You Think

Burrowing Owls: Closer than You Think

You may not know this, but there is an owl that lives underground right in our own backyard—San Diego County. Yes, the burrowing owl lives in a ground squirrel burrow[.....]