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Janine Brown

Janine Brown heads the Endocrine Research Laboratory at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, and conducts reproductive and welfare research on elephants and other species (e.g., rhinos, felids, tapirs). She obtained her Ph.D. in Animal Sciences at Washington State University in 1984 and focuses her research on increasing knowledge that will lead to better management and conservation of endangered species. As part of her research, she has developed or validated ways to measure hormones in serum, plasma, urine, feces, hair and saliva. These methodologies have proven invaluable for improving assisted reproduction protocols, like artificial insemination, and assessing the impact of management and husbandry on stress and well-being in captive animals. She currently serves as the Reproductive Advisor to the Elephant Taxon Advisory Group in the U.S. and provides advice and direct research assistance for improving breeding management of elephants. She has an active training program in the U.S. with both M.S. and Ph.D. students. Her international students work or have worked in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, China, Belize, Africa and Norway. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Michael Heistermann

Michael Heistermann studied Biology with a special focus on Zoology at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, where he graduated in 1986. During his PhD (1987-1991) at the Institute of Ethology in Bielefeld, he studied socio-endocrine aspects of reproduction in cotton-top tamarins, a small South American primate species. In 1991 he moved as a post-doctoral scientist to the Department of Reproductive Biology at the German Primate Center (DPZ) in Göttingen where he became head of the endocrinology laboratory and co-head of a working group on Comparative and Evolutionary Endocrinology. As part of this research, Dr. Heistermann and his co-workers established one of the world-leading labs for application of non-invasive endocrine methodologies for assessing reproductive status and physiological stress in primate species of all major taxa. His expertise and the facilities are utilized by the scientific community at large and support an extensive network of collaborative studies in behavioural endocrinology and conservation management of wild living primates. Dr. Heistermann´s lab also supports the captive breeding management of the European Asian and African elephant populations by providing an endocrine monitoring service which has now been operating continuously for over 15 years.

Nadja Wielebnowski

Nadja Wielebnowski, currently Vice President of Conservation Science at the Chicago Zoological Society (at Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois, USA) and part of the faculty at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Evolutionary Biology (CEB), also has been leading Brookfield Zoo’s Behavioral Endocrinology Program and Service Lab since 2001.  Nadja will start a new position as manager of conservation and research at the Oregon Zoo, Portland Oregon, USA, in June 2012.  Nadja is the chair of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s (AZA) Animal Welfare Committee and has been part of the founding committee of ISWE since the very beginning.  Her research focuses on the behavioral endocrinology of animal stress and its implications for animal conservation and animal well-being.  Nadja has previously worked as a research associate and post-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation and Research Center (CRC), National Zoological Park, Front Royal, Virginia.  She received her Ph.D. in Ecology as a Fulbright scholar at the University of California, Davis (1996), an M.S. (Mag. rer. nat.) in Zoology (1989) from the University of Vienna, Austria.

Chadi Touma

Chadi Touma studied Biology and Biochemistry in Muenster and Hanover, Germany. His doctoral studies focussed on the development, validation and application of a non-invasive technique to monitor stress hormones in mice. He graduated with ’summa cum laude’ at the University of Muenster and in 2004 joined the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich. In 2010, he was appointed Head of the Research Group of Psychoneuroendocrinology at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. The focus of this research group is to generate and characterise clinically relevant animal models of inborn (trait) emotionality and stress reactivity in order to elucidate behavioural, neuroendocrine and molecular-genetic mechanisms underlying affective disorders such as major depression.

Erich Möstl

Erich Möstl received his doctoral degree in 1978 at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna based on his work on the analysis of androstenedione in ruminants. Afterwards his research focus remained in the endocrinology of reproduction and the topic of his work for the “Habilitation” was the regulation of the oestrogen production by glucocorticoids in the placenta of ruminants.

In the framework of this research, in 1982 the world-wide first immunoassay for measuring faecal oestrogens for pregnancy diagnosis was successfully established. Following this breakthrough he went on designing group specific antibodies and labels for measuring progestagen, androgen and finally glucocorticoid metabolites. His research topics now are focused on stress hormone research (together with Rupert Palme), and the stability and biological activity of glucocorticoid metabolites. Additionally he is working on steroid measurements in other non-invasive matrices such as saliva, eggs, hairs and urine. He holds a position as associate professor at the Biochemistry of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna.

Tobias Deschner

Tobias Deschner is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Primatology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He received his PhD in 2004 from the University of Leipzig under the supervision of Prof. C. Boesch, K. Hodges, and M. Heistermann. Since then, his main research focus has been on the behavioral endocrinology of wild African great apes. Topics of his research encompass female reproductive behavior and endocrinology, male mate competition and androgen levels as well as variation in glucocorticoid levels in relation to aggression and nutritional stress. He and his team have developed and validated methods for monitoring nutritional stress in great ape urine using C-peptide levels and stable isotopes as markers salivary alpha amylase for monitoring stress in saliva from great apes. In addition, they developed methods to simultaneously measure a wide array of steroid hormones and their metabolites with LC-MS/MS in urine and feces from wild living primates and have successfully used this method to validate specific Enzyme Immuno Assays. Recent research by Dr. Deschner and his team has focused on the use of urinary oxytocin as a non-invasive method to investigate social bonding in African great apes.

Martin Dehnhard

Martin Dehnhard studied Biology in Hannover and graduated 1983. He continued his work at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart until 1997 where he habilitated in 1992 in the field of animal physiology with the focus on chemical communication. He finalized his postdoctoral lecture qualification with his work on "Investigation of biologically active odours in farm animals" which was awarded with a price of the H. Wilhelm Schaumann Foundation. Since 1997 he is the head of the endocrine laboratory at the Leibniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin. His scientific and methodological topics are the development of non-invasive methods to monitor reproductive and adrenocortical activities in zoo and wildlife animals (EIA) and the analyses of volatiles (pheromones?) in biological samples of zoo and wildlife animals (GCMS). Dr. Martin Dehnhard is a private lecturer at the University of Hohenheim (subject: biology of lactation) but also teaches at the Berlin Universities about endocrinology of reproduction and chemical communication in zoo and wildlife animals

Tim Ellis

Tim is based at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) laboratory in Weymouth, UK, where he works on the sustainability of aquaculture.  He is a graduate of Bangor University (BSc Marine Biology, MSc Fisheries) and received his PhD on fisheries ecology from the University of Liverpool in 1994. After two post-doctoral positions examining the influence of rearing conditions on fish behaviour, he moved to Weymouth to work on fish welfare in 1999. Over the last 12½ years, he has investigated various aspects of fish welfare, with a particular focus on non-invasive assessment of cortisol levels in fish.  The development of methods for measuring hormones released into the water by fish has been led by Alex Scott (the well known fish endocrinologist) as an extension to his research on pheromones. Although their joint research has concentrated on salmonids (rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon), it has included various other freshwater and marine species (e.g. sticklebacks, roach, carp, sea-bass, cod).

Katharina Hirschenhauser

Katharina Hirschenhauser has just returned from an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship in Germany and is now at the Department for Behavioural Biology of the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms of social behaviour and their long-term consequences. She has published studies on androgens and glucocorticoids in birds, fish and humans, with an affinity for non-invasive alternatives to blood sampling. She is interested in the interactions between hormones and social behaviour, current topics include the seasonal partner compatibility in greylag goose pairs, the hormonal and social changes in dominants and subordinates, and coping with stress and learning. Katharina has previously worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada in Lisbon (Portugal), the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen (Germany) and the Konrad Lorenz Research Station in Grünau, a field facility of the University of Vienna. She obtained her Ph.D. in behavioural endocrinology (1998) and a M.Sc. in Zoology (1995) at the University of Vienna.