Rob Atkinson

After graduating in Biological Sciences from London University, Rob Atkinson started his career at London Zoo where his duties included work as an elephant keeper. He moved into academia and was awarded an MSc and a doctorate in behavioural ecology at Oxford University. He was Head of the Animal Department at Woburn Safari Park (a collection that included elephants) and then Head of Wildlife at the RSPCA, where one of his first successes was to initiate and fund a project looking at the welfare of elephants in zoos, the first of its kind and scale. He was then appointed Chief Executive Officer of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, and now works as a freelance consultant.

Keith Lindsay

Dr Keith Lindsay is a Canadian-British conservation biologist and environmental consultant based in Oxford, UK, with over 40 years’ professional experience in natural resource conservation and management, and monitoring, evaluation and learning.

His life-long involvement with elephants began in 1977 with the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP) in southern Kenya, and MSc (University of BC, Canada) and PhD (University of Cambridge, UK) research projects on feeding ecology and population demography. He has remained a Collaborating Researcher with AERP, focusing on ecosystem change, elephant ranging, and human-elephant co-existence. His professional work has included assignments in elephant conservation in all regions of Africa and selected countries in Asia. His concerns include the international trade in ivory and live elephants and the welfare of captive elephants in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.


Dr. Lucy Bates

Visiting Researcher, University of Sussex. Lecturer, University of Portsmouth. Director and Board Member, Elephant Specialist Advisory Group (South Africa). Research into elephant cognition, culture, and social behaviour. 20+ publications.

Professor Richard W. Byrne FRSE

Emeritus Professor, St Andrew’s University. Research into elephants’ memory and cognition, evolution of intelligence. Editor/author, 5 books. 290+ publications. British Psychology Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

David Casselman, Esq.

Trial lawyer with long history of successful, high-profile litigation. Adjunct professor, two US Schools of Law. Litigation includes animal protection, including elephants. Founder, one-million-acres Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary. CEO, Ecoflix films.

Dr. Ros Clubb

Co-author: A review of the welfare of zoo elephants in Europe. Published on welfare of captive elephants, other species, including in Nature, Science. Former member, Zoos Expert Committee. Member, UK Elephant Welfare Group.

Dr. Marion Garaï

Studies on captive and wild elephants for 35+ years. 40+ publications. Chair/Trustee of numerous elephant welfare and conservation organizations including Elephant Specialist Advisory Group (SA), Elephant Reintegration Trust. Co-author: The Asian Elephant in Captivity. AfESG*.

Georgina Groves

15 years+ advising hundreds of zoos, government, NGOs worldwide on welfare: best practice, assessment, accreditation. Former Executive Director, Wild Welfare. Former Zoo Biologist, BIAZA. Conducted 2010 BIAZA elephant welfare assessment. Contributor, BIAZA’s 2010 elephant management guidelines.

David Hancocks

Former director Woodland Park Zoo, Melbourne Zoo. Architect Master Plan PAWS 2000 Sanctuary, California. Author: A Different Nature. Co-editor: An Elephant in the room: the science and well-being of elephants in captivity.

Professor Bob Jacobs

Professor of Neuroscience, Colorado College. Research on neuromorphology of different species including elephants. Pioneered work on the possible neural consequences of impoverished, captive environments on large-brained animals, including elephants. 60+ publications.

Ron Kagan

EO, Detroit Zoological Society (retired). Eight award-winning zoo exhibits. Ten award-winning conservation documentaries. Numerous museum and zoo scientific and policy papers. Founder: Berman Academy for Humane Education; Center for Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare and Ethics.

Lisa F. Cane, Esq.

US attorney who successfully lobbied for the transfer of two solitary elephants from zoos to sanctuaries. Co-editor: An Elephant in the room: the science and well-being of elephants in captivity.

Dr. Winnie Kiiru

Leading Kenyan conservationist, 20+ years. Research on wild elephant/human interactions. Studies of captive elephants. Board, Amboseli Trust for Elephants. Founder, Conservation Kenya. Chair, Friends of Karura Forest. AfESG*.

Dr. M. Ananda Kumar

Scientist, Nature Conservation Foundation. 20+ years research: habitat. human-wild elephant interactions. Initiated Elephant Information Network of stakeholders in human-elephant conflict. 20+ publications. Awards include Whitley; Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation. AsESG*.

Professor Phyllis Lee

Director of Science, Amboseli Elephant Research Project. Emeritus Professor in Psychology, University of Stirling. 40+ years research on elephants and other species, including captive welfare and human-elephant interactions. 170+ publications. Authored and edited 5 books

Dr Khyne U Mar

Former coordinator, Myanmar Timber Elephant Project, at the University of Sheffield. Long-term study of the captive elephants of Myanmar. Thirty scientific publications on Asian elephant welfare. AsESG*.

Professor Karen McComb

Professor of Animal Behaviour and Cognition, University of Sussex. 20+ years of studying elephant communication and cognition. Pioneering research on importance of matriarchs as repositories of social information. 80+ publications.

Dr. Lori Moreno

Executive Director, Kimmela Center for Scholarship-based Animal Advocacy. President, Whale Sanctuary Project. Neuroscientist and expert in animal behaviour, focussing on effects of captivity on high-cognition wildlife, including the well-being of captive elephants. 100+ publications

Dr. Cynthia Moss

Founder/Director, 50-year Amboseli Elephant Research Project. 100+ publications on elephant society/ behaviour. Author: Portraits in the Wild, Elephant Memories, Echo of the Elephants, The Amboseli Elephants. Six well-received, influential documentaries on wild elephants’ lives

Dr. Joyce Poole

Co-Founder / Scientific Director, ElephantVoices. 46+ years’ research on wild African elephants. 60+ publications. Co-creator of The Elephant Ethogram. Former Head, Kenya Wildlife Service Elephant Programme. AfESG*.

Ian Redmond OBE

Wildlife biologist & conservationist. First to study Mt Elgon underground elephants. Surveyed UK zoo and circus elephants. Co-founder, Elefriends. Director, Save the Asian Elephants. Head of Conservation, Ecoflix. Co-founder, Rebalance Earth.

Dr. Paul A Rees.

Senior Lecturer, University of Salford, (retired). Author: Elephants under human care; An introduction to zoo biology and management; Dictionary of zoo biology and animal management. Introduced UK’s first undergraduate zoo biology program.

Belinda Stewart-Cox OBE

Senior Conservation Advisor, British Asian Trust with Elephant Family. Founder/Executivedirector, Elephant Conservation Network. Achieved UNESCO Heritage Site status for two wildlife refuges, first in mainland SE Asia. Author: Wild Thailand. AsESG*

Dr. Tom Tew

Former Head of UK CITES Scientific Authority and government advisor on wildlife trade, including in live elephants and ivory. Former Chief Scientist, Natural England. Founder & CEO NatureSpace. Board Trustee National Trust.

Professor Ronald B. Tobias

Montana State University. Author: Behemoth: the history of the elephant in America and 6 others. Producer, Discovery Channel, 15 years. Produced, written, and directed 30+ natural history films.

Surendra Varma

Senior Scientist, Asian Nature Conservation Foundation. 30 years, habitat and elephant population surveys. Population surveys and welfare assessments of captive Asian elephants. 20+ publications. AsESG*

Dr. Amirtharaj Christy Williams

Led WWF work on Asian elephants and rhinos for nearly 20 years. Co-founder, Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant. Author: Tipu, Sultan of the Siwaliks. 30+ scientific publications. Currently Director of Land Conservation in NEOM. AsESG*


*AfESG – Member of African Elephant Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). AsESG – Member of Asian Elephant Specialist Group of the SSC of IUCN.