PhD student (Genetics)
Morgan received her BS in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MS in Animal Science from NC State. Her doctoral research is focused on conservation genetics. Specifically, how genetic approaches can be utilized to mitigate the challenges of population management of endangered species, both ex situ and in situ. She is currently working on a molecular database for cheetahs in North American zoos in the hopes of better understanding population dynamics. Morgan also has a long history of playing with cheetah poop. Her current poop project involves understanding the cheetah gut microbiome to improve the welfare and management of cheetahs. In her free time Morgan enjoys traveling, all things Star Wars, and hiking or biking with her cats, Anakin and Ahsoka.
CONGRATULATIONS to Morgan for receiving the following awards
2022: NCSU Graduate School 3 Minute Thesis – Second Place for her presentation “Fiber and Carnivores: Carcass Feeding and the Gut Microbiome”
2022: Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship for her proposal Genetic approaches to endangered species management: Population kinship analysis and gut microbiota characterization of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
2022: Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship for her proposal “Genetic approaches to endangered species management: Population kinship analysis and gut microbiota characterization of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)”
2019: Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine – Graduate Student Award for her proposal
“Investigating the Links Among Diet, the Gut Microbiome, and Gastrointestinal Health in the Endangered Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)”
August 2023: CONGRATULATIONS to Morgan on the successful defense of her PhD dissertation
“Interactions among diet, gut microbiota, and gut health in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)“
Here is a picture of Morgan (top) presenting her work and (bottom) with her graduate advisors (L-R Matthew Breen, Reade Roberts, Morgan Maly, Manuel Kleiner, Adrienne Crosier.