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LUIGI BOITANI, PHD

Professor

University of Rome, Italy

Luigi is professor of Conservation Biology and Animal Ecology at the University of Rome, and Head of the Department of Animal and Human Biology. He is also Founder and Director of the Masters program “Conservation of animal biodiversity”. He is an Affiliated Professor at the Department of Natural Resources, Idaho University, Moscow and member of the College of Graduate Studies. Luigi’s primary research focuses on the study of wolf ecology in Italy, modelling of mammal distributions in Italy, Africa and South East Asia, and protected areas design and management in Italy and Africa. He is a member of more than 25 professional organizations, working groups, and Boards of Governors including Founder and President of the Institute of Applied Ecology, Rome. Luigi has been involved with IUCN and SSC for many years, including as one of the leaders in the development of the Species Information Service, Red List Committee member, and a member of several Specialist Groups. 

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EUGENIA BRAGINA, PHD

Course Director - Russia

Wildlife Conservation Society, Russia

Eugenia Bragina is the Course Director for the Russian Program of the  Wildlife Conservation Society. She received her PhD from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology of Moscow State University in Russia, where she is originally from. After her PhD, she was a postdoctoral researcher in L. Scott Mills’ lab in North Carolina State University, and in the SILVIS lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now with WCS Russia, she promotes evidence-based conservation/practices. She works in the Russian Far East, in the region where Amur tiger, leopard and other unique species still exist. Eugenia supervises applied research projects to inform policy makers with the best knowledge available. She also wants conservationists there to have an opportunity to acquire all the skills necessary for their every day work, and organizes and leads workshops at their Sikhote-Alin Research Center

John Linnell is a Senior Research Scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. John received a PhD in Ecology at University College Cork in 1994. He works with multiple disciplinary approaches to issues related to wildlife conservation - focusing mainly on large carnivores and large herbivores. Topics range from sustainable harvest, behaviour, demography and habitat use to human-wildlife conflicts. John's work aims to provide policy relevant science that can promote human-wildlife coexistence in shared landscapes. He has conducted projects in Norway, the Baltic States, the western Balkans, Brazil, India, Myanmar, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

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JOHN LINNELL, PHD

Senior Research Scientist

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norway

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JOSIP KUSAK, DMV, PHD

Professor

University of Zagreb,

Croatia

Josip Kusak is a professor at the Biology Department, Veterinary Faculty, University of Zagreb, Croatia. He is a DVM with an MS in bear ecology and a PhD in wolf ecology, and did his initial “wolf” training at the “K-lab” in Ely, Minnesota in 1996. He has worked on: large carnivore habitat analysis, predation and attacks on livestock, animal diseases and mortality, development of carnivore management plans, assessment of the impact of infrastructure development on large carnivores, monitoring of large carnivores, delivery of specialized trainings (large carnivore’s capturing and handling, telemetry, distinguishing signs of predators on prey, emergency response). He has consulted on and participated in wolf/brown bear study projects in Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Italy, and Turkey. Josip is a member of National Comity for Large Carnivores in Croatia since 1996 and contributed in the developing and implementation of wolf, bear and lynx management. 

Francesca Marucco is a contracted professor at the University of Torino (Italy), in charge of the wolf monitoring program in the Italian Alps by ISPRA (Institute of Environmental Research of Italy), and project manager and scientific coordinator of the former project LIFE WOLFALPS. She has a BA from the University of Torino (Italy), and Master of Science and PhD in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana (U.S.). She has over 20 years of experience in wolf research and management in the Alps and the U.S. Since 1999, she has been the scientific coordinator at the Center for Management and Conservation of Large Carnivores of the Piemonte Region. She has published numerous scientific papers at  international level, and collaborates in several research projects on large carnivores in Europe and the U.S. She has been a member of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (LCIE) since 2012, which is a Specialist Group of the IUCN SSC.

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FRANCESCA MARUCCO, PHD

Professor

University of Torino,

Italy

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DAVE MECH, PHD

Senior Research Scientist

Biological Resources Division, USGS, USA

L. David Mech (pronounced “Meech”) is a Senior Research Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. He has studied wolves and their prey since 1958, working on Isle Royale, in Minnesota, Yellowstone National Park, Denali National Park, and Ellesmere Island. Dave is also founder and vice chair of the International Wolf Center, and chaired  the IUCN Wolf Specialist Group from 1978 to 2013.  In 2013, the Wolf Specialist Group merged into the IUCN Canid Specialist Group, and Dave became  advisor for wolves in that Group since then. He has published some 450 articles and 11 books, and received the Wildlife Society’s Aldo Leopold Award. 

Tariku Mekonnen Gutema is an Assistant Professor of wildlife conservation and management at Jimma University, Ethiopia. He received his PhD in Wildlife Conservation from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Since 2007, Tariku has been working in Jimma University as head of the Department Natural Resources Management and teaching wildlife ecology. Tariku’s studies focus primarily on the ecology and interaction of two wolf species of Africa,  Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis) and African wolf (Canis lupaster). Recently, in order to reduce human-carnivore conflict and promote co-existence with wolves, Tariku has initiated a new project that increases community awareness toward wolf species in Africa.  

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TARIKU MEKONNEN GUTEMA, PHD

Assistant Professor

Jimma University, Ethiopia

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DOUG SMITH, PHD

Senior Wildlife Biologist

Yellowstone National Park,

USA

Doug Smith is a Senior Wildlife Biologist in Yellowstone National Park and has been involved with wolf restoration there since 1994.  Doug received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Idaho in 1985, an M.S. in Biology under Rolf Peterson at Michigan Technological University in 1988, a PhD from the University of Nevada, Reno in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology in 1997 under Stephen H. Jenkins. Besides Yellowstone he has also worked with wolves on Isle Royale, in Minnesota, and Indiana (captive). He is a member of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team and the IUCN Re-Introduction Specialist Group. His main interest is wolf conservation, wolf-prey ecology and population dynamics and has published numerous scientific and popular articles  and books on the subject.

ASTRID VIK STRONEN, PHD

Astrid Vik Stronen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Astrid received a Masters in Environmental Science from the University of Calgary, a PhD in Biology from the University of New Brunswick, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Aalborg University. Her recent studies include genomic analyses of wild species and domestic populations at risk in Europe and Canada, including bison, cattle, dogs, and wolves. Astrid is interested in contemporary evolution resulting from human activities, and how we can best preserve wild species and their habitats in the face of rapid environmental change. She have a strong interest in applied conservation genetics, and in projects that integrate ecology, evolution, and conservation and connect these fields to human dimensions including ethics and human-wildlife interactions. 

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Assistant Professor

University of Ljubljana,

Slovenia

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ERICA VON ESSEN, PHD

Associate Professor

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Erica von Essen is an Associate Professor of Environmental Communication, currently based at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and is affiliated with the Institute of Ethnology (Czech Academy of Sciences), where she participates in an ERC project on wild boar management in Europe. Erica's research focuses on future directions in wildlife conservation, biosecuritization in the context of wildlife, and people's resistance to environmental directives - from protests, everyday forms of resistance to violent extra-legal actions. Her projects have dealt with the ethics around animals that are 'at the wrong place at the wrong time' in society, and what sorts of measures, infrastructures and technologies are deployed to correct such transgressions. Her PhD was on illegal killings of wolves in Scandinavia, and has since been invited to speak at both Swedish and EU parliaments regarding wolf controversies.  

John Vucetich is an associate professor of animal ecology at Michigan Technological University. He also leads the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project, the longest continuous study of any predator-prey system in the world. He has authored more than 75 scholarly publications on a range of topics, including wolf-prey ecology, extinction risk, population genetics and environmental philosophy. His contributions to the wolf-moose project have been officially recognized by the United States Senate. He has also collaborated with wolf researchers from Canada, Sweden and Yellowstone, and has served on the Mexican wolf recovery team for more than a decade.

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JOHN VUCETICH, PHD

Associate Professor

Michigan Technological University, USA

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CAMILLA WIKENROS, PHD

Researcher /

Skandulv Program Coordinator

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Camilla Wikenros is a Researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, where she received her PhD, and Program Coordinator for the Scandinavian Wolf Research Group. Camilla's research is focused on trophic interactions between mammalian apex predators and their prey species, how the results from those interactions propagate through to lower trophic levels, and in turn affect other mammals, bird species as well as human use of natural resources. She is interested in both basic ecology and behavior, and applied scientific research questions. Her work aims to provide ecological knowledge to inform the conservation of threatened species and their effects on biodiversity in relation to wildlife management and sustainable use of natural resources. 

JHALA YADVENDRADEV, PHD

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Senior Professor

 Wildlife Institute of India

Jhala Yadvendradev is a Senior Professor and the Head of the Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology Department at the Wildlife Institute of India, which is based in Dehradun. For the past 15 years, since his doctoral work on the Indian wolf and blackbuck in 1990 at VPI & SU, Virginia, Jha;a has been researching Indian canids.  His other research and conservation interests include Asiatic lions, tigers and striped hyenas, all of which have ongoing research projects. His major job responsibility has been to design and conduct country wide assessments for assessing the status of tigers, large carnivores, prey and their habitat.

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BARBARA ZIMMERMANN, PHD

Professor

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway

Barbara Zimmermann is a senior researcher with Skandulv and a Professor at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN), where she received her PhD. Barbara is a project leader for GRENSEVILT, a cross-border collaboration between Norway and Sweden that works to provide a solid base for a better transnational, inclusive, conflict-reducing multispecies management of moose, wolves and wolverines in Inner Scandinavia. She is also the head of INN’s research group LARGE,  a group committed to knowledge generation to meet common goals for a sustainable management of large-bodied species and dampening wildlife-human conflicts, and a member of SKOGSJERV, which studies Scandinavian large carnivores and their interactions with wild and domestic herbivores. Barbara is originally from Switzerland, but has been living and working in Norway since 1993.