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Meet the Staff

Linda Penfold, PhD


Linda is the founder and director of SEZARC and enjoys the challenge of running a not-for-profit business. Linda has a strong interest in reproductive biology and especially likes the challenge of troubleshooting reproductive problems in different species. Although most of her career has focused on terrestrial mammals, with a focus on antelope, she moved into the field of aquatics a few years ago and is now also investigating the reproductive biology of sharks, rays and coral. 

Lara Metrione

Lara Metrione, PhD

Research Associate

Lara primarily studies behavior and reproductive endocrinology.  She has also investigated seasonal changes in glucocorticoid concentrations.  Lara is heavily involved in rhinoceros research, including an artificial insemination project with sex-sorted sperm and studying behavioral and physiological indicators of wellbeing.  Lara also assists SEZARC members with creating welfare monitoring programs.

James Gillis

James Gillis, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

James is a comparative reproductive biologist at SEZARC specializing in gamete biology, sperm cryopreservation, and assisted reproductive technologies. Although James works with everything from bamboo sharks to banteng, he is extremely passionate about species endemic to North America. Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, some of James’ favorite animals are elk, bison, coyotes, and river otters.

Kat Mowle

Kat Mowle, MS

Senior Endocrine Laboratory Technician

Kat leads the SEZARC endocrine laboratory at the University of North Florida (UNF).  She uses enzyme immunoassays to measure hormone concentrations in numerous species, conducts high-performance liquid chromatography, and provides instruction to UNF volunteers and interns.  Kat is especially interested in shark biology, and she also loves cats—domestic and wild.

Nancy Pham Ho

Nancy Pham Ho, MS

Aquatic Biologist

Nancy specializes in geographic information systems (GIS) and uses GIS to understand animal movements and space use in the ocean and in zoos and aquariums.  She develops methods to model space use in three-dimensions and develops web map applications for wild animal monitoring for sea turtles. 

Kim Daly-Crews, MS

Endocrine Laboratory Manager

Kim leads the SEZARC endocrine laboratory at White Oak.  She uses enzyme immunoassays to measure hormone concentrations in numerous species and assists with maintaining the genome resource bank. Kim also leads educational lab activities in support of White Oak’s summer camp program. Kim is especially interested in amphibian and reptile biology.

Francine K. Rattner, VMD

Veterinary Research Consultant

Francine volunteers her time with SEZARC to assist with studies and procedures, from observations of giraffe behavior to assisting with rhinoceros semen collection.  She also assists with preparing studies for publication in scientific journals.  Francine is an avid birder, nature photographer, and enjoys gardening.