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John Seidensticker, Ph.D., Head and Scientists, Species Conservation Center

John Seidensticker was raised on a cattle ranch in Montana and studied at the University of Montana and the University of Idaho, where he received the 1998 Distinguished Alumni Silver and Gold Award.

He pioneered the use of radio telemetry to study the mountain lion in North America and wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on Mountain Lion Social Organization in the Idaho Primitive Area. As founding principal investigator of the Smithsonian-Nepal Tiger Ecology Project, he was co-leader of the team that captured and radio-tracked the first wild tigers in Nepal.

He has traveled widely in Asia and served as an ecologist and park planner for the Indonesia World Wildlife Fund Program. He has also conducted fieldwork in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh and India, in Thailand, and in Sri Lanka. He co-authored The Javan Tiger and the Meru-Betiri Reserve: A Plan for Management; Sundarbans Wildlife Management Plan: Conservation in the Bangladesh Coastal Zone; Saving the Tiger; and co-edited Riding the Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes. Most recently, he is co-author with Susan Lumpkin of the Smithsonian Book of Giant Pandas, and Cats: Smithsonian Answer Book.

As a conservation biologist at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, Dr. Seidensticker's research efforts have focused on understanding and encouraging landscape patterns and conditions where large mammals can persist, training future conservation leaders, and diffusing environmental understanding through his writing, public appearance, and museum and zoo exhibits.

He has been a member of the IUCN-World Conservation Cat Specialist Group since 1974, a professional fellow of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association since 1989, a member of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Save The Tiger Fund Council since 1995, and its chairman since 1997.

Dr. Seidensticker is author or editor of more than 150 articles and books including the widely acclaimed Great Cats, Dangerous Animals, Tigers, and Cats and Wild Cats. His avocations include traveling, walking, gardening, and photography.