Shifra Goldenferg, Ph.D.
Dr. Shifra Goldenberg serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Research Fellow in Population Sustainability, with a joint appointment as an International Project Manager at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. As a behavioral ecologist, Shifra works to leverage animal behavior to address questions that simultaneously advance basic understanding of animal societies and conservation objectives, primarily conducting research in the field. Most recently, she has been focused on developing and implementing research to inform conservation translocations in Asian and African elephants, which includes understanding social behavior, interactions with humans, and movement strategies.
Shifra earned her bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan, where she studied diatom community dynamics in a freshwater ecosystem and minored in Near Eastern Studies, and her doctorate in Ecology from Colorado State University in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Her dissertation work investigated the behavioral response of African elephants to a period of ivory poaching and natural mortality, including social behavior, nervousness, and movement. She completed a postdoctoral position with the nonprofit organization Save the Elephants and Colorado State University, researching changes in movement strategies across generations in female elephants. She collaborates with partners across nonprofit, government, and academic spheres to inform evidence-based conservation.