Giraffe Conservation Alliance Advisory Panel

Behavior Analysis

Dr. Susan Friedman

susan bio.jpg

Dr. Susan G. Friedman is a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to animals in human care. ABA, with its roots in human learning, offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that can improve the lives of all learners. Students from 31 different countries have participated in Susan's online courses such as Living and Learning for Professionals. She has written chapters on learning and behavior for three veterinary texts and is a contributor to popular magazines. Her articles appear around the world in thirteen languages. Susan has presented seminars for a wide variety of professional organizations around the world, including the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association, Moorpark College Exotic Animal Training and Management program, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Clicker Expo. She has been nominated for the Media Award given by the International Association of Behavior Analysis for her efforts to disseminate to pet owners, veterinarians, animal trainers and zookeepers the essential tools they need to empower and enrich the lives of the animals in their care. Learn more about Susan and her work here:

Ken Ramirez, MS

Conservation Psychology

Joey Schmitt, MA


Originally from Chicago, Joey has a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University along with minors in Environmental Studies and Business Administration.  In 2014, he earned a master's degree in Experimental Psychology, with a focus in Conservation Psychology from California State University San Marcos.  His graduate research focused on using social norms to encourage environmentally friendly behaviors; specifically, reduced electricity consumption in suburban single family homes.  During his time in graduate school he was the graduate teaching assistant for an Environmental Psychology course where research was conducted at the local zoo and safari park.  He was also awarded the Graduate Dean's Award for outstanding graduate research.

Currently, he resides in San Diego County and is a Project Manager at Action Research.  In his role as a Project Manager he oversees multiple behavior change projects that promote clean, healthy, and sustainable communities across the country.  He is also actively involved in the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division 34, Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology.

In-situ Field Research

John Doherty

John Doherty is a member of the Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Environmental Economics research cluster in the School of Biological Sciences at Queen's University Belfast. He has degrees from the Universities of Oxford and Pretoria and a postgraduate certificate of education from the University of Bristol. John has worked, studied and travelled extensively in eastern and southern Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Iberian peninsula, Britain, Ireland, Norway and the High Arctic, focusing especially on species conservation, the management of protected areas, wildlife conservation within human-dominated landscapes and environmental education. John is the coordinator of the Reticulated Giraffe Project, a partnership between Queen's University Belfast and the Kenya Wildlife Service. Reticulated giraffes have declined by more than 80% since 1998 and they are now critically endangered: John and his team are working to address this through a combination of research into the animals' behavior, ecology and population dynamics with education, awareness generation and the provision to policy makers and stakeholders of reliable information and advice.

Zoe Muller

Zoe Muller has been actively involved with giraffe conservation and research in Africa since 2005.  In 2010 she launched the Rothschild’s Giraffe Project; the first fully comprehensive, scientific study of this Endangered giraffe subspecies to be carried out in the wild.  In 2013 she founded the Giraffe Research & Conservation Trust, which is Africa’s first charitable organization dedicated to giraffe conservation.  Zoe is a member of the IUCN SSC Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group, a Research Associate of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and a member of the Kenya Wildlife Service National Giraffe Conservation Task Force for Kenya.  Passionate about giraffes and securing a future for them in the wild, Zoe’s work focuses on behavior, ecology, education and community-led approaches to conservation.  She is currently finishing a PhD in giraffe behavior and ecology through the University of Bristol. 


Alison Reid

Social Psychology

Dr. Rick Gibbons

Taxonomy, Geographic Variation, Conservation Policy

Dr. Russell Seymour