Jonathan Ballou was the population manager and a research scientist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C. His research focused on the genetic and demographic problems confronted by small populations, especially of threatened species. He is recognized as a leader in developing the theoretical basis for the genetic management of small populations and in developing population management tools (software, applied theory) that are widely and internationally used by wildlife and zoo managers.
Ballou’s more recent activities have included co-authoring the text “Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations.” He was also the species coordinator for the international golden lion tamarin captive breeding program, as well as the keeper of the golden lion tamarin international studbook.
He received the Ulysses S. Seal Award for Innovation in Conservation from the IUCN’s conservation planning specialist group in 2006, the Zoological Society of London’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Zoo Community in 2015, and the Devra Kleiman Scientific Advancement Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2016. He is currently working with the Species Conservation Tools Initiative, an organization to ensure the continued availability and development of the software tools he and his colleagues have developed in the past.