Dr. Steve Monfort
John and Adrienne Mars director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Dr. Steve Monfort is the John and Adrienne Mars director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. At the National Zoo in Washington DC, Steve oversees a collection of more than 2,000 animals, representing nearly 400 species.
He also directs the Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA, where scientists study and breed more than 25 species, including some that were once extinct in the wild, like the black-footed ferret and the scimitar-horned oryx. More than 300 National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute scientists and their partners are working to save species in more than 25 countries.
As a scientist, Steve was an early innovator in developing noninvasive hormone monitoring techniques that are now widely used for assessing reproductive status and well-being of wildlife species in zoos and in the wild.
Additionally, he founded the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation and helped catalyze and launch a number of significant conservation initiatives, including the Sahara Conservation Fund, Conservation Centers for Species Survival, Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, and the Global Tiger Initiative.
Steve received a B.A. from the University of California San Diego, D.V.M. and M.S. degrees from the University of California Davis, and a Ph.D. from George Mason University.