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Meet the Staff

Linda Penfold, PhD

Executive Director

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

Operations Manager

Lara facilitates SEZARC operations, particularly member correspondence. Her research has focused primarily on behavior, reproductive endocrinology, and wellbeing. She has also investigated seasonal changes in glucocorticoid concentrations and is heavily involved in rhinoceros research. Lara enjoys spending time with her family and horseback riding. 

James Gillis

James Gillis, PhD

Lead 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

Endocrine Laboratory Manager

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

Data Analyst

Nancy specializes in applying geographic information systems (GIS) and uses GIS to gain insights into how animals utilize their habitats. Using GIS software and other platforms, she creates data visualizations to better understand animal reproduction and wellness. Nancy also develops methods to model space use in three-dimensions and develops web map applications for wild animal monitoring for sea turtles. She has a special interest in ornamental aquaculture and finds joy in caring for animals.

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.

Erin Saylor, MS

Research Associate

Erin assists with the development and implementation of research projects, gamete processing and cryopreservation, and enzyme immunoassays. Her career has centered around wildlife and natural resource conservation, with previous work in amphibian reproductive physiology, ornithology, wildlife habitat management, and field biology. Erin believes that a hybrid approach using both in and ex situ conservation strategies can provide solutions to the world’s current mass extinction event. She loves riding motorcycles with her dog or going to natural areas for herping and birding.

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.