Animal Science Department

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences


Mark Edwards, Ph.D.

Photograph of Dr. Edwards

Associate Professor, Animal Nutrition

Office:  Bldg. 10 Rm. 147

Phoine:  (805) 756-2599



Dr. Edwards has been working in the field of comparative animal nutrition for over twenty years. His activities and interests contribute to his personal objective to enhance wildlife conservation, education and research goals of the zoological community through the development and application of science-based animal nutrition, preventive health and husbandry practices.



  • B.A. Zoology - Miami University, Oxford, OH
  • Ph.D. Animal Science/Comparative Animal Nutrition - Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI


Professional History and Interests

A native of southwestern Ohio, Dr. Edwards worked as an animal caregiver and field researcher for the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Department of Zoological Research, Washington DC. While conducting his graduate work at Michigan State University, Mark collaborated with the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI as a research associate.

For eleven years as nutritionist for the Zoological Society of San Diego, Dr. Edwards coordinated the nutrition division of the Veterinary Services departments at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. Dr. Edwards developed the first nutrition program for that organization, which coordinated all aspects of dietary husbandry and nutrition for the combined collections, totaling 8,000 specimens representing over 800 species.

He returned to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park as Supervisory Animal Nutritionist to oversee all aspects of “The Nations’ Zoo’s” Clinical Nutrition Program in cooperation with veterinary, animal programs and research staff at both the National Zoo and its related facility, the Conservation Research Center in Front Royal, VA.

Since 1996, he has not only worked with the eight giant pandas housed in Washington DC and San Diego, but also with giant pandas throughout North America and China, developing successful protocols and providing nutritional support for neonates, growing animals, adults and geriatric animals. Dr. Edwards serves as a nutrition advisor to various study groups within the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, including the Giant Panda SSP and Red Panda SSP.

Currently, Dr. Edwards holds a teaching and research appointment with the Department of Animal Science. Previously, Dr. Edwards served as an adjunct professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and University of California, Davis. He continues to served as a consultant with government, industry and private agencies and organizations.

He has authored or contributed to numerous books and periodicals and regularly makes scientific presentations before professional groups and organizations; and served as a member of the National Research Council's ad hoc committee on Nonhuman Primate Nutrition.

Edwards is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Comparative Nutrition Society, Equine Science Society, American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society.

Related Content