Conservation scientist, large carnivore ecologist, nature storyteller, and advocate
Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is a large carnivore ecologist with an expertise in using statistical modeling to investigate how anthropogenic factors can influence the spatial patterns of carnivore behavior and ecology. In particular, she is currently studying the ecological and social drivers of human-carnivore conflict, and the influence of fine-scale human activity on connectivity of suitable carnivore habitat. Her current field system encompasses part of The Great Plains in northeastern Montana where she is studying potential corridors to facilitate grizzly bear conservation. Her previous research questions surrounded the ecological drivers of human-carnivore conflict with black bears in the Western Great Basin, African lions in rural Kenya and Tanzania, as well as grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
A native Californian, Dr. Wynn-Grant attributes her interest in wildlife and conservation from the television shows she watched as a child. She was introduced to the field of conservation biology as an undergraduate and is unapologetic about her passion for studying charismatic megafauna. Dr. Wynn-Grant serves on the Board of Governors for the Society for Conservation Biology, and as a Special Director for The Explorer’s Club, where she largely aids the organizations in their equity, inclusion, and diversity strategies.
Dr. Wynn-Grant received her B.S. in Environmental Studies from Emory University, her M.S. in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Columbia University. She completed a Conservation Science Research and Teaching Postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on the ecological and social drivers of carnivore behavioral patterns in human-modified landscapes. She is currently a Fellow with National Geographic Society working on carnivore conservation in partnership with the American Prairie Reserve. She maintains a Visiting Scientist position at the American Museum of Natural History, and adjunct faculty positions at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University.