Russ Van Horn

Blogger Profile: Russ Van Horn

Russ Van Horn, Ph.D., serves the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research as a scientist in the Applied Animal Ecology Division, leading our Andean bear conservation program. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the department of biology at San Diego State University. His academic training took him from his master's thesis at Montana State University to his doctorate at Michigan State University and a postdoctorate appointment at Duke University. He has been involved in research on wildlife ranging from savanna baboons and spotted hyenas to charismatic small mammals, neotropical migrant songbirds, elk, and bison. Russ is interested in integrating behavioral and ecological theory into conservation research and practice, using direct and indirect behavioral and genetic methods. He feels strongly that effective conservation requires the involvement of local biologists and the support of local communities. Russ is certified as an associate wildlife biologist by The Wildlife Society and has been a lead or secondary author on 22 scientific publications.
Ambassador Mi Ton Teiow Visits an Andean Bear Den

Ambassador Mi Ton Teiow Visits an Andean Bear Den

Because female bears give birth to cubs that are very tiny and helpless, the den where a female has her cub is a critical part of the species’ reproductive biology, as fans of giant panda webcams are well aware.   read more

The Fox Stole Our Bread from under the Sapote Tree

The Fox Stole Our Bread from under the Sapote Tree

One night I camped under a full moon in the dry forest with the Bear Specialist Group’s whimsical Ambassador Mi Ton Teiow and the field team of the Spectacled Bear Conservation Society. The sky was clear, so as we set up camp under a sapote tree.   read more

Whimsical Bear Ambassador Returns to South America

Whimsical Bear Ambassador Returns to South America

…one characteristic of the dry forest that makes it unlike other Andean bear habitats is that liquid water is hard to find in the landscape, so there are few places for bears and other wildlife to get drinking water.   read more

Ambassador Mi Ton Teiow Hopes for Best, Prepares for Worst

Ambassador Mi Ton Teiow Hopes for Best, Prepares for Worst

The farther away from medical assistance you will be, the more important first-aid training becomes.   read more

What to Eat When There’s Nothing to Eat?

What to Eat When There’s Nothing to Eat?

These big mammals can go without eating or drinking for months, sometimes while birthing and nursing cubs, yet wake up without bedsores or weakened muscles!   read more