James L. David Smith

James L. David Smith

Professor, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Phone: 612-624-5369
Email: [email protected]
Ph. D. University of Minnesota

Research Associates

  • Som Ale

Current Students

Samantha Helle
M.S. Natural Resources Science & Management; Wildlife Ecology & Management
Human-Tiger Conflict Mitigation 
M.S. Thesis (2019): Gendered Coping Mechanisms for Human-Tiger Conflict Chitwan National Park, Nepal

In a collaborative project with Nepal's National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and Women Acting Together For Change (WATCH), Samantha's research explores how socially constructed gender roles play a part in human-tiger conflict risk around Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Increased attacks  by tigers in buffer zone community forests has resulted in the loss of human life and the removal of adult tigers from the forest. Working with communities in conflict hot-spots, this research investigates what current strategies forest-dependent men and women use to prevent conflicts with tigers. This research is a participatory conservation initiative with the the following goals (1) empowering women and men who depend on tiger-shared jungle to use the forest safely and share their existing knowledge with others, (2) inform collaboratively planned conflict-prevention trainings with existing local-level knowledge on this issue, and (3) reduce conflicts in Chitwan's buffer zone community forests to protect tigers and local people.

Former Graduates

  • Adam Barlow, Ph.D. candidate, Conservation Biology
    Tiger survey methods and conservation of tigers in Bangladesh
    M.S. Thesis (2004): Monitoring Wild Tiger (Panthera Tigris) Populations: Lessons From a Long-Term Camera Trapping Study in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal.

  • Passanan Cutter, M.S. candidate, Conservation Biology
    Ecology and Conservation of Fishing Cats in Thailand

  • Peter G. Cutter, Ph.D. candidate, Conservation Biology
    Landscape-scale Wildlife Monitoring and Conservation Planning in Thailand and Cambodia

  • Narayan Dhakal, Ph.D. candidate, Conservation Biology
    Community-based Conservation Approaches to Tiger Conservation in Nepal

  • Sun Hean, Ph.D. candidate, Conservation Biology
    Evaluation of Ecosystem Services in Southwest Cambodia: Implications for Conservation and Development Planning
    M.S. Thesis (2000): Status of the Tiger and Its Conversation in Cambodia

  • Purevjav Lkhagvajav, M.S. candidate, Conservation Biology
    Ecology and Conservation of Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) in Southern Mongolia

  • Bhim Gurung,
    Ph.D. Thesis (2008): Ecological and Sociological Aspects of Human-Tiger Conflicts in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
    M.S. Thesis (2003): Mapping the Meta-Population Structure of Tigers Throughout Nepal By Establishing a Tiger Monitoring Network of "Village Rangers."

  • Anup Joshi
    PhD, 1996: The Home Range, Feeding Habits, and Social Organization of the Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus) in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal

  • Kathleen Conforti
    MS, 1996: The Status and Distribution of Small Carnivores in Huai Kha Khaeng/Thung Yai Wildlife Sanctuaries, Central West Thailand

  • Theerapat Prayurasidhi
    PhD, 1997: The Ecological Separation of Gaur (Bos gaurus) and Banteng (Bos javanicus) in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand

  • John Kenny
    M.S., Conservation Biology

  • James Drake
    MS, 1998: The Effect of Conservation Reverse Program Grasslands on Ring-Necked Pheasent and Meadowlark Abundance.

  • Sharada Joshi
    MS, 1999: A Socio-Economic Analysis of Residents in the Buffer Zone of Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal

  • Terilyn Allendorf
    PhD, 1999: Local Residents' Perceptions of Protected Areas in Nepal: Beyond Conflicts and Economics.

  • Jai Ranganathan
    MS, 2002: Beyond Pugmarks and Tiger Conservation Units: Where Can Tigers Survive in the Indian Subcontinent? Consequences of the Distribution of Forest and Protected Areas Across the Landscape

  • Paul Elkan
    PhD, 2003:  Ecology and Conservation of Bongo Antelope (Tragelaphus eurycerus) in Lowland Forest, Northern Republic of Congo

  • Mahendra Shresta
    PhD, 2005: Relative ungulate abundance in a fragmented landscape: implications for tiger conservation

  • Shujin Luo
    PhD, 2006: Comparative phylogeography of sympatric wild cats:
    implications for biogeography and conservation in Asian biodiversity hotspots