Peter Leimgruber is the acting director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI).
Previously, he served as the director of SCBI's Conservation Ecology Center which saves species and ecosystem through basic and applied research and the development of new and advanced analytical tools and models. Leimgruber's research focuses on advancing conservation applications of geospatial analysis technology to save threatened species and their habitats. He is particularly interested in the movement and migration ecology of charismatic megavertebrates and how these movements can be integrated into landscape-level conservation planning. Leimgruber is using satellite-tracking alongside remote sensing and GIS to track movements of highly mobile species, assess their habitat needs, determine how human and climate-induced changes affect these species' habitats, and develop appropriate conservation strategies.
Most of Leimgruber's research focuses overseas and he has more than 25 years of experience in international conservation with field projects in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brazil. Because of his experience in elephant conservation, Leimgruber serves as an advisor to a number of conservation organizations, including the Scientific Advisory Board for Save the Elephants, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Asian Elephant Specialist Group.
Leimgruber believes that training the next generation of conservation professionals is the most effective way to advance global biodiversity conservation. He and his team have spearheaded the SCBI's internationally renowned training program in conservation GIS, including graduate and undergraduate courses, workshops, and internship programs. In the last 20 years, this program has included 15 post-doctoral students, 10 graduate students, and >100 interns.
Species and landscape conservation in socio-ecological systems with a special focus on understanding, modeling, and mitigating human impacts on the movement ecology, spatial distribution, and conservation status of critical biodiversity