Ron Swaisgood

Blogger Profile: Ron Swaisgood

Ron Swaisgood, Ph.D., serves San Diego Zoo Global as the Brown Endowed Director of Applied Animal Ecology. He also heads the Giant Panda Conservation Unit and is the general scientific director of Cocha Cashu Biological Station in Manu National Park in the Peruvian Amazon. Before coming to the Zoo, Dr. Swaisgood earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a doctorate in animal behavior from the University of California, Davis. His work focuses on the conservation of species in their native habitats, with an emphasis on reintroduction and translocation programs. He oversees conservation programs for species such as California condors, burrowing owls, terns, plovers, desert tortoises, mountain yellow-legged frogs, giant pandas, Andean bears, and kangaroo rats. He is actively involved in connecting society to conservation and science and engages in extensive outreach and professional service. He has mentored several students and has served as an adjunct professor at three universities. He is the recipient of more than 60 grants and has authored more than 100 scientific articles, as well as 50 articles for popular magazines and the web. He is active on several national and international conservation committees and chairs the IUCN’s Giant Panda Expert Team and the Animal Behavior Society’s Conservation Committee. As an advocate for reconnecting children to nature, he serves on committees for the Children & Nature Network and San Diego Children & Nature Collaborative, and is co-founder of the Family Adventures in Nature Club.
A Day During Field Ecology Training

A Day During Field Ecology Training

The student awakens to the distant roaring calls of the red howler monkey. If he didn’t know better, he would think he was hearing the roar of some ancient ferocious beast. He stretches and collects his thoughts for the day. What wonders will await him today…and what deprivations might he endure?   read more

Would a 3-month Course in Remote Amazonian Field Site Change Your Life?

Would a 3-month Course in Remote Amazonian Field Site Change Your Life?

Would three months living and studying in one of the most remote field stations in the tropical rain forest change your life? At the Cocha Cashu Biological Station’s annual field ecology course in Peru, offered by San Diego Zoo Global, that’s our mission—to change lives.   read more

Bagging Tasmanian Devils: Can We Save a Misunderstood Creature?

Bagging Tasmanian Devils: Can We Save a Misunderstood Creature?

Tasmanian devils are bedeviled with a most hideous disease, and conservationists are having a devil of a time dealing with it. It would be funny, the devil jokes, if it wasn’t so sad.   read more

Titi Monkeys and Me

Titi Monkeys and Me

My pack is my pillow. I lay on the damp, leaf-strewn earth gazing up at the titi monkey, waves of nostalgia crashing all around me. In a parallel life, I could have been doing this for 25 years.   read more

Cocha Cashu: Exploring Uncharted Territory

Cocha Cashu: Exploring Uncharted Territory

For the past two years the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research has been on a journey. The path has been long, and not always straight, but the endpoint is clear…   read more