National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI)

Zoo and Research Center Website

Brandie Smith, John and Adrienne Mars Director

NZCBI has two campuses in the Washington, DC region. The urban campus occupies 163 acres in Rock Creek Park includes the National Zoological Park, free to the public, that features a living collection of more than 380 species (2,200 individuals) of vertebrates and invertebrates, and a large collection of native and exotic plants. NZCBI’s rural campus near Front Royal, Virginia consists of 3,200 acres of pastures, forests and meadows in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is closed to the public. This facility is dedicated to breeding endangered species, conservation research, training and education, and is NCBI’s hub for a wide range of regional, national, and international conservation programs.

NZCBI has 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. Resources available to students and visiting researchers include two veterinary hospitals; a veterinary pathology lab, nutrition labs, GIS and radiotelemetry capabilities, extensive animal holding and breeding facilities, a biodiversity genomics lab, reproductive physiology labs, libraries, conference facilities, and, in Front Royal, housing for visiting researchers and students. In addition, NZCBI has many established field sites in the United States and internationally in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Gabon, southeastern Brazil, Panama, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. Research affiliation with NZCBI entitles researchers access to other Smithsonian Institution staff, facilities and resources in an enormous range of disciplines.

Center for Conservation and Sustainability (CCS)

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 (GHP)

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)

The MBC conducts research on the ecology and conservation of migratory and resident birds. Focal areas include arctic and marine species, climate change and phenology, coffee and cacao agroforestry systems, ecosystem services, full-annual-cycle biology, grasslands, migratory connectivity, and urban ecology.

Conservation Ecology Center (CEC)

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)

CSS manages mammal and bird species in the collection at SCBI and conducts research in reproductive physiology, endocrinology, cryobiology, embryo biology, animal behavior, animal welfare, 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)

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.

Great Plains Science Program (GPSP)

GPSP aims to study and conserve North America’s Great Plains ecosystem collaboratively, through research, restoration, and education. GPSP collaborates internally with multiple NZCBI research centers and with Smithsonian cultural and education programs, as well as externally, with tribal nations, private landowners, federal and state agencies, NGO’s and academia. Through these partnerships, GPSP applies a holistic approach to help sustain and improve this globally imperiled ecosystem’s functionality and resiliency. GPSP uses innovative approaches and advanced technology to answer important research questions on multiple facets of the ecosystem’s flora and fauna, as well as the interactions in-between, to better inform restoration practices.

Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL)

VWL aims to study and promote the conservation of native biodiversity and sustainable land management through research, education, and community engagement. In collaboration with other Smithsonian units, as well as landowners, producers, federal and state agencies, universities, and local NGO’s, VWL conducts applied research at the intersection of conservation, agriculture, and communities. Areas of focus include grassland community ecology, avian migratory connectivity, human dimensions of conservation, and restoration ecology with an emphasis on working agricultural lands. In addition, VWL works closely with community partners to co-develop programs that bridge the gap between science and conservation implementation.

Animal Care Sciences (ACS)

This research unit includes the departments of Wildlife Health Sciences, Nutrition Science, Animal Welfare, and Animal Programs. Training opportunities include internships, preceptorships, open to senior veterinary students, and residencies of varying durations for veterinarians and students from the US and abroad. Research in ACS focuses on applied and field studies in veterinary medicine, nutrition, physiology, disease etiology and management, population ecology, and animal management and welfare. ACS is also home to the National Elephant Herpesvirus Laboratory and is affiliated with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

NZCBI has a standing Animal Care and Use Committee. Review for animal welfare concerns and approval of any animal procedures by this committee must occur before a fellow’s research can begin. Applicants must discuss their research with proposed advisors to clarify any potential issues with the Animal Care and Use process.

Research Staff

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:

Bennett, Ruth, Research Ecologist. B.A. (2006) Pacific Lutheran University; M.S. (2013) Michigan Technological University; Ph.D. (2018) Cornell University. Research specialties: Ornithology; biodiversity; conservation biology; tropical agroforestry management; migratory bird ecology; Voluntary Sustainabiliyt Standards; coffee and cacao production. Contact:

Boyce, Andy J., Ecologist. B.A. (2011) University of Colorado; Ph.D. (2018) University of Montana. Research specialties: Conservation biology, Community Ecology, Avian life-history and breeding biology, Avian migratory ecology, Animal movement ecology. 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 endocrinology; pituitary and testicular function; reproductive cyclicity and seasonality;  health, reproduction and welfare monitoring and assessments of in situ and ex situ wildlife species (e.g., elephants, felids, tapirs and rhinos), noninvasive hormone monitoring. Contact:

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

Cooper, Nathan W., Research Ecologist. B.S. (2003) Michigan State University; M.S. (2008) Portland State University; Ph.D. (2014) Tulane University. Research specialties: Behavioral ecology; Conservation Biology; Avian Migration; Animal movement modeling and analysis; Full annual cycle ecology; Endangered species research and management. 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. Contact:

Delaski, Kristina, Associate Veterinarian, Department of Conservation Medicine.  B.S. (2003) University of Findlay; D.V.M. (2007) Tufts University.  Diplomate, American College of Zoological Medicine (2018).  Research specialities:  health and diseases of red panda; disease and management of captive and free-ranging wildlife; conservation medicine of non-domestic species. Contact:

Evans, Brian, Migratory Bird Ecologist. A.S. (2002) Asheville Buncome Community-Technical College. B.S. (2006) University of North Carolina at Asheville. Ph.D. (2015) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Research specialites: Landscape ecology; Avian population ecology; Data science. Contact:

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, pathogens. 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:

Harrison, Autumn-Lynn, Research Ecologist, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. B.S. (2000) Virginia Tech; M.S. (2001) James Cook University, Australia; Ph.D. (2012) University of California, Santa Cruz. Research specialties: animal movement, conservation biology, ecology of marine and coastal migratory animals (seabirds, shorebirds, marine mammals). 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:

Helmick, Kelly, Senior Veterinarian and Head, Department of Conservation Medicine. B.S. (1988) Texas Christian University; B.S. (1990) Texas A&M University; D.V.M. (1993) Texas A&M University; M.S. (1999) University of Florida.  Diplomate, American College of Zoological Medicine (2005).  Research specialities:  clinical pharmacology of non-domestic species; anesthesia of non-domestic species; disease and management of captive and free-ranging wildlife, with a particular emphasis on reptiles, amphibians, megachiropterans, tapirs, felids, cervids, fish, marine mammals, and elephants; animal welfare; conservation medicine of non-domestic species. Contact:

Herrelko, Elizabeth (Betsy), Animal Welfare & Research Manager, Animal Care Sciences. B.S. (1999) Fordham University; M.A. (2006) Hunter College, City University of New York; PhD. (2011) University of Stirling (UK). Research specialty: Animal behavior and welfare. Contact:

Jakes, Andrew F., Program Manager, Great Plains Science Program. B.S. (1998) James Madison University;  M.S. (2001) Towson University; Ph.D. (2015) University of Calgary. Research specialties: wildlife conservation and management, movement ecology, spatial analysis, population ecology, behavioral ecology, citizen science. Contact:

Johnson, Amy E.M., Program Director, Virginia Working Landscapes and Conservation Biologist. B.Sc. (2004) University of Guelph; M.Sc. (2012) George Mason University; Ph.D. (2017) George Mason University. Research specialties:  conservation biology, restoration ecology; avian community ecology; citizen science; human dimensions of private lands conservation. 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:

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 Ecologist, 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:

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:

Rodriguez-Clark, Kate, Population Ecologist, B.S. (1992) and B.A. (1993) Stanford University; M.Phil. (1995) Cambridge University; Ph.D. (2002) Princeton University. Research specialties: Population management (particularly group management), agroforestry habitat protection. Contact:

Sillett, Scott, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and 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; Species Distribution; Species Reintroduction/Translocation. Contact:

Welti, Ellen A.R., Research Ecologist, B.A. & B.S. (2012), PhD (2017) Kansas State University. Research specialties: community ecology, plant-insect interactions, grasslands, herbivory, biogeochemisty, responses of biodiversity to climate change, food webs, time series. 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.

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, Recruiting Editor, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). B.A. Bryn Mawr College; Ph.D. Duke University. Research specialty: Orangutan Cultural and Innovative Behavior. Contact:

DeCandia, Alexandra, Research Associate (CCG); Assistant Teaching Professor (Georgetown University). B.A. (2015) Columbia University; M.A. (2017), Ph.D. (2020) Princeton University. Research specialities: molecular ecology; conservation genetics; population genetics; wildlife microbiomes; ecological epigenetics; mammalian carnivores. 

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.

Evans, Matthew, Assistant Curator of Herpetology. B.S. (2002) Towson University. Research specialties: amphibian conservation with emphasis on native salamander species (SPARC NET);  frog conservation (Panama Amphibian Rescue Conservation project); emerging wildlife diseases (amphibian chytrid fungus and snake fungal disease); conservation of turtles and tortoises (SE Asia region) Contact:

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. Associate Professor, School of Integrative Studies, George Mason University. B.S. (1992) Vanderbilt University; M.S. (2000) Virginia Commonwealth University; Ph.D. (2005) George Mason University. Research specialties: Animal behavior; Endocrinology. 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 and North American songbirds. Contact:

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

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. (2003) Washington State University, M.S. (2006) Washington State University. Research specialty: Comparative nutrition and physiology. Contact:

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:

Malinsky, Becky, Curator of Primates, Animal Care Sciences. B.A. (1999) American University. Research specialty: Primate husbandry and management. Contact:

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:

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 Herpetology, 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:

Prado, Natalia A., Assistant Professor, Animal Physiology. B.S. (2004) New York University; M.S. (2010) American University; Ph.D. (2015) George Mason University. Research specialties: wildlife endocrinology; comparative reproductive, stress and health biology; genomic tools and research for health and conservation; animal welfare; reptile, ursid and bird biology. 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.

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.

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.

Sarro, Steven J.Supervisory Biologist/Curator, 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:

Shamon, HilaResearch Ecologist, Smithsonian Conservation Ecology Center and Great Plains Science Program. B.S. (2008) Tel Hai College; M.Sc. (2012) Tel Aviv Univerity; P.h.D. (2017) Tel Aviv University. Research specialties: grassland ecology, conservation biology, wildlife management, reintroductions, animal movement, species distributions. Contact:

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.

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. 

Steeil, JamesSupervisory Veterinary 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.

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.

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