Dr. Onnie Byers, Chair
B.S., Animal Science, University of Wisconsin, 1983
M.S., Animal Physiology, University of Minnesota, 1987
Ph.D., Animal Physiology, University of Minnesota, 1990
Post Doc., National Zoological Park/Smithsonian Institution 1990-1993
Onnie earned her Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from the University of Minnesota and completed a post doctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo in Washington D.C. She was a member of the National Zoological Park's Mobile Laboratory Research team, and participated in reproductive studies involving cheetah, pumas, tigers and giant panda. Onnie joined the SSC’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group in 1991 as a Program Officer and was promoted to the position of Executive Director in 2005, and appointed Chair in 2011.
In addition to leading the organization and driving its global climate change initiative, Onnie shares with CBSG’s Program Officers responsibility for organization, design and facilitation of a wide range of Species Conservation Planning and other CBSG workshops. Onnie is dedicated to the transfer of these tools and processes to conservationists around the world through the establishment and nurturing of CBSG's regional and national Networks, the work of the SSC’s Species Conservation Planning Subcommittee, and the development and implementation of mass collaboration tools for conservation. Onnie serves on the SSC Steering Committee, the ISIS Board, the Conservation and Sustainability Committee of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Board of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (EWCL). Onnie and her husband, Steven, a newscaster with Minnesota Public Radio, have two teenagers, Will and Emily.
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