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National Zoological Park (NZP)

Brandie Smith, John and Adrienne Mars Director

The National Zoological Park’s (NZP) urban campus occupies 163 acres in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. The Rock Creek campus includes a free public zoo involving a collection of more than 380 species (2,200 specimens) of vertebrates and invertebrates, and a large collection of native and exotic plants. NZP’s rural cam-pus near Front Royal, Virginia consists of 3,200 acres of pastures, forests and meadows in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This off-exhibit facility is dedicated to breeding endangered species, conservation research, training and education, and is NZP’s hub for a wide range of regional, national, and international conservation programs.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute: In January 2009, the Undersecretary for Science approved the National Zoo’s Conservation and Science Directorate to be renamed the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) at the National Zoo. The SCBI creates an organizational umbrella under which scientists at NZP’s Rock Creek and Front Royal facilities will conduct research within six Centers of Scientific Excellence: (1) Migratory Bird Center; (2) Conservation Ecology Center; (3) Center for Conservation & Evolutionary Genetics; (4) Center for Species Survival; (5) Center for Biodiversity Education and Sustainability; and (6) Animal Care Sciences. The creation of SCBI recognizes the Smithsonian Institution’s leadership in the field of conservation biology, and will be an important vehicle for positioning the Institution among the nation’s leaders in conducting research that aids in the survival or recovery of species and their habitats, and ensures the health and well being of animals in captivity and the wild.

The Institute has scientists based at Front Royal, VA, Washington, D.C., and at field sites around the world. Facilities available to students and visiting researchers include two veterinary hospitals; a veterinary pathology lab, nutrition labs, GIS and radiotelemetry capabilities, a molecular genetics lab, reproductive physiology labs, libraries, conference facilities, and, in Front Royal, housing for visiting researchers and students. The National Zoological Park also has field sites in California, Hawaii, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, China, Gabon, southeastern Brazil, Peru, Sri Lanka, northern Myanmar, and the eastern Mojave Desert. Research affiliation with NZP entitles researchers access to other Smithsonian Institution staff, facilities and resources in an enormous range of disciplines.

SCBI is one of the world’s leading centers for integrating multiple approaches to conservation (e.g., long-term field studies; captive studies; and capacity building, including on-going/long-term professional collaborations; environmental education; a suite of conservation-based training courses; and development of conservation policies based on on-the-ground information and experience). The facility at Front Royal has a large array of fenced paddocks and indoor holding facilities accommodate large ungulates, carnivores, small mammals, and birds. These facilities allow for well-designed studies on captive animals to enhance field studies and conservation efforts. A modern veterinary hospital houses the Department of Conservation Medicine. The department’s veterinary staff provides integrated veterinary care for animals housed at SCBI, including techniques such as: field anesthesia, equid/hoofstock anesthesia, small mammal/avian/reptile anesthesia, blood collection and biologic sampling, sample preparation and transfer, infectious disease prevention, surgery, endoscopy, radiology (i.e., x-rays, CT, ultrasound, MRI), zoonosis, international field projects and capacity building work (i.e., Africa, Asia). Additionally, the veterinary team trains zoo and wildlife species professionals and conducts field-based wildlife health and conservation studies worldwide.

The veterinary hospital is also home to state-of-the-art reproductive physiology laboratories that conduct research and training in wildlife endocrinology, gamete biology and embryology. Facilities in Washington, DC include exceptionally well-equipped Nutrition and Molecular Genetics laboratories.

SCBI is an integral partner in the Smithsonian Integrated Biodiversity Genomics (IBG) initiative, which aims to transform our understanding of the patterns of biological diversity and the processes underlying diversification. These projects use the newest tools of genomics, data accessibility, and social networking to promote broader public and societal engagement in the exploration of the links between genetic variation, biological diversity, and the healthy functioning of a sustainable world.

The facilities in Virginia and the District of Columbia serve as the hub for a broad array of regional, national, and international programs which have been organized into six Centers of Excellence.

Center for Conservation and Sustainability 

CCS studies and conserves biodiversity by implementing academic and professional conservation-related training programs worldwide and conducting research and monitoring activities to integrate biodiversity conservation into sustainable development. CCS goals are to provide capacity building to the next generation of conservation professionals; to provide business and industry with science-based solutions for minimizing their impact on biodiversity; and to develop innovative and strategic conservation partnerships that result in conservation solutions.

Global Health Program

Smithsonian’s Global Health Program leverages multidisciplinary expertise in wildlife medicine, conservation ecology, training of international professionals, and investigation of emerging infectious disease to combat threats to wildlife, human, and ecosystem health worldwide. Global Health works with international partners to address risks to conservation and public health by focusing efforts at the source: the human-animal interface. The program is based upon the One Health platform, which recognizes that the health of all species is inextricably linked. As such, Global Health scientists utilize a broad range of multidisciplinary expertise (wildlife veterinarians, pathologists, epidemiologists, public health professionals, and ecologists, amongst others) to address wildlife health concerns, investigate disease at the human/wildlife interface, and conduct international training programs in an effort to build intervention and response capacity worldwide.

Migratory Bird Center 

MBC conducts research on the biology of Neotropical songbirds and wetland birds, the role of disease in bird population declines, environmental challenges facing urban and suburban birds, and trains professionals in environmental coffee certification throughout Latin America. The SMBC is dedicated to fostering greater understanding, appreciation, and protection of birds and the grand phenomenon of bird migration.

Conservation Ecology Center 

CEC is committed to sustaining animals and plants in the wild by supporting conservation scientists focusing their attention on questions that are not based on zoo collection animals. CEC works at the cutting edge of conservation science, focusing on the biology of extinction, overabundant species, nutritional ecology, endangered landscapes, and processes to measure conservation effectiveness. This work includes species from marine turtles to tigers, and ecosystems from Asian tall grass to oak forests at SCBI, where our scientists develop land- use plans as models of sustainability for our own communities.

Center for Species Survival 

CSS manages mammal and bird species in the collection at SCBI and conducts research in reproductive physiology, endocrinology, cryobiology, embryo biology, animal behavior, wildlife toxicology, and assisted reproduction. The mission of the CSS is leadership in the study, propagation, and research-oriented management of rare wildlife species to create knowledge that is applied to ensuring self-sustaining populations in zoos and nature.

Center for Conservation Genomics 

CCG specializes in genetic management of wild and captive populations, genomics, non-invasive DNA, ancient DNA, systematics, disease diagnosis and dynamics, genetic services to the zoo community, and application of genetics to animal behavior and ecology. It creatively applies genetic theory and methods to gain knowledge about the evolutionary and life histories of animals, to understand the importance of genetic variation to their survival, and to identify the methods needed to sustain them in captivity and the wild.

Animal Care Sciences 

This center includes the departments of Animal Health, Nutrition, Pathology and Animal Programs:

The Animal Health department’s medical care program includes quarantine screening, regular physical ex-aminations, preventative medicine and dentistry, intensive care and a complete surgical program. Animal Health staff maintains a wide network of local, national and international specialist consultants.

Training opportunities include preceptorships, open to senior veterinary students, and residencies of varying durations for veterinarians and students from the US and abroad. Veterinary staff also conducts formal training courses at local universities and overseas zoos and give many presentations and lectures to professional and lay audiences. The veterinary research program consists primarily of applied clinical studies that result in improved medical and surgical care of collection animals. Current research areas include the physiological evaluation of restraint and anesthesia in exotic species; drug pharmacokinetics; evaluations of new ultrasonography, laparoscopy, and endoscopy procedures in exotic animals; and radiological evaluation of diseases in exotics.

The nutrition science program involves evaluating and modifying animal diets for adequate nutrition, implementing quality-assurance measures to ensure adequate food handling, storage and diet preparation, conducting laboratory analyses of feedstuffs for nutritional evaluation and offering nutritional advice. The Department of Nutrition Science is responsible for getting the right food to the right animals at the right time both at the Zoo’s Rock Creek campus in Washington, D.C. and the facilities in Front Royal, Virginia. The staff operates out of a 4,750 square-foot commissary at the General Services Building and from the SCBI research building, both at the Rock Creek campus. The Department also includes the Milk repository – the largest collection of exotic animal milks in the world. By implementing innovative approaches and practices, we enable animals to live healthier lives, we serve as a role model and resource for zoos worldwide, and we educate the public about all aspects of zoo and wildlife nutrition. Worldwide, the Department of Nutrition Science is recognized as a global leader in applied animal nutrition. Training opportunities include internships, open to undergraduates with a minimum of two years of completed relevant course work, and residencies of varying durations for post-graduate students. Staff provides lectures to local universities related to animal nutrition, nutrition management and nutrition program logistics. The Department currently has several areas of research interest: (1) milk composition and lactation physiology as we expand the utility of the milk repository collection, (2) applied clinical nutrition to address current challenges within nutrition management of species maintained in zoo collections worldwide, and (3) the use of sustainable practices while managing habitats for agriculture production and wildlife value.

Staff of the Department of Pathology not only determine the causes of death and elucidate disease processes occurring in the NZP’s collection, but also conduct basic and applied research on disease etiology and management in captive and wild animals. Facilities and resources include a full-service laboratory, a necropsy suite, a computerized pathology data bank and an extensive archive of frozen and fixed tissues, color transparencies and glass slides illustrating pathological conditions of wildlife and zoo animals. Staff affiliations with the pathology departments at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology afford opportunities for collaborative research and postdoctoral programs. The Department also houses the National Elephant Herpesvirus Laboratory testing captive elephants nationwide for EEHV.

Currently, major research at the Department of Pathology includes viral diseases of elephants and primates, mycobacterial (TB) diseases of ungulates, marsupials and birds, storage diseases, renal disease of reptiles, incidence of neoplasia in exotic felids, and nutritional diseases of bats.

Curators and staff of the Department of Animal Programs manage the living collections, develop and maintain exhibits, and conduct and coordinate collections-based research. Research emphases include: improving exotic animal husbandry, propagating and managing small populations, developing existing conservation programs (including reintroduction programs) and conducting life history studies. The clinical animal behavior program involves evaluating and modifying animal husbandry for adequate stimulation of individual animals’ mental and physical well-being, implementing quality-assurance measures to ensure adequate animal enrichment and training safety, conducting analyses of individual animal behavior and offering advice on animal enrichment, husbandry training and behavior studies to zoos and professionals around the world. In recent years, the curatorial staff has conducted field studies and training programs in China, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Madagascar, and Southeast Asia. Pre- and postdoctoral students often collaborate in these studies. Training opportunities in applied animal behavior include internships on both NZP campuses, open to undergraduates with a minimum of two years of completed relevant course work, and residencies of varying durations for post-graduate students. Staff provides lectures to local universities related to animal behavior, applied animal behavior management and behavior enrichment/training program logistics.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Proposal Review

The National Zoological Park has a standing Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Review for animal welfare concerns and approval of any animal procedures by this committee must occur before a fellowship can begin. Applicants who wish to conduct research at the National Zoological Park must discuss their research with proposed advisors to clarify any potential issues with Institutional Animal Care and Use process.

Research Staff

Aitken-Palmer, Copper, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Conservation Medicine. B.S. (1999) Eckerd College; M.S./D.V.M. (2003) Kansas State University; Ph.D. (2010) University of Maryland.  Research specialties: Reproductive physiology and medicine of wildlife species with emphasis on giant panda and red panda. Contact:

Alonso, Alfonso, Conservation Biologist, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. B.S. (1988) Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; M.S. (1991), Ph.D. (1996) University of Florida. Research specialties: Applying conservation biology principles in oil, gas, and mineral development projects; developing management plans for ex-situ and in-situ biodiversity conservation. Contact:

Bauer, Erika, Assistant Curator, Asia Trail. B.S. (1997) John Carroll University; M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2005) University of Michigan. Research specialties: animal behavior; animal welfare science; biopsychology. Contact:

Brown, Janine L., Reproductive Physiologist, Department of Reproductive Sciences, Center for Species Survival. B.S. (1977) North Dakota State University; M.S. (1980), Ph.D. (1984) Washington State University. Research specialties: Comparative reproductive endocrinology; pituitary and testicular function; reproductive cyclicity and seasonality; comparative reproduction and welfare of wildlife species (e.g., elephants, felids, tapirs and rhinos), noninvasive hormone monitoring. Contact:

Calabrese, Justin M., Quantitative Ecologist. B.S. (1997) University of Wisconsin-Parkside; Ph.D. (2005) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Mathematical and statistical ecology; Spatial ecology; Statistical methods development; Animal movement modeling and analysis; Reproductive phenology; Ecology of tickborne diseases; Spatial pattern formation in arid/semi-arid ecosystems.

Campana, Michael, Computational Genomics Scientist. B.A. (2006) University of Pennsylvania; M.Phil. (2008), Ph.D. (2011) University of Cambridge. Research specialties: genomics, ancient DNA, bioinformatics. Contact:

Christen, Catherine A., Professional Training Specialist. A.B. (1983) Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges; M.A. (1990), Ph.D. (1995) Johns Hopkins University. Research specialties: Environmental history, especially history of conservation biology and conservation training, of Smithsonian science (STRI, NZP), and of GIS/remote sensing; Latin American history; oral history, farmland and sustainability. Contact: 

Comizzoli, Pierre, Reproductive Physiologist. D.V.M. (1994) Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort; M.Sc (1997) University of Paris VI; Ph.D. (2000) University of Tours. Research specialties: Reproductive physiology and biotechnologies in Ungulates and Carnivores (domestic and wild). Contact:

Crosier, Adrienne, Cheetah Biologist, Department of Reproductive Sciences. B.S. (1996); Ph.D. (2001) North Carolina State University. Research specialties: Understanding basic and comparative wildlife reproductive physiology and implementation of assisted reproductive technologies. Contact:

Dallmeier, Francisco, Director, Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, NZP. B.A. (1977) Central University of Venezuela; M.S. (1984), Ph.D. (1986) Colorado State University. Research specialties: Integrating Conservation Needs with Development Priorities to Sustain Biodiversity; Developing and Implementing Biodiversity Contact:

Deichmann, Jessica, Research Biologist. B.S. (2002) Colorado State University; Ph.D. (2009) Louisiana State University. Research specialties: Tropical herpetology; Assessment of conservation of Amazonian biodiversity, research in tropical ecology and amphibian biology.

Fleischer, Robert C., Head, Center for Conservation Genomics and Senior Scientist. B.A. (1978) University of California, Santa Barbara; Ph.D. (1983) University of Kansas. Research specialties: Evolutionary biology, conservation biology, population genetics, behavioral ecology, ornithology, mammalogy, malaria parasites. Contact:

Gregory, Tremaine, Research Scientist, B.A. (1999) Bowdoin College; M.A. (2006) and Ph.D. (2011) Kent State University. Research specialties: Tropical ecology, terrestrial and arboreal neotropical mammal ecology and conservation, wildlife response to human disturbance, wildlife monitoring techniques. Contact:

Hassell, James, Kenya Program Lead, Secretarial Scholar, Veterinary Medical Officer, Global Health Program. BSc. (2008) Royal Veterinary College; BVetMed (2011) Royal Veterinary College, MSc (2013) Zoological Society of London/Royal Veterinary College, PhD Epidemiology (2018) University of Liverpool. Research specialties: disease ecology, veterinary epidemiology, ecosystem health, emerging zoonotic diseases, wildlife health. Contact:

Joyner, Priscilla, Veterinary Medical Officer, Department of Conservation Medicine. B.Sc. (1994) Iowa State University; BVMS (1999) University of Glasgow. Research specialties: Captive and free-ranging wildlife diseases. Contact: 

Kolowski, Joseph, Research Scientist/Training Specialist. B.S. (1998) Cornell University; M.S. (2001) Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; Ph.D. (2007) Michigan State University. Research specialties: Carnivore ecology and conservation, human-wildlife interactions, response of wildlife to human disturbance, wildlife monitoring techniques. Contact:

Leimgruber, PeterHead, Conservation Ecology Center and Senior Scientist. Dipl. rer. nat. (1992) Christian Albrechts University; Ph.D. (1998) University of Oklahoma. Research specialties: Application of satellite remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems to the conservation of species, communities and ecosystems; landscape ecology of large endangered mammalian species, movement ecology. Contact:

Maldonado, Jesus, Research Zoologist. B.S. (1983), M.S. (1985) Shippensburg University; Ph.D. (2001) University of California, Los Angeles. Research specialties: Systematics and evolution of mammals, conservation genetics, molecular ecology. Contact:

Marra, Peter P., Terrestrial Animal Ecologist. B.S. (1985) Southern Connecticut State University; M.S. (1989) Louisiana State University; Ph.D. (1998) Dartmouth College. Research specialties: Population and behavioral ecology of migratory birds; causes and consequences of habitat selection by birds. Contact:

McShea, William, Ecology Researcher. B.A. (1977) Bucknell University; M.S. (1981) University of New Hampshire; Ph.D. (1985) State University of New York, Binghamton. Research specialties: Wildlife management, ecology of non-game animals, surveys of mammals and birds, conservation of deer, citizen science-pollinator and invasive plant surveys, temperate forest dynamics, forest tree demographics, forest seed production, conservation in Southeast Asia and China; Surveys of large mammals in Asia; warm season grass restoration. Contact:

Muletz Wolz, Carly, Molecular Pathogen Scientist, Center for Conservation Genomics. B.S. (2007) Frostburg State University, MD; M.S. (2009) James Madison University, VA; Ph.D. (2016) University of Maryland, College Park. Research specialties: wildlife disease, microbiomes, microbial ecology, amphibians, chytrid, molecular ecology. Contact:

Murray, Suzan, Chief Wildlife Veterinary Officer, Smithsonian’s Global Health Program. B.S. (1984), Amherst College, D.V.M. (1991) Tufts Veterinary School; Zoological Residency (1995) National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution. Research specialties: Wildlife medicine, emerging infectious diseases (MERS, Zika), international training programs, Kenya, megavertebrate (elephant, rhinoceros, giraffe) and carnivore (cheetah, lion) health and conservation. Contact:

Phillips, Tameka, Research Specialist. B.A. (1999) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; M.S. (2001), Ph.D. (2010) University of Florida. Research specialties: Reproductive biology, gamete research, and cryobiology

Pitt, William C., Deputy Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. B.S. (1992) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; M.S. (1995) and Ph.D. (1999) Utah State University, Logan. Research specialties:  animal behavior, invasive species, predator prey dynamics, and toxicological risk. Contact:

Power, Michael, Research Nutritionist. B.S. (1978) University of California, San Diego; M.A. (1983), Ph.D. (1991) University of California, Berkeley. Research specialties: Energetics and nutrition of primates and small mammals; lactation. Contact:

Pukazhenthi, Budhan, Ungulate Biologist, Department of Reproductive Sciences. B.V.Sc. (1987) Madras Veterinary College, India; M.S. (1992), Ph.D. (1996) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Ungulate reproduction and conservation; gamete biology (sperm, eggs and embryos); cryobiology; assisted reproduction in endangered species, in situ conservation and training. Contact:

Rice, Robert, Geographer, Policy Researcher. B.A. (1974) University of North Carolina; M.A. (1982) University of Michigan; Ph.D. (1990) University of California, Berkeley. Research specialties: Environmental and social consequences of land use change with emphasis on Mesoamerica. Contact:

Seidensticker, John, Head, Conservation Ecology Center. B.A. (1966), M.S. (1968) University of Montana; Ph.D. (1973) University of Idaho. Research specialties: Behavioral ecology of carnivores; wildlife management; conservation biology; landscape ecology and conservation; measuring effectiveness of conservation practice. Contact:

Shrestha, Mahendra, Program Director, Tiger Conservation Partnership. B.S. (1992) Tribhuvan University; M.S. (1994) University of Wisconsin; Ph.D. (2004) University of Minnesota. Research specialties: Conservation biology, large carnivore conservation, wildlife management, landscape ecology and conservation, corridors and connectivity, translating new tools and technology into conservation practice. Contact:

Siegal-Willot, Jessica, Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer. B.S. (1997) College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University; D.V.M. (2002), College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University; Diplomate A.C.Z.M. (2007). Research specialties: Clinical medicine and associated disciplines as they relate to zoological, wildlife, and aquatic animals. Contact:

Sillett, Scott, Research Wildlife Biologist. B.A. (1989) University of Arizona; M.S. (1992) Louisiana State University; Ph.D. (2000) Dartmouth College. Research specialties: Avian ecology, population biology, animal behavior, life history of migratory birds, ecological impacts of climate change. Contact:

Songsasen, Nucharin, Research Biologist, Department of Reproductive Sciences. D.V.M. (1988), Kasetsart University, M.Sc. (1993), Ph.D. (1997) University of Guelph. Research specialties: Gamete biology, Reproductive physiology, cryobiology, assisted reproduction, canid conservation. Contact:

Stabach, Jared A.Research Ecologist. B.S. (1997) Providence College; M.S. (2005) University of Rhode Island; Ph.D. (2015) Colorado State University. Research specialties: Spatial ecology; GIS; Animal movement modeling and analysis; Remote sensing. Contact:

Valitutto, Marc, Wildlife Veterinarian, Smithsonian’s Global Health Program. B.S. (2002) Rutgers University, Cook College; V.M.D. (2006) University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; Research specialties: Conservation medicine (pangolins, giant pandas, Myanmar, China), zoonotic diseases, training/capacity building, anesthetic protocols and clinical medicine in captive and free-ranging wildlife; population health at wildlife-livestock-human interface; species conservation in-situ, disease management. Contact:

Zimmerman, Dawn, Veterinary Medical Officer, Global Health Program. B.S. (1994) University of California, Davis; M.S. (2001) San Diego State University; D.V.M. (2001) Ross University. Research specialties: Wildlife health and infectious diseases, conservation medicine (carnivores, non-human primates, tapirs), human-wildlife-livestock interfaces, East Africa focus. Contact:

Affiliated Research Staff

Aguirre, Alonso, Research Associate, Executive Director. M.V.Z. Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México; D.V.M., M.S., Ph.D. Colorado State University. Research specialties: Wildlife medicine, anesthesia & management; wildlife epidemiology, conservation medicine, ecohealth, one health.

Allendorf, Teri. Research Associate. B.A. (1991) Northwestern University; Ph.D. (1999) University of Minnesota. Research specialty: Human dimensions of biodiversity conservation.

Ballou, Jonathan D., Scientist Emeritus. B.A. (1977) University of Virginia; M.S. (1985) George Washington University; Ph.D. (1995) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Conservation biology; population biology; population genetics. Contact:

Bargali, Herendra Singh, Research Associate. B.Sc. (1993), M.Sc. (1995) Kumon University (India); Ph.D. Saurashtra University (India). Research specialties:  large carnivore ecology, wildlife-human conflict management.

Bastian, Meredith, Curator of Primates, Animal Care Sciences. B.A. Bryn Mawr College; Ph.D. Duke University. Research specialty: Orangutan Cultural and Innovative Behavior. Contact:

Dittus, Wolfgang P.J., Research Associate. B.A. (1965); M.S. (1968) McGill University; Ph.D. (1974) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Behavior, ecology, population biology and epidemiology of wild primates in Sri Lanka. Contact:

Dorsey, Candice, Research Associate. B.A (2000)St. Mary’s College of Maryland; M.S. 2002 American University; Ph.D. (2008) George Mason University. Research specialties: Wildlife endocrinology Wildlife diseases Reproductive sciences.

Ellis, Susie, Research Associate. B.A. (1983) San Diego State University (1980); M.A. (1983), Ph.D. University of California, Davis. Research specialties: Conservation biology, rhino ecology and conservation, behavior.

Fernando, Prithiviraj.  Research Associate. M.B.B.S. (1990) Colombo Medical College; M.Sc. (1993); Ph.D. (1998) University of Oregon. Research specialties:  Asian elephant ecology and behavior, elephant landscape genetics, landscape ecology, elephant- human conflict management.

Freeman, Elizabeth Watson, Research Associate. B.S. (1992) Vanderbilt University; M.S. (2000) Virginia Commonwealth University; Ph.D. (2005) George Mason University. Research specialties: Investigating the roles of hormones and pheromones in mediating reproductive behavior and mating success in endangered species. Contact:

Goeritz, Frank, Research Associate. D.V.M (1992) Humboldt University Berlin; Ph.D. (1996) Free University Berlin. Research specialties: Reproduction management in zoo and wild animals; Wildlife medicine.

Hagedorn, Mary M., Research Associate, Department of Reproductive Sciences. B.S. (1975) Jackson College; M.S. (1976) Tufts University; Ph.D. (1983) Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California. Research specialties: Development of teleosts including the cryobiology of fish embryos; biodiversity of electric fish. Contact:

Hallager, Sara, Curator of Birds, Animal Care Sciences. B.S. (1989) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Kori bustard captive management, Conservation of ratites. Contact:

Hermes, Robert, Research Associate. D.V.M. (1995), Dr (1998) Freie Universität Berlin. Research specialties: Wildlife reproduction medicine.

Herrelko, Elizabeth (Betsy), Research Fellow. B.S. Fordham University; M.A. Hunter College, City University of New York; PhD. University of Stirling (UK). Research specialty: Animal behavior and welfare. Contact:

Hildebrant, Thomas Bernd, Research Associate. D.V.M. (1992) Humboldt University Berlin; Ph.D. (1993) Free University Berlin. Research specialties: Assisted Reproduction Technologies in non-domestic species like AI, embryo transfer, sperm preservation etc; development of the artificial insemination in elephants.

Holt, William, Research Associate. Ph.D (1979) Royal Veterinary College London. Research specialties: Reproductive biology in wild species; sperm function, assessment and preservation. Oviductal function in mammals and the interactions between the oviduct and spermatozoa.

Kendrick, Erin, Clinical Nutritionist, Department of Nutrition Science, Animal Care Sciences.  B.S. Washington State University, MS Washington State University.  Research specialty: comparative nutrition and physiology. Contact:

Kersey, David, Research Associate. B.S. (1999) Washington State University; Ph.D. (2009) George Mason University. Research specialties: Comparative mammalian reproductive and adrenal physiology; giant panda endocrinology; ovarian steroidogenesis. Contact:

Kilpatrick, A. Marmaduke, Research Associate. B.S. (1995), B.A. (1995) University of California; M.S. (1997) Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D. (2003) University of Wisconsin, Madison. Research specialties: Ecology of infectious diseases, West Nile virus, avian influenza, avian malaria.

Latimer, Erin, Elephant Herpes Laboratory Manager. B.S. (1986) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; M.S. (1988) University of Wisconsin-Madison. Research specialties: research and diagnostics of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus. Contact:

Leonard, Jennifer, Research Associate. B.S. (1996); Ph.D. (2002) University of California, Los Angeles. Research specialties: Conservation genetics, ancient DNA, phylogenetics; evolution and phylogeography of wolves and coyotes.

Marchant, Anne, Research Associate. MA, PhD (1990), University of California, Berkeley. Research specialties: Conservation Education; Applications of Information Technology to Conservation; Undergraduate Education; Scholarship of Teaching.

Maslanka, Michael, Head, Department of Nutrition Science, Animal Care Sciences. B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, MS University of Minnesota, Residency Chicago Zoological Society.  Research specialty: comparative nutrition and physiology, sustainable land management. Contact:

McDonald, M. Victoria, Research Associate. B.A. (1975) Wake Forest University; M.S. (1977) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Ph.D. (1986) University of Florida. Research specialties: Vocal communication and behavioral ecology of birds; long-term population study of Kentucky Warblers; Eastern Bluebird nestbox selection and intra-specific interactions with Tree Swallows; Purple Martin mate selection survivorship.

Mettke-Hofmann, Claudia, Research Associate. Pre-diploma (1986), Diploma (1990), Ph.D. (1993) Free University of Berlin. Research specialties: Cognitive ecology in birds; conservation; animal welfare.

Morton, Eugene S., Scientist Emeritus. B.S. (1962) Denison University, Granville, Ohio; M.S. (1968), Ph.D. (1970) Yale University. Research specialties: Behavioral ecology and evolution of behavior with a focus on tropical birds, mating systems, and vocal communication. Contact:

Muller, Thomas. Research Associate. Diploma in Biology (2001) Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany; Ph.D. (2008) University of Maryland.  Research specialty: Theoretical and spatial ecology.

Neiffer, Donald, Chief Veterinarian, Wildlife Health Sciences. B.S. (1992) Millersville University of Pennsylvania;  V.M.D. (1994) University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; MHS-One Health Concentration (currently enrolled) University of Florida, Department of Global and Environmental Health; Diplomate A.C.Z.M. (2005).  Research specialties: Anesthetic protocols and clinical medicine as it relates to captive and free-ranging wildlife; population health as it relates to wildlife-livestock-human interface; species conservation in-situ as it relates to population health assessment and disease management. Contact:

Newby, John, Research Associate. B.Sc. (1971) Aberdeen University, Scotland. Research specialties: Conservation biology, especially of deserts and aridlands; Wildlife inventory and monitoring of endangered species; Establishment and management of protected areas.

Parsons, E. Christien, Research Associate. B.A. (1991), M.A. (1995) Oxford University, Ph.D. (1996) University of Hong Kong. Research specialties: Marine mammal biology and conservation; Public attitudes to endangered species; Marine pollution; Marine conservation policy.

Pastorini, Jennifer, Research Associate. M.Sc. (1995); Ph.D. (2000) University of Zürich. Research specialties: Conservation research in elephants; Populations genetics and phylogenetics in primates.

Peters, Alan, Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Animal Care Sciences. B.S. (1980) University of North Carolina; M.A.T. (1984) George Washington University. Research specialties: invertebrate, amphibian and reptile husbandry and life support; education program development and volunteer training; Cephalopoda behavior and culture; visitor experience. Contact:

Ralls, Katherine, Scientist Emeritus. B.A. (1960) Stanford University; M.A. (1962) Radcliffe College; Ph.D. (1965) Harvard University. Research specialties: Behavior, ecology, genetics, and conservation of mammals. Contact:

Rappole, John H., Scientist Emeritus. B.A. (1968) Colgate University; M.S. (1972), Ph.D. (1976) University of Minnesota. Research specialties: Ecology and evolution of migrant birds; Inventory, systematics, and Biogeography of Burmese sub-Himalayan avifauna; Migrant birds and pathogens (e.g., WNV, HPAI H5N1); Post-breeding movements of birds; Tropical flock dynamics; Rapid range change. Contact:

Reiss, Diana, Research Associate. B.A. (1971) Temple University; Ph.D. (1983) Temple University. Research specialties: Cetacean Behavior, Communication, and Cognition; Elephant Cognition, Animal Communication and Cognition; Evolution of Intelligence.

Reitsma, Robert, Research Technician. B.S. (1980) Calvin College; M.S. (1999) George Mason University. Research specialties: Urban bird ecology; Migratory bird habitat use. Contact:

Renner, Swen C., Research Associate. M.Sc. (2000) University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim & Musuem Koenig; Ph.D. (2004) University of Goettingen. Research specialties: Biodiversity research in the tropics of SE Asia and the Neotropis with emphasis on birds; Biogeography of birds in the Himalayas and SE Asia.

Richman, Laura, Research Associate. B.S. (1985) University of California, Davis; D.V.M. (1993) University of Wisconsin. Research specialties: Herpes viruses of elephants; zoo and wildlife pathology.

Roberts, Miles S., Scientist Emeritus. B.Sc. (1972), M.S. (1981) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Mammalian behavior and captive population management and husbandry.

Rollins-Smith, Louise, Research Associate. B.A. (1969) Hamline University; M.S. (1972), Ph.D. (1977) University of Minnesota. Research specialties: Microbiology and Immunology; Amphibian Immunology; Host immune defenses against the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Rudran, Rasananayagam, Scientist Emeritus. B.Sc. (1966) University of Ceylon; M.Sc. (1970) University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; Ph.D. (1976) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Primate ecology and behavior; tropical wildlife conservation and management. Contact:

Ryder, Thomas Brandt, Research Associate. Ph.D. (2008) University of Missouri, St. Louis. Research specialties: evolutionary biologist with interests that span molecular, behavioral and population ecology. Contact:

Ssantymire, Rachel Moreland, Research Associate. B.S. (1996), M.S. (1996) Clemson University; Ph.D. (2006) George Mason University. Research specialties: Reproductive physiology; Endocrinology; Stress physiology; Spermatology.

Sarro, Steven J.Supervisory Biologist/Curator, Asia Trail/Panda, Small Mammal House, Animal Care Sciences.  B.S. University of Delaware. Research specialty: African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) and Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) Population Management; animal husbandry and management. Contact:

Smith, Brandie, Associate Director, Animal Care Sciences. B.S. Indiana University of Pennsylvania; M.S. Clemson University; Ph.D. University of Maryland. Research specialty: Population Management.

Smith, James L. David, Research Associate. B.A. Furman University; M.S. (1976), PhD. (1984) University of Minnesota. Research specialties: Conservation biology, natural research science and management.

Steeil, JamesVeterinary Medical Officer, Wildlife Health Sciences, B.S. Manhattan College, D.V.M. University of Florida. Research specialty: Nondomestic veterinary medicine.

Szykman, Micaela, Research Associate. B.A. (1993) Amherst College; Ph.D. (2001) Michigan State University. Research specialties: Behavioral ecology of social carnivores; non-invasive hormone monitoring and reintroduction biology of African wild dogs.

Tate, James, Research Associate. B.S. (1962) Northern Illinois University; M.S. (1964) University of the Pacific; Ph.D. (1969) University of Nebraska. . Research specialties: The role of science in advising public policy; Landscape ecology; Management of biological communities; Ecology of cavity-nesting birds.

Thompson, Jonathan, Research Associate. B.S. (1999) U. of Massachusetts; M.S. (2004) Oregon State University; Ph.D. (2008) Oregon State University. Research specialties: forest modeling; spatial simulations; forest carbon dynamics; remote sensing; spatial statistics; forest policy; scenario studies; climate effects on vegetation; forest management; coupled human-natural systems; land use land cover change.

Thompson, Katerina, Research Associate. B.S. (1982), M.S. (1985) Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Ph.D. (1992) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Behavioral ecology; female reproductive strategies; evolution of play behavior; age-specific strategies and behavioral development.

Vick, Mandi, Research Associate. B.A. (1999) Rollins College; Ph.D. (2006) University of Kentucky. Research specialties: Reproductive and Metabolic Physiology; Endocrinology.

Vitazkova, Sylvia, Research Associate. B.A. (1995) Cornell University; M.A. (1997), Ph.D. (2005) Columbia University. Research specialties: zoonotic disease transmission, Alouatta pigra, Belize.

Weldon, Paul, Research Associate. B.A. (1975) Western Connecticut State University, Danbury; Ph.D. (1982) University of Tennessee. Research specialties: Vertebrate natural products and chemical ecology; vertebrate defenses against ectoparasites. Contact:

Wemmer, Christen M., Scientist Emeritus. B.A. (1965), M.A. (1967) San Francisco State College; Ph.D. (1972) University of Maryland. Research specialties: Conservation biology; mammalian ecology and behavior; reproductive ecology of ungulates; large mammal conservation in the Third World; integration of protected area management with local communities; environmental education.

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