Smithsonian Global

Peter Leimgruber

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Photo courtesy of Peter Leimgruber.


Recent Publications



Peter Leimgruber is a landscape ecologist and conservation biologist studying biodiversity conservation of extinction-prone species including Asian elephant, Mongolian gazelle, Przewalski’s horse, tiger, and giant panda.

He heads the Conservation Ecology Center (CEC) at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.  CEC scientists conduct basic and applied research to save species. Peter also directs the CEC’s Conservation GIS Lab. A major focus of his work is conserving mobile and migratory species that spend most of their lifecycles outside protected areas. 

Peter and his team use Geographic Information Systems (GIS), satellite mapping, satellite tracking, and remote sensing to track the movements of highly mobile species. They use these technologies to assess habitat needs, determine how human and climate-induced changes affect the species’ habitat, and develop appropriate conservation strategies.

In the last 15 years, Peter and his lab have provided academic and practice-oriented training to conservation professionals and students, including six postdoctoral students, seven graduate students, 104 interns, and over 700 short-term trainees. Peter leads SCBI’s training and capacity-building efforts in conservation GIS. Peter received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma.


Using Satellite Technology to Track and Conserve Asian Elephants in Myanmar   Active

Smithsonian scientists are using satellite technology to better understand how we can conserve the critically endangered Asian elephant.