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Jessica Deichmann, Ph.D.

Conservation Biologist
B.S., Colorado State University; Ph.D., Louisiana State University

At the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Conservation and Sustainability, Deichmann conducts research to address questions of species and ecosystem resilience in the face of anthropogenic change. She leads large field teams, primarily in Peru, to carry out projects designed to evaluate effects of land use change in highly bio-diverse tropical environments. More specifically, her work aims to quantify the impacts of industrial operations, such as oil and gas, on biodiversity and ecosystem services and develop mitigation strategies. She does this through the use of traditional biodiversity assessment methods combined with innovative tools, including DNA bar-coding, environmental DNA quantification, and acoustic monitoring.

Deichmann and her colleagues have contributed a wealth of new knowledge about the remote areas in which they work. They have expanded the known ranges of rare species and discovered new ones, and shared that knowledge with local communities and governments so that proper management plans can be developed. Based on results of their research, her team has made recommendations to national governments and private industry about ways operations can be improved in order to minimize impacts on biodiversity. Working with in-country scientists and field assistants, Jessica strives to integrate capacity building into all of her research programs.
Deichmann earned her Bachelor of Science in zoology at Colorado State University in 2002, and earned a doctoral degree in biological sciences at Louisiana State University in 2009. She has conducted research in a number of countries, including Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname, Gabon and Costa Rica. Before beginning her position at the Smithsonian, she worked for the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica, and then as a research associate with the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) at Conservation International. There, she co-authored a book that reviewed the first 20 years of RAP, led field training for local university students and conducted rapid assessments of herpetofauna. Deichmann is a member of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, the Society for Conservation Biology and a founding member of the Women in Nature Network.
Recent Publications: 
Deichmann, Jessica L., Canty, Steven W. J., Akre, Thomas S. B. and McField, Melanie. 2019. Broadly defining 'working lands'. Science, 1046-1047. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaw3007
Johnson, Mireille B., Parker, Lillian D., Vanthomme, Hadrien, Tchignoumba, Landry, Deichmann, Jessica L., Maldonado, Jesús E., Korte, Lisa and Alonso, Alfonso. 2019. Patterns of genetic diversity in African forest elephants living in a human-modified landscape in southwest Gabon. Conservation Science and Practice, e76. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.76
Deichmann, Jessica L., Acevedo-Charry, Orlando, Barclay, Leah, Burivalova, Zuzana, Campos-Cerqueira, Marconi, d'Horta, Fernando, Game, Edward T., Gottesman, Benjamin L., Hart, Patrick J., Kalan, Ammie K., Linke, Simon, Do Nascimento, Leandro, Pijanowski, Bryan, Staaterman, Erica and Aide, T. Mitchell. 2018. It's time to listen: there is much to be learned from the sounds of tropical ecosystems. Biotropica, 713-718. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12593