The Catholic University of America

Sept. 18, 2013

Keynote to Highlight Wildlife Conservation

On Friday, Sept. 20, the Department of Biology will hold its annual research symposium with a keynote address by Steven L. Monfort, director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) at the National Zoological Park. Monfort will talk about “Smithsonian Conservation Science — Saving Species on the Brink” at 1:30 p.m. in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Great Room.

Monfort is an international authority in zoo and conservation biology. Throughout his career he has worked to save species and habitats and restore animals to the wild. He has been with the Smithsonian since 1986 in a variety of capacities including veterinarian, research scientist, educator, conservationist, and executive-level administrator.

In 2010, he became the first director of the newly created SCBI, which was established to serve as an umbrella for the Smithsonian’s global effort to conserve species and train future generations of conservationists.

Monfort helped pioneer noninvasive endocrine monitoring techniques that are now widely used for assessing reproductive status and well-being of wildlife species in zoos and in nature. He co-founded the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, an in-residence program at SCBI with the mission of “sustaining global biodiversity by advancing the theory and practice of conservation biology with transformative, transdisciplinary education.”

He is also the founder of a number of important worldwide conservation initiatives, including the Conservation Center for Species Survival, the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, and the Global Tiger Initiative.

“Dr. Monfort’s talk promises to have an appeal well beyond those who study biology,” said Frank Portugal, clinical associate professor and director of the M.S. in biotechnology program for the biology department.

Students at Catholic University tend to be imbued with a strong sense of caring and social justice. I expect the University community to be particularly responsive to Dr. Monfort’s discussion of efforts to conserve wildlife,” added Portugal who organized the biology department’s symposium with fellow biology faculty member Ekaterina Nestorovich.

The research symposium highlights the research conducted in the biology department. The symposium will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The one-hour keynote is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will follow. Individuals requesting accommodations for disabilities should contact

MEDIA: To cover the conference, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy Hines in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.




More news from CUA