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Biologists

Kent Bekker, M.Sc. – Director of Conservation at the Toledo Zoo. Kent earned his masters of science degree from Bowling Green State University in 2007. Kent worked at the Toledo Zoo Department of Herpetology prior to his relocation to coordinator of Wild Toledo. His local conservation work began with native reptiles and amphibians, initiatives which have continued over the past several years.

Dr. Ryan Walsh, PhD. – Wild Toledo biologist at the Toledo Zoo. Ryan earned his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in 2013 studying the ecology, population dynamics and evolution of the state-listed small white lady’s slipper orchid, Cypripedium candidum. Ryan’s current research interests and duties in Wild Toledo include urban prairie restoration, rare plant conservation, vegetation sampling and pollinator conservation, as well as butterfly sampling, rearing and conservation.

Justin Grubb, B.Sc. – Wild Toledo biologist at the Toledo Zoo. Justin earned his B.Sc. in biology with a specialization in marine and aquatic science from Bowling Green State University. For the Zoo, Justin’s Wild Toledo works includes everything from assisting with hellbenders releases to the wild, setting and collecting trail camera data, reptile surveys, and turtle trapping and processing. Justin also coordinates Wild Toledo outreach and citizen science initiatives at the Zoo and throughout the community as well as conservation related communications.

Dr. Matt Cross, Ph.D. – Wild Toledo conservation biologist at the Toledo Zoo. Matt has two masters degrees from Central Michigan University in Conservation Biology and Geographic Information Sciences (GIS), and earned his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in 2016 studying the spatial ecology of Eastern Box Turtles. Matt’s work for the zoo includes surveys for reptiles and amphibians, radio-telemetry of local turtles, monitoring bird use of restored prairies, and distribution modeling for rare species.