Dr. Christina Toms is a Research Associate with the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP). She received a BA in 2004 with a double major in Marine Science and Psychology at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. Her interest in animal behavior and cognition led her to a behavioral neuroscience lab at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she received a MA in Experimental Psychology in 2011, studying the plasticity of individual differences in zebrafish behavior.
The resulting devastation of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill combined with a need for research on wild marine mammal populations in the Gulf of Mexico inspired Christina to return to marine conservation-related issues. She went on to complete a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology at the University of Central Florida, starting in 2011, conducting research focused on bottlenose dolphin population dynamics and connectivity in the Florida Panhandle. Christina joined the SDRP as a Research Associate in 2018, while finishing her Ph.D., continuing as a Postdoctoral Scientist in 2020. Christina’s research interests are varied but broadly based in the behavioral ecology of marine mammals. Current projects are focused on population dynamics and connectivity of inshore bottlenose dolphin populations in the Gulf of Mexico.