2022 Trailblazer Award Recipient – Cheryl Asa


During the 9th International Conference on Wildlife Fertility Control, BIWFC Advisory Board and Conference Committee member Cheryl Asa was presented with the 2022 Trailblazer Award. This award recognizes and honors an individual who has had a profound impact on our field, one who has an exemplary reputation, and one who serves as a model, especially for emerging practitioners and researchers.

The name of this award is appropriate in both the figurative and literal sense. Cheryl has devoted 30+ years to research, writing, and teaching to advance an understanding of reproductive strategies, their differences and adaptive value. Cheryl established and served as director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Reproductive Management Center, formerly the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center, for over 27 years. She concurrently directed the Saint Louis Zoo’s Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences Department.

For more than 20 years, Cheryl supervised 27 graduate and post-doctoral students and taught courses in Animal Behavior at Washington University and in Endocrinology and Behavioral Endocrinology at Saint Louis University. Cheryl has published 180 scientific articles, co-edited the book Wildlife Contraception: Issues, Methods and Application, and was lead author on the Fertility Control chapter of the National Academy of Sciences report on feral horse management.

Even in retirement, Cheryl continues to blaze trails in wildlife fertility control. In addition to her service to The BIWFC, she chairs the AZA Reproductive Management Center Advisory Board and is a Scientific Advisory Board member of the Found Animals Foundation and the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, as well as the IUCN Equid and Canid Specialist Groups. She also continues to run the gene banking program for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mexican wolf recovery program.

Congratulations Cheryl!