Jenna Pyle

Media Librarian

Jenna is currently a Wildlife Nutrition Assistant at the San Diego Zoo. She earned undergraduate degrees in Ecology and French from Purdue University. Jenna has also studied the diet and behavior of sifaka species in Southern Madagascar while attending San Diego State University, where she earned an MA in Applied Anthropology.

Jenna’s passion for lemur conservation began when she was an intern for the Cincinnati Zoo while attending Purdue University. Later, an amazing professor and mentor, Dr. Ramona Perez, opened her eyes to the post-colonial realities of people living with threatened species. Jenna is excited to join the Wildlife Madagascar team because the organization focuses on the conservation of lemurs and the livelihoods of those living alongside them.

Q&A with Jenna Pyle

Tell us a bit about yourself. How would someone you know describe you?

While I am often quiet and contemplative, I am someone who loves to talk about subjects that interest me. If you start talking with me about lemurs, Madagascar, French food, Depeche Mode, and even Stephen King, I’ll probably talk more than you’d like. 

What do you love most about your career?

I love working as a Wildlife Nutrition Assistant. Not only am I supporting the animal care staff every day, but every work day is an adventure.  

What has been a particularly memorable experience in your work so far?

When I was studying for my Masters degree at San Diego State University, I conducted field research in southern Madagascar, investigating the diets and activity budgets of Verreaux’s sifaka. While in the field, I was awed by the way the lemurs would sometimes stare curiously at me while I was watching them.  

Who or what inspires you?

Dr. Ramona Perez, of San Diego State University, is one of the people who inspires me. As an undergraduate, I was on the conservation bandwagon that focuses on “Fortress Conservation,” but she opened my eyes to the realities of those living alongside threatened wildlife. I am also inspired by Brett Massoud, of Dadamanga Tours, who almost exclusively employs local people. 

What book have you read or film have you seen that made a big impression on you?

Endangered Species, by Janice Harper.

Why did you join the Wildlife Madagascar team? What about this organization is meaningful to you?

I love that Wildlife Madagascar focuses on community conservation as an effective strategy for success.