Collaborators & Scientific Advisors

Scientific Collaborators

Russ van Horn - San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research

Russ serves the San Diego Zoo as a senior researcher in the division of Applied Animal Ecology, where his focus for the last 2 years has been on the development of a conservation research program focusing on Andean bears. During his career, Russ has worked on a wide range of wildlife, ranging from salmon, to hawks, to mice, spotted hyenas, baboons, and bears, while with governmental and academic organizations across North America, in Kenya, and in Perú.    Russ has continually been interested in integrating behavioral and ecological science into conservation science and planning. He’s particularly interested in dispersal and gene flow, habitat selection and use, and mating systems. To address these issues, he has used direct and indirect behavioral and genetic methods, incorporating both fieldwork and lab work. In addition to his professional interests, his personal background as a native of rural northern Minnesota has left him committed to involving local people in conservation efforts.    Van Horn graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1988, received his master’s degree from Montana State University in 1993, and his doctorate from Michigan State University in 2003. He is in the process of obtaining adjunct professor appointment at San Diego State University, and plans to obtain adjunct status at one or more universities in Perú.

Ron Swaisgood - San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research

Ron serves the San Diego Zoo as the Director Applied Animal Ecology, where he supervises recovery programs for species such as California condors, mountain yellow-legged frogs, rhinoceros, Pacific pocket mice, kangaroo rats, and desert tortoises. He has worked most extensively with giant pandas and other bear species in the field and captivity. He is head of the San Diego Zoo’s giant panda program, chairs the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Panda Expert Team and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Giant Panda Species Survival Plan, and is on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Polar Bears International. Throughout his career, he has focused on behavioral and ecological research, theoretically driven, to tackle conservation problems. His fieldwork addresses conservation-relevant research questions, such as mating strategies, habitat needs and how animals disperse and settle into new habitats. Swaisgood graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985 and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in 1994. He holds adjunct professor appointments at the University of California at Los Angeles, San Diego State University, and the Chinese Academy of Science.

Peter Arcese - University of British Columbia

Forest Renewal BC Chair in Applied Conservation Biology
Co-Director, Centre for Applied Conservation Research

Lab Homepage:

Research Interests:

  • Population demography and genetics of vertebrates
  • Biogeography of native plant and animal communities
  • Adaptive management and monitoring of rare species and ecosystems
  • Conservation area design

Karen Noyce - International Association for Bear Research and Management


Research. Education. Community Outreach.