Walk on the Wild Side: Animal Science/Zoology - View the video

Erin Flynn

Erin Flynn
Conservation Education Curator
Henry Vilas Zoo

702 S. Randall Avenue
Madison, WI 53715

Website: vilaszoo.org

Career Clusters / Help Topics:

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Dr. Erin Flynn is the Conservation Education Curator at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. She oversees all of the facility’s education-related functions, including programming, curricula, outreach, interpretation, collection planning, and volunteers. Flynn graduated from Colorado State University with bachelor degrees in zoology and biology (Cum Laude) in 2006, and from the University of Tasmania, Australia, with a Ph.D. in conservation and reproductive biology in 2011. She comes from Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, where she started as a teenage volunteer, worked in the gift shop, was a zookeeper in the nocturnal exhibit, and was a Nocturnal Manager in the education department. She spent the last 4.5 years conducting remote conservation-based fieldwork in Tasmania, Australia, where she applied a multi-disciplinary approach (physiology, reproductive biology, ecology, and genetics) to study impacts of forest harvest on the brushtail possum. While living in Australia, she became a venomous snake handler, working with black tiger snakes. As a wildlife rehabilitator she raised orphaned brushtail possums and trained new rehabilitators while helping raise wombats, wallabies, and kangaroos. She is trained in captive Tasmanian devil management and breeding. She has been a veterinary technician and taught biology classes, live trapping, and animal handling at the University of Tasmania.

From her beginnings as a teenage zoo volunteer in Nebraska to the remote reaches of Australia, Erin Flynn has had a vast range of experiences with a wide variety of animal species. Early on she planned to be a veterinarian, but soon was drawn by allure of exotic animals. Now the Conservation Education Curator at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, WI, Erin talks about her role in zoology today and how her travels have taken her around the world to practice animal science on some of the world’s most unique creatures. (Running Time 20:10)