Meet the Conservation Science Alliance Team

Dalia A. Conde, PhD

Director of Science

Associate Professor Dalia Conde is the Director of Science at Species360, where she puts her wealth of research experience to uncover the conservation potential of the ZIMS species-database. Prof. Conde’s scientific background includes field work with jaguars, pronghorn and bighorn sheep in Mexico, landscape ecology, species demography, and conservation genetics. Her research on conservation and biodiversity has been published in high impact factor journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Current Biology, and Science, in addition to other journals. Alongside her work with Species360, Prof. Conde leads the Conservation Demography research area at the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics (CPop) at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). In her free time, she enjoys swimming and spending time with her husband and daughter.

To learn more about Dr. Conde’s journey to become a wildlife data-scientist, read our blog post at https://www.species360.org/2017/07/become-wildlife-data-scientist/

Andrew Teare, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Andrew Teare has more than 20 years’ experience as a zoo veterinarian, but also has a programming background and has always been interested in the benefits that could be gained by combining standardized information across zoological institutions; particularly medical data.  He built the first computerized studbook system in 1984 (Omaha studbook program) that could calculate inbreeding coefficients and founder percentages directly from the database pedigree information.  Briefly leaving zoo medicine, he worked for the International Species Information System (currently Species360) from 1986 to 1988 on the design and early construction phases of the MedARKS software package, before returning to zoo medicine. MedARKS became the de-facto standard for electronic health records in the zoological community and was used by more than 200 zoos on 5 continents to keep animal medical data in a common format.

In 2012 Andrew joined Species360 to lead the programming team that built the medical module for the ZIMS software and migrated more than 30 years of MedARKS data into the new global database. He helped win a 3-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2014 to design and build global resources for the zoo community that would be based on medical data extracted from the ZIMS database. The Drug Usage Extracts, based on ZIMS prescription record data, launched in June 2015, followed by Anesthesia Summaries (Apr 2016), Common Clinical Issues (Jan 2017) and Expected Test Results (Sep 2017). The most recent iterations of these unique global resources are constructed from over 15 million records submitted by almost 600 institutions around the world; regular updates ensure that the resources grows and stays relevant as the ZIMS database grows.

Dr. Teare hopes to continue to improve all aspects of animal care by building resources constructed from shared information to fill knowledge gaps for the community.

Rita da Silva, PhD

Aquatic Scientist Coordinator

Dr. Rita da Silva is a PostDoc researcher working at the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). She has a master’s degree in environmental biology from the University of Southern Denmark. Her doctoral thesis  focused on the power of using demographic data to inform conservation management practices for turtles, tortoises, fish and corals, including mapping their survival trajectories. Rita is passionate about ocean conservation and marine life, and has done research with octopus, zebra fish and other marine life. She grew up swimming and lifeguarding on the Portuguese coast, and in her free time enjoys reading, swimming and traveling.

In 2020, she was awarded a Villum International Postdoc grant of 2.5 million DKK (~360k US dollars) to develop the project Submerging into demography: a new perspective to inform the conservation of aquatic species.

Learn more about Rita’s work at:

  • University of Southern Denmark (SDU) Profile page
  • Research Gate: Rita Da Silva
  • Can aquariums save corals? (Species360 ebook)
  • Tortoises rescued from illegal wildlife trade (Video)

Johanna Staerk, PhD

PostDoc research scientist

Dr. Johanna Staerk is a postdoctoral research associate and member of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance. She also conducts research on behalf of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics and the Department of Biology at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

Johanna has a Master in Neurobiology and Behavior, where she studied the social networks of zoo-held gorilla populations and became interested in zoo conservation biology. During her PhD at the Max Planck Odense Centre for Demographic Research she worked on species conservation, applying demographic methods to improve conservation assessments and decision-making. Now, as part of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance she is curious how the wealth of demographic data in the Species360 ZIMS database can fill knowledge gaps for conservation and to improve species management.

Learn more about Johanna’s work at:

Morgane Tidière, PhD

PostDoc research scientist

Dr. Morgane Tidière is a postdoctoral researcher working at the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance with a Grant from the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics (CPop) at the University of Southern Denmark. She is working on an NIH project on sex differences in survival across the tree of life and species survival improvement under human care and its applications for species conservation.

After an international Master in “Ecology and Evolutionary Biology” in France and “Environmental Biology” in Italy, Morgane focused on studing the relationship between sexual selection strength and senescence variability in males of large ungulate species.

Dr. Morgane Tidière did her Ph.D. at the Laboratory of Biometry and Evolutionary Biologyat the University of Lyonin France, where she studied the diversity of actuarial senescence across mammals using demographic data from Species360 members. Her work has highlighted how a species pace of life is a critical factor to consider to improve the benefit of a mammalian species under human care. Additionally, Morgane did a postdoc at the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (Norway) studying the allometric problematic of horn length in bovids. At the LabEx ECOFECT (France), she worked on understanding the influence of the parasite richness on the evolution of mammalian longevity and senescence. Dr. Morgane Tidière has been and will continue working on assessing management improvement across taxa in zoo populations, working on demographic data from ruffed lemurs and tigers living in captivity. Her studies will shed light on how individual factors explain the variability of actuarial and reproductive senescence patterns in these taxa. Dr. Morgane is convinced that by understanding how nature works, we can protect it, therefore she is part of the “Project Pangolin”.

 

Jim Guenter, CEO

Jim joined Species360 as CEO in 2015, bringing a focus on using data science and analytics to improve the care and conservation of wildlife. He leads initiatives to secure the funding, collaborative partnerships, and support that make the Conservation Science Alliance successful. Jim also leads ongoing growth of Species360 in improving the care and welfare of wildlife worldwide.

Before joining Species360, Jim served in technology leadership roles for major US corporations including Target.com, Best Buy, and Accenture. He also served 5 years in the US Army.

 

 

 

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