Start receiving our award-winning magazine today!


Our Scientists



Lead Scientist

M. Sanjayan is the lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, where he specializes in human well-being and conservation, Africa, wildlife ecology and media outreach and public speaking on conservation issues.

In addition to being the Conservancy’s lead scientist, Sanjayan holds a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has a research faculty appointment with the Wildlife Program at the University of Montana.  He was recently named science and environmental contributor for CBS News.

Read Sanjayan's Full Biography

Sanjayan's Latest



Sanjayan, M.A.. "Poverty and Ecosystem Services." (essay) In, The Atlas of Global Conservation: changes, challenges, and opportunities to make a difference, J. Molnar, editor. University of California Press; 2010.

Brodie, J.; Sanjayan, M.; Corea, R.; Helmy, O.; Amarasiri, C. Effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami on Sea Turtle Populations in Sri Lanka. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 7(2): 249-251; 2008.

Sanjayan, M.A. "Does a slowing economy mean more conservation? Not necessarily…." Anderson Cooper CNN. 11 Dec. 2008.

Sanjayan, M.A. “Commentary: What unites James Bond and dead monkeys.” Planet in Peril CNN. 8 Dec. 2008.

Kauffman, M.J.; Sanjayan, M.; Lowenstein, J.; Nelson, A.; Jeo, R.M.; Crooks, K.R. Remote camera-trap methods and analyses reveal impacts of rangeland management on Namibian carnivore communities. Oryx 41(1): 70-78; 2007

Crooks, K.; Sanjayan, M., editors. Connectivity Conservation. Cambridge University Press; 2006.

Balmford, A.; Bennun, L.; ten Brink, B.; Cooper, D.; Côte, I.M.; Crane, P.; Dobson, A.; Dudley, N.; Dutton, I.; Green, R.E.; Gregory, R.D.; Harrison, J.; Kennedy, E.T.; Kremen, C.; Leader-Williams, N.; Lovejoy, T.E.; Mace, G.; May, R.; Mayaux, P.; Morling, P.; Phillips, J.; Redford, K.; Ricketts, T.H.; Rodríguez, J.P.;Sanjayan, M.; Schei, P.J.; van Jaarsveld, A.S.; Walther, B.A. The Convention on Biological Diversity's 2010 Target. Science 307: 212-213; 2005.

Redford, K.; Sanjayan, M.A. Retiring Cassandra. Conservation Biology 17(6): 1473-1474; 2003.

Sanjayan, M. A.; Crooks, K.R. Missing Linkages: Reconnecting a Fragmented Landscape. In, Nature in Fragments, Columbia University Press; 2002

Sanjayan, M.A.; Jeo, R.; Sizemore, D. A Conservation Area Design for the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Round River Conservation Studies, Salt Lake City, 1999.

Crooks, K.R.; Sanjayan, M.A.; Doak, D.F. New insights on cheetah conservation through demographic modeling. Conservation Biology 12 (4): 889-895; 1998.

Soulé, M.E.; Sanjayan, M.A. Conservation Targets: Do They Help? Science 279: 2060-2061; 1998.

Sanjayan, M.A.; Shen, S.; Jansen, M. Experience with Integrated-Conservation Development Projects in Asia. World Bank Technical Paper 388:1-41; 1997.

Sanjayan, M.A.; Crooks, K.R. Skin grafts and cheetahs. Nature 381: 566-566; 1996.

Sanjayan, M. A.; Crooks, K.R.; Zegers, G.; et al. Genetic variation and the immune response in natural populations of pocket gophers. Conservation Biology 10(6): 1519-1527; 1996.

Kremen, C.; Colwell, R.K.; Erwin, T. L.; Noss, R.; Sanjayan, M. Terrestrial arthropod assemblages: Their use in conservation planning. Conservation Biology 7(4): 796-808; 1993.

Sanjayan's scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature, and Conservation Biology, and he co-edited the book Connectivity Conservation (Cambridge University Press, 2006). He frequently speaks at internationally recognized venues, including the World Forum on Sustainable Development, International Women’s Forum, and TED Global 2010. He is a Catto Fellow with the Aspen Institute.

Sanjayan’s work has received extensive print media coverage — from Vanity Fair to National Geographic Adventure, Outside to The New York Times. In 2007, he was named and featured as one of Men’s Journal's “Heroes of 2007.” He is a frequent guest on NBC’s Today Show and has appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

He has also co-hosted documentaries for the Discovery Channel (Mysteries of the Shark Coast, Expedition Alaska), BBC (Wildlife in a War-Zone), and was featured in National Geographic TV (Earth Report 2009). His four-part series on energy for Discovery Channel (Powering the Future) aired in July 2010.

In May 2012, CBS News named Sanjayan its science and environmental contributor.

Sanjayan will be featured in Showtime's upcoming documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously,  set to air in 2014.

When not at work, Sanjayan can be found either trekking in Africa or fly-fishing in Western Montana, where he tries to live.

Awards: Catto Fellow, Aspen Institute; Past Elected Governor Society for Conservation Biology


M. Sanjayan

Connect with Sanjayan

Follow Sanjayan on Twitter

Catch up on Sanjayan's latest essays on The Huffington Post

Media Contact: Sandra Rodriguez

Areas of Expertise

  • Human well-being and conservation
  • Africa
  • Wildlife ecology
  • Media outreach
  • Public speaking on conservation issues

We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

More Ratings

x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Get our e-newsletter filled with eco-tips and info on the places you care about most.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

We respect your privacy. The Nature Conservancy will not sell, rent or exchange your e-mail address. Read our full privacy policy for more information. By submitting this form, you agree to the terms of use.