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Animal Behavior Society
Animal Behavior Society

Working towards a better understanding of animal behavior

Animal Behavior & Conservation

The Animal Behavior Society's Conservation Committee was formed to assist society members who want to apply their professional skills to solve conservation problems. Animal behaviorists approach the study of behavior from at least four different angles (mechanisms, development, adaptive function, evolutionary history), each of which may provide insight to managing effectively a species or population.

Graduate and Undergraduate Mentors in Conservation Behavior

Looking for advisers, academic programs, research assistantships, internships, or summer programs in conservation behavior?

Here is a list of scientists affiliated with academic institutions who conduct research in animal behavior and conservation. If you think that your name should be included in this list, please contact the Committee Chair Bruce Schulte

Dr. Lisa Angeloni
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1878, (970) 491-0562,

My research has historically focused on the evolution of reproductive behavior, but has more recently delved into the behavior and conservation interface by investigating the behavior of species of conservation concern and the effects of human disturbance on animal behavior. For example, through graduate student projects, we have studied stress levels of endangered black-footed ferrets in captivity and their post-release survival in the wild, the reproductive ecology of the rare Island Scrub-Jay, and the effects of human activity and noise on elk, pronghorn, mule deer, and prairie dog behavior.

Prof. Raphaël Arlettaz
Professor of Conservation Biology
Division of Conservation Biology
Institute of Ecology and Evolution
University of Bern
Baltzerstrasse 6
3012 Bern
Tel +41 (0) 31 631

I work primarily on societally-relevant biodiversity conservation and restoration issues, systematically applying a problem-solving approach. My current main research focus is on population biology of rare and endangered animal species (insects and vertebrates, especially birds and bats) of temperate, Mediterranean and Alpine biomes, and on community ecology (plants, invertebrates, vertebrates) of agro-ecosystems and Alpine ecosystems (grasslands, vineyards, fruit tree plantations, forests, treeline habitats and floodplain rivers).

Dr. Peter Bednekoff
401-G Mark Jefferson Science Complex
(734) 487-2312

My research interests center on how risk of predation shapes foraging behavior. My thinking was heavily shaped by opportunities to work in Botswana and the Galapagos Islands. In Botswana, I avoided potential predators and in the Galapagos, lots did not avoid me. These experiences taught me that much of what we regard as normal behavior is influenced by the risk of predation. My experiences working in different countries have also fueled my interest in conservation. I am working on a book that emphasizes the conservation relevance of behavioral ecology and working with students to address how local species deal with environmental change. In my teaching, I also seek to connect the global with the local and theory with practice.

Dr. Jeffrey M. Black
Professor, Department of Wildlife, Wildlife Building #160 & #248, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA, 95521, USA, (707) 826-3439

My research approach combines theory, experimentation, and long-term field studies. I strive to convey the realization that evolutionary processes acting on individuals drive the distribution and size of wildlife populations. I am interested in describing how animals are distributed in space and time, whether through the need of acquiring resources or to avoid predators, humans and competitors, and why some individuals are faithful to mates and territories while others readily take advantage of alternative options. This pursuit includes assessment of the evolution and maintenance of individual attributes like health, stature, experience, personality traits, and secondary sexual characteristics (crests, color patches).

Dr. Daniel Blumstein
Professor and Department Chair
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
621 Charles E. Young, Drive South, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1606, USA
phone:  310-267-4746
fax:  (310) 206-3987

Broadly, I am interested in the evolution of social and antipredator behavior and the ramifications mechanisms of behavior have for higher-level ecological processes and for wildlife conservation. I have spent over a decade studying the evolution of complex communication and sociality and used the 14 species of marmots (Marmota-cat-sized sciurid rodents found throughout the northern hemisphere) as a model system. Much of my marmot work now focuses on the yellow-bellied marmots of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory ( which have been studied continuously since 1962. A main theme in my research is integrating knowledge of animal behavior into conservation biology. Ultimately, I aim to illustrate, through examples, how knowledge of behavior should influence policy. In addition to my more theoretical work, I have been actively engaged in using ecotourism as a form of community development and as a way to conserve natural resources. My theoretical research interests are particularly relevant to the applied work because ecotourism can adversely affect wildlife. Ultimately, it is the wildlife's perception of human impacts that matters.

Dr. Debbie Boege-Tobin
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Office: Kachemake Bay Campus
Phone: 907.235.1607
Department of Biology, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3101 Science Circle, CPISB 101 (Biology)
Anchorage, Alaska 99508

I have worked in Conservation Behavior for over 15 years, including undergraduates in studies with community partners as often as possible. A few examples of projects in which I have been involved include: Behavioral ecology of reintroduced populations of North American river otters (Lontra canadensis) in Missouri; Play, olfactory response, and foraging ecology of coastal river otters, particularly in effort to deter their use of local docks, boats and cabins in Kachemak Bay, AK; CoastWalk beach clean-up and assessment of area use by coastal invertebrates and vertebrates in Kachemak Bay, including biannual catalog of intertidal zone epi-macrofauna and algae; Identification of killer whales (Orcinus orca) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords, AK; Foraging ecology and tagging unit for unusual mortality event of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in Kachemak Bay; Rescue, and when deceased, necropsies and some articulations, of several cetacean and pinniped specimens, including threatened and endangered species (e.g., gray, minke, humpback & Stejneger’s beaked whales, sperm whale calf, Steller sea lion, harbor seals, elephant seals), and many sea otters; most events included undergraduate participation ; and, Preliminary behavioral and population assessment of a population of giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) in Guyana

Dr. Richard Buchholz
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677, USA, (662) 915-5012

I am interested in mentoring students who wish to apply a behavioral approach to identifying, elucidating and/or managing animal conservation problems. In the context of conservation behavior, topics my students and I have researched include the effects of habitat restoration on oviposition site selection by salamanders, a meta-analysis of the impact of behavioral disturbance by humans on animal fitness, roost site associations in big-eared bats, and the effects of habitat disturbance on male mating strategies in the Neotropical ocellated turkey. Although my own research interests focus on sexual selection in birds, prospective students are welcome to have a different focus in taxon or study topic as long as the proposed work is fundamentally behavioral. I helped start the ABS Conservation Committee, served as committee chair, co-edited the first text on conservation behavior (Clemmons & Buchholz 1997 Behavioral Approaches to Conservation in the Wild, Cambridge Univ. Press), and continue to encourage animal behaviorists to apply their skills to the conservation of biodiversity (Buchholz 2007, Buchholz & Hanlon 2013, Cooke et al. 2014). 

Dr. Tim Caro
Professor, Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, University of California Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA, (530) 771-7116
I am interested in innovative and specific projects that link behavioral ecology and conservation biology, particularly in Africa. I edited a book entitled Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Biology (Oxford University Press, 1998), and recently worked with Paul Sherman on ways to get animal behaviorists more involved in conservation.

Dr. Barbara Clucas
Wildlife and Fisheries Building, Room 274

Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521
Phone 707 826 3829 -

I am an animal behaviorist who studies how interspecific interactions affect species survival and contribute to the evolution of behavior. I received a PhD in Animal Behavior in 2008 from the University of California, Davis and my postdoctoral work at the University of Washington integrated the fields of animal behavior and urban ecology. Currently, I am at Humboldt State University in the Department of Wildlife where I teach a wide variety of courses (e.g., animal behavior, conservation biology and wildlife ecology and management). My research focuses on how species adapt to urbanization and survive in human-dominated environments, as well as how we can conserve nature in urban areas to benefit both humans and wildlife. My work lies at the interface of animal behavior, ecology and conservation.

Dr. Kevin Crooks
Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
115 Wagar
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
FAX:    970-491-5020
Phone: 970-491-7936

In my lab, we strive to apply theoretical principles of ecology, animal behavior, and conservation science to natural systems. My research has emphasized the conservation of mammals, often focusing on carnivores due to their sensitivities to environmental disturbances. I do not feel limited, however, to the study of any specific taxon. Rather, we strive to ask and answer interesting scientific questions that help promote the conservation of earth’s biological diversity. Because of my commitment to, and passion for, conservation, much of my research, and that of my lab, examines the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on the natural world.


Dr. Colleen Cassady St. Clair
Professor Behavioural Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, T6G 2E9, Canada, (780) 492-9685

Several graduate students and I have studied how animals move through and select habitat in landscapes that have been altered by humans with a particular focus barriers and corridors.  These studies have addressed birds (Belisle, Gillies, Tremblay), small mammals (McDonald and Porter), wolves (Whittinton) and elk (myself).  We have studied barriers in the form of roads (Whittington, McDonald, Belisle, myself), forestry (Porter), and agriculture (Darlow, Gillies, Hinam, Poulin, Knopff).  We have also studied road effects on bird health (Byers, Dube, Longmore) and communication (Proppe).  A second theme of my research program is to understand and mitigate sources of human-wildlife conflict.  These studies have used deterrence and aversive conditioning to alter the movement behavior and habitat use of birds (Ronconi), elk (Kloppers, Spaedtke) and bears (Homstol, Warrington).  We have also explored the role of habitat selection in perceptions of and potential for conflict between humans and cougars (Knopff) and coyotes (Cembrowski, Hutt, Murray).  More generally, I am interested in the interface between Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Biology. I especially enjoy exploring novel ways of advancing conservation practice with empirical methods and theory from behavior.  My past work focused on behavioral ecology in seabirds, primarily brood reduction in crested penguins. 

Dr. Stephen B. Hager
Professor of Biology, Research Institution Address, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL 61201-2296, USA, (309) 794-3439

Students in my courses are challenged to learn content and conceptual material, and to apply this information to solve problems. Students who do well in my classes display high-level critical thinking skills, successfully analyze complex situations, and effectively communicate their work in both verbal and written contexts. My research program seeks to understand the magnitude of and factors influencing bird mortality resulting from window collisions, which is one of many threats to birds in urban landscapes. This is important because urbanization is accelerating faster than human population growth, and knowledge of how the urban environment affects bird survival is urgently needed for appropriate conservation and management strategies.
Visit my webpage for more information:

Dr. Andrew Edelman
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118, USA, (678) 839-4042,,

My research focuses on the intersection between animal ecology, behavior, and conservation. We use a variety of quantitative techniques (social networks, occupancy modeling, remote cameras, etc.) to understand how management of landscapes shapes animal communities and behavior. Currently, my research examines the response of the mammalian community (small mammals, bats, and mesocarnivores) to fire-based restoration of montane longleaf pine. My lab group consists of both undergraduate and master’s level student collaborators.

Dr. Esteban Fernandez-Juricic
Associate Professor
Lilly Hall G-302, 915 W. State Street, Department of Biological Sciences
Purdue University
West Lafayette IN 47907 
Phone: 765-494-6044

In my lab, we are interested in three main topics. First, understanding the physiological and ecological factors accounting for the inter-specific variability in detection windows (areas surrounding an individual where the probabilities of detecting tourists increase) to better estimate buffer areas to protect wildlife. Second, establishing the role of habituation and sensitization in the responses of wildlife to different types of human activities. Third, determining suitable management strategies that promote co-existence between wildlife and humans in protected areas and airports, particularly taking into consideration endangered and threatened species. We also are interested in understanding the mechanisms birds use to gather information that is relevant for fitness (anti-predator scanning, foraging, and mate choice) from both physiological and behavioral perspectives. To that end, we study how some visual properties (visual field configuration, visual acuity, variations in the density of photoreceptors and ganglion cells across the retina, sensitivity of visual pigments) influence scanning behavior in different ecological contexts. We assess these visual-behavior relationships in a wide variety of bird species because ultimately we seek to understand the evolution of mechanisms of visual information use in species with different life histories (e.g., solitary vs. social species, species that live in open vs. closed habitats, etc.). 

Dr. Preston Foerder
Assistant Professor
350-C Holt H
Psychology Dept. 2803, 615 McCallie Ave., University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN 37403

As a comparative psychologist, I strive to find possibilities for my research to aid in conservation. My recent experience on the organizing committee for the Conservation Workshop at the last Animal Behavior Society Conference impressed upon me the possibilities for a behavioral/cognitive perspective. The solutions that our group devised to combat human-coyote conflict leaned primarily on habituation and operant conditioning processes. Locally, the Chattanooga Nature Center houses red wolves in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I am currently working with Nature Center, providing students for observations of their red wolves. We will examine their general behavior in captivity, as well as breeding behaviors that may eventually lead to an increase in the genetic diversity of the wild population in North Carolina through pup fostering. At the Tennessee Aquarium, I am currently engaged in research on sensory discrimination in giant Pacific octopuses, and I have been in talks with their Conservation Institute about a behavioral perspective on their work. My ongoing research on elephant cognition will help with mitigating human-animal conflict by expanding our knowledge of problem solving abilities in that species.

Dr. Caitlin Gabor
Professor, Department of Biology, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas 78666 (512) 245-3387,

I am a behavioral ecologist broadly interested in sexual selection, speciation and the anti-predator behavior. My conservation related research has several themes including Predator-prey dynamics and the effects of introduced predators in numerous aquatic systems of fish and salamanders. I am also interested in other anthropogenic effects on behavior and stress response in these aquatic systems.

Dr. Tom A. Langen
Associate Professor, Departments of Biology & Psychology, Box 5805, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA, (315) 268-7933

My conservation – related research and teaching focuses on three areas: (1) Road ecology. I conduct research on how to identify and mitigate environmental problems associated with roads and road traffic in North America and in Latin America. (2) Wetland restoration. I evaluate the success of wetland restoration programs done at maintaining wetland associated biodiversity and ecosystem services in human-dominated landscapes. (3) Management for Species of Greatest Conservation Need. I investigate how habitat management can be used to maintain or recover populations of declining species such as golden-winged warbler, spruce grouse, or Blanding’s turtle. I welcome applications for graduate work – I supervise graduate students in Clarkson University’s interdisciplinary Environmental Science & Engineering and Bioscience & Biotechnology programs.

Dr. Sue Margulis
Associate Professor of Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation, and Biology, Canisius College, 2001 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14208, (716) 888-2773,
As a faculty member in the department of animal behavior, ecology and conservation, I teach several courses on zoo biology, as well as the department's conservation biology course, and a field course in South Africa (wildlife ecology and conservation). My research has primarily been zoo-based. I am often working with endangered species, thus there is great interest in enhancing captive breeding and better understanding the specific environmental requirements of different species. Consequently, my research has largely focused on the effects of environment on behavior. This includes both the physical environment and the social environment, both of which may have far-reaching effects on behavior, reproduction, and overall well-being. I am particularly interested in patterns of reproductive and parental behavior in captive animals, and in quantifying the effects of environmental change on behavior.

Dr. Elsbeth (Misty) McPhee
Assistant Professor Environmental Studies and Biology      
3448 Sage Hall
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Long-term maintenance of captive populations, and release of captive animals into the wild, is one of many approaches to endangered species conservation. For conservation biologists working with captive populations, however, a fundamental question is the following: How has captivity altered the behavior, morphology, and physiology of captive-bred animals? Broadly, I am interested in how populations respond to rapid changes in their environment. Specifically, I have focused on this question of how animals respond when they are brought into captivity and when, generations later, captive-bred individuals are released back into the wild. Altered selective pressures and increased stress levels are often associated with novel captive environments thus potentially changing the expression and distribution of behavioral, physiological, and morphological traits. Such changes can have profound effects on the success of conservation programs that use captive-bred animals. Because experimental work should always be fleshed out with theory, and theory tested with experimental work, I have used a multi-dimensional approach that includes lab, field, and theoretical work to address these issues. I am currently building a lab at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in which I will test behavioral change in captive-bred populations of Microtus pennsylvanicus and measure survivorship upon release into controlled experimental enclosures in the field.

Dr. Sarah Mesnick
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
8901 La Jolla Shores Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037-1508
Phone: (858) 546-7148

I am the science liaison for the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries Service, an ecologist in the Protected Resources Division and co-founder of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. My research focuses on the conservation and behavioral ecology of marine vertebrates. I study patterns of sociality and the impacts of anthropogenic activities on social structure and population dynamics. My work integrates information derived from genetic, acoustic, observational and phylogenetic sources. Examples of current and recent projects conducted in partnership with collaborators and students include: social and behavioral aspects of cetacean responses to over-exploitation, genetic population structure in sperm whales and California sea lions, social structure of sperm whales using genetic markers, global acoustic biogeography of blue whales, vessel response behavior and social disruption in eastern tropical Pacific dolphins involved in the purse-seine fishery for tuna, sexual ecology and cetacean mating systems, human-animal conflict: social learning and depredation (the taking of fish by marine mammals of fishing gear), and social, sexual and cultural drivers of diversification in cetaceans and fishes.

Mike Mooring, Ph.D.
Professor, Biology Department
Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego, CA  92106, USA, (619) 849-2719 619.849.2719

Mike Mooring has been conducting behavioral ecology research since 1985, mounting field studies of African antelope, North American ungulates, and Neotropical mammals. Over the course of this time he has worked in 6 countries and 5 states, navigating the logistical challenges of field research in a variety of contexts. Mooring’s dissertation research focused on the parasite-defense behavior of impala in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia. He received his Ph.D. from the Animal Behavior Graduate Group at UC Davis in 1993 and then completed postdoctoral positions at the University of Pretoria, University of Alberta, and UC Davis. Since coming to PLNU in 1997, he has directed over 50 students in field research projects. His current work in Costa Rica is at the interface of ecology and conservation biology. Since 2010, he and his students have worked with local partners (national parks, private reserves, universities, conservation NGOs) to survey the large mammalian predators and prey inhabiting the cloud forests of the western Talamanca Cordillera. Although largely unstudied, the Talamanca is critical habitat for six species of felids (jaguar, puma, jaguarundi, ocelot, margay, oncilla), an invasive canid (coyote), and many large prey species (e.g., Baird’s tapir, collared peccary, red brocket deer, paca). The project promotes community-based conservation by empowering local communities to protect their own wildlife by promoting environmental education and citizen science. Prior to Costa Rica, Mooring directed 21 students in a long-term NSF-funded study of bison reproductive biology (behavior, acoustical communication, endocrinology, genetics) in the Sandhills of Nebraska (2003-2009). He has continued the genetic study with the aim of characterizing the lifetime reproductive success of bison bulls. From 1998-2002, he directed 12 undergraduates in studying bighorn sheep in New Mexico, bison in Montana, and comparative research on 60 ungulate species at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. His research topics have included parasite defense, sexual selection, behavioral endocrinology, sexual segregation, acoustical communication, and predator-prey interactions.

Professor Stephen J. Mullin, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 61920
tel: 217.581.6234
email: sjmullin<at>; web:

Research conducted by members of my lab group typically concerns behavioral and community ecology, with many projects focusing on predator-prey relationships that involve at least one species of reptile or amphibian. Subtle changes in the structural complexity of a microhabitat may influence not only the expression of animal behavior, but also patterns of habitat selection and the frequency of organismal interactions. Studies of this type can elucidate the factors regulating the community dynamics of species within particular habitat types, and have implications in conservation biology where the choice of sites appropriate for preservation is often debated. I would welcome inquiries from prospective Master of Science (thesis only) students.

Dr. Guillermo Paz-y-Mino-C
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300
I have broad interests in behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology. My research focuses in three main areas: the link between different levels of social organization and the cognitive abilities of animals, the association between socio-sexual behaviors and the communication of signals for the recognition of kin (particularly the role of memory in kin recognition), and the application of behavioral paradigms in conservation biology. I am intrigued by the relevance of cognitive repertoires, cognitive legacies and collecting reasoning in conservation behavior efforts. I work (or have worked) with different biological systems including mammals, birds, and nematodes.

Dr. Noa Pinter-Wollman
UCSD, BioCircuits Institute, 9500 Gilman Dr, Mail Code 0328, La Jolla CA  92093-0328
Phone: +1 (858) 534-0532; Email: nmpinter (at) ucsd (dot) edu

My interest in the interplay between conservation biology and animal behavior began during my PhD work on the effects of translocation on the behavior of African elephants. I realized that examining the behavior of animals could provide important assessment tools for conservation actions and insights on preserving biodiversity. At the same time, wildlife management actions can provide unique opportunities for studying interesting questions in animal behavior. In my work on translocated elephants, I used the social and spatial behavior of the elephants post-translocation to develop recommendations on who to move and where to release them in future translocations. I also took the opportunity of a large-scale behavioral manipulation to examine how social structure and habitat choice are affected by arriving at a novel environment, which is also relevant to naturally dispersing and migrating animals. Currently, I study how group composition affects the collective behavior of ants. Recently, I began to explore how behavioral variation among workers affects the collective range expansion of the highly invasive Argentine ant. By integrating a behavioral approach to the study of invasive species, I illuminate new mechanisms that impact the progression of invasion, which will potentially help control the spread of exotic species in introduced ranges. Furthermore, I study the collective foraging behavior of the native black harvester ant, Messor andrei. I have now found stark differences between the behavior of colonies in northern and southern CA suggesting that climate drives behavioral modification. By expanding the geographic and climatic range of my study sites, I will be able to explore the effects of climate change on keystone species such as the harvester ant that has a great impact on the plant community in its habitat.

Dr. Bruce A. Schulte
Department Head of Biology, TCNW 201, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd. #11080, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1080, 270-745-4856 phone, 270-745-6856 fax, ,

Our research group examines the development of social and reproductive behaviors in keystone mammals such as elephants as well as the mechanisms, especially chemical that mediate these interactions. In recent years, we have taken more of a conservation behavior approach, as we work to reduce human-wildlife conflict by studying the behavioral ecology of these species, specifically their modes of communication, reproductive patterns and social systems. We work in Africa on elephants and other mammals. We also have conducted research with beavers and manatees. On more of a behavioral management level, we have begun working with horses. Applications of our research strive to use an understanding of behavior to facilitate positive human-animal interactions.

Dr. Debra Shier
San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research Brown Endowed Scientist
Zoological Society of San Diego, P. O. Box 120551, San Diego, CA 92112, USA
Assistant Adjunct Professor
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 3205 Life Science Building, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095
(310) 206-6599; email:

For the past 15 years, I have been studying the ways in which an understanding of animal behavior and behavioral ecology can be applied to conservation strategies such as reintroductions and translocations. In general, my research has focused on using basic theory to create effective and efficient relocation methods by encouraging settlement, dampening stress, and increasing post-release survival and reproductive success. My research addresses 1) the kinds of learning experiences that are required for the development of effective anti-predator behavior after release into the wild, 2) how social relationships among founders may affect their survival following translocation 3) the effects of scent communication in the translocation process, 4) whether natal habitat preferences can be exploited to enhance release site settlement and 5) the effects of behavioral consistency (temperament) on post-release survival. My current research examines these questions in two endangered Heteromyids, the Pacific pocket mouse and Stephens’ kangaroo rat.

Dr. Rebecca Snyder
Curator of Mammals, Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315, USA, (404) 624-5623

My research focuses on proximate mechanisms underlying three types of complex social behavior in giant pandas, courtship and mating, maternal behavior, and social play. Currently, I am investigating hormonal and developmental variables that contribute to the expression of these behaviors. 

Dr. John P. Swaddle
Professor, Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies, Biology Department, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, USA, (757) 221-2231

Our lab group investigates how human alteration of the landscape affects the behavior, physiology, ecology, and fitness of wildlife. Recent projects have focused on various forms of land alteration and pollution. We have a very active lab of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs, and are always looking for new collaborators and colleagues to join our program at the interface of behavioral ecology and conservation.

Dr. Ronald R. Swaisgood
Institute for Conservation Research
San Diego Zoo Global
15600 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92027-7000

Ron Swaisgood serves San Diego Zoo Global as the Brown Endowed Director of Applied Animal Ecology and is the General Scientific Director of Cocha Cashu Biological Station in Manu National Park in the Peruvian Amazon. Swaisgood earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California at Davis. He supervises several conservation science programs, primarily in California, Mexico, China, South Africa and Peru. These include (1) ecological and behavioral research programs for several bear and other mammalian species (2) population monitoring and adaptive management programs for several local bird, reptile and amphibian species; and (3) translocation/reintroduction programs for several species such as kangaroo rats, owls, rhinoceros, condors, tortoises, and frogs. Most of Swaisgood’s research experience focuses on using ecological and behavioral theory to address critical conservation problems, using science as a tool for improved conservation management. His research program has addressed questions relating to mating systems, communication, denning ecology, spatial ecology, habitat selection, foraging ecology, and reintroduction biology.

Robin Tinghitella
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences
University of Denver
Work in my lab centers on the roles of ecology and behavior in rapid evolutionary change. We work with real organisms in their real habitats, and also use laboratory experimentation and phylogenetic tools to understand the forces that shape diversity in animal communication and social systems. We focus most on sexual signaling. Recently, we’ve been thinking a lot about how anthropogenic change might alter evolutionary trajectories through changes in behavior. For instance, how do human-driven changes in ecology influence female mating decisions, and what are the evolutionary consequences for mate choice systems?

Dr. Mark L. Wildhaber
U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, 4200 New Haven Road, Columbia, Missouri 65201, USA 573-876-1847,

My research includes studies of the reproductive behavior and physiology and abiotic and biotic requirements for reproductive success of fish species that are federally listed as threatened or endangered. One of my ultimate goals is to use this information, along with information on fish behavior as it relates to thermoregulation, foraging, and bioenergetics, to develop mathematical models within an individual-based and spatially-explicit framework that describe aquatic community dynamics.

Dr. Marian Wong
Lecturer Marine Biology
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Tel: 0061 7 4221 3574

I am a behavioral ecologist interested in understanding how abiotic stressors influence the social and reproductive behaviors of group-living fishes. I currently work on a range of species, including coral reef and African cichlid fishes.