Megan, a Choctaw tribal member, has always had a passion for avian conservation and rehabilitation. She began volunteering at the GSEH in 2006 and was hired on a year later. During this time, she completed a B.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management and a minor in Zoology at Oklahoma State University. In 2012 she earned her MBA in non-profit management, as she could see the importance in how business knowledge would complement wildlife knowledge in a non-profit setting.
In 2012, Megan had the opportunity to begin a PhD at Oklahoma State University. Her dissertation focused on developing conservation genomics tools for bald and golden eagles. These tools included an 88X coverage of the golden eagle genome as well as a custom chip that has 100,000 genetic markers (SNPs) for bald and golden eagles. She used these tools to begin evaluating the genetic variation of both species throughout their North American range. Megan successfully completed all the necessary requirements to graduate with her PhD in December 2017.
Megan has now worked at the GSEH for 16 years, is the current Aviary Director, a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator ,and is continuing to conduct research pertaining to the conservation of bald and golden eagles in collaboration with the Van Den Bussche Lab. To find out more about the research or Megan, visit meganjudkins.wix.com/research.