What They Do: A series looking at alumnae/i on the job.
David Kessler ’75
Biologist, Washington, D.C.
As the director of the small mammal unit at the National Zoo, I fill in for the keepers, manage the collection, and act as a liaison to the shop workers and the education department. I did a lot of work on naked mole rats in the late eighties and early nineties, analyzing milk from the queen mole rat and doing urine studies. Very little had been done on them at the time. We were the first people to raise them in captivity, and we published papers on what to feed them. Well, it turns out that everything we said about feeding them was wrong. That’s one of the great things about this field: new research is constantly overturning old assumptions. It keeps life exciting.