Conservation & Science Staff Bios
Lisa Faust, Ph.D.
Vice President of Conservation and Science
Lincoln Park Zoo
- Ph.D. – Demography, Conservation and Management of Small Populations, University of Illinois
- B.A. – Grinnell College
Areas of Expertise
- Population biology
- Demographic modeling and population viability analyses
- Conservation biology of African elephants, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes and other focal species
- Demographic and genetic management of zoo and aquarium populations
- Structured decision making in conservation planning
- Software development for population biology
About Lisa Faust:
Since summer 2012 Lisa has been the vice president of Lincoln Park Zoo’s Conservation & Science Department. In this role she oversees the zoo’s discipline-oriented research centers, which conduct an array of research efforts locally and globally, including research in wildlife health and disease studies, population biology and management, animal behavior and welfare, and urban ecology. Collectively these efforts aim at understanding and conserving animals in zoos and in the wild.
Previously chair of the Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology, Lisa focuses on using demographic computer models as tools to improve the management and conservation of wildlife populations. This focus has led to work with a wide-ranging set of species, including African and Asian elephants maintained in North American zoos, apes in African sanctuaries, African elephants in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania, domestic dogs around Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, and eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in the United States. Her research also involves comparative analysis of demographic patterns across populations. Most recently, she has become interested in using structured decision making to improve conservation decisions.
Lisa also devotes time to creating tools to improve the management of zoo populations. She led the development of PopLink, a software program for management and analysis of studbook data, and is a co-developer of ZooRisk, risk-assessment software for zoo populations. Most recently, she is leading a project to develop a monitoring system, PMCTrack. This will enable the zoo community to track the outcomes of management recommendations made for cooperative-breeding programs with the ultimate goal of improving management actions.
Lisa is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) Small Population Management Advisory Group, a course administrator for the AZA’s Population Management II professional-development courses and an advisor to the AZA Population Management Center. She is a member of the AZA's Research and Technology Committee, serves as field conservation advisor for the Eastern Massasauga Species Survival Plan® and serves on the Illinois Recovery Planning Team for Blanding’s Turtles. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Lisa’s dissertation research focused on applied demography for the management and conservation of captive and wild populations. She has worked in conservation and science at Lincoln Park Zoo in various capacities since 1998. When not buried in computer models, Lisa enjoys travel, cooking, fiction and getting out into the wilderness.