Dr. Joseph Smith joined Panthera in 2009 and now serves as Director of our Tiger Program, overseeing 20 field projects with 14 partner organizations in six different countries. Joe’s lifelong fascination with wildlife led him to study Zoology as an undergraduate before embarking on a series of expeditions to the rainforests of Peru and Ecuador. Joe returned from South America in 2003 to continue his studies, beginning with a Masters degree in Wild Animal Biology at the Royal Veterinary College before going on to his PhD research at Imperial College London. Throughout his doctoral work Joe was based in central Sumatra running large-scale camera trap and occupancy surveys to better understand where tigers and other large mammals survived in an increasingly hostile, human-dominated landscape.
Through the Kaplan Scholarship Program Joe was able to ensure his research was combined with efforts to better protect tigers in the field. Since completing his studies and joining Panthera Joe has traveled extensively throughout tiger range to develop our Tigers Forever program. Today, Joe works closely with Dr. John Goodrich to build and manage a growing team of international experts drawn from a wide range of backgrounds including law enforcement, conservation technology and research science. This growing team of specialists provides direct support to our range-wide tiger recovery projects.