Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been interested in animal behavior. Like many girls who eventually became scientists, I wanted to be Jane Goodall (or someone like her) when I grew up. However, rather than studying animal behavior in the field, I decided to study brain development in the lab. As a Professor of Biology at Stanford University in Stanford, California, I am trying to understand how neural circuits get built with exquisite precision during fetal development. My work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, and recognized by my election to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to my research, I teach courses on brain development and conservation photography to undergraduate students.
I feel that wildlife photography has an important purpose: powerful images help connect people with our natural heritage and stimulate a commitment to conservation. Our planet is an amazing place, and we need to preserve its wonders for future generations. My images have appeared in Smithsonian magazine, National Geographic, Stanford Magazine, Nature’s Best Photography, Africa Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, Expressions, Currents, and the American Kennel Club Gazette. My photographs of elephants in Namibia were featured as the cover story of the November 2010 issue of Smithsonian magazine, and one of these was exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. The G2 Gallery in Los Angeles selected me and landscape photographer Robin Black to be featured in their Emerging VI exhibition, which was on display in November-December 2013. In the spring of 2016, my exhibition “On the Shoulders of Giants” about elephants and the ivory crisis was featured at the Stanford Art Gallery, and the show is heading down to the G2 Gallery in June of this year! I am a proud Affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and I may be even more proud of the work of my students – to see their work from a recent field course in Costa Rica, check out this website.
NEWS AND HIGHLIGHTS: Have a look at my conservation blog on lions, focusing on the Niassa Lion Project (a WCN partner). On another note, HHMI did a terrific article about my motivations for entering the fields of neuroscience and conservation photography. I am grateful to be able to share the roots of my passion for conserving wildlife, habitats and ecosystems.