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Vanthomme, Hadrien

Former Conservation Biologist

Hadrien Vanthomme is a conservation biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation and Sustainability. The center engages in world-class science education; provides business and industry with science-based solutions for minimizing their impact on biodiversity; and develops innovative and strategic conservation partnerships that result in science-based conservation solutions. Besides the management of biodiversity studies, Dr. Vanthomme focuses on innovative landscape approaches to conservation using new technology, remote sensing, and participatory approaches to define optimal strategies that preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide.

As a camera trapping and drone enthusiast, Dr. Vanthomme led various studies using technology to better understand African mammal movements and distribution in response to human disturbances. He is also one of the creator of the Smithsonian Working Landscape Simulator, an innovative tool that combines scenario planning, cost-benefit analysis, participatory assessment of ecosystem services, and cutting-edge landscape modelling techniques to evaluate the environmental impacts of alternative future options for the development of a territory.

Dr. Vanthomme obtained his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 in Nantes, France. Passionate about conservation biology, he earned in 2004 a Master of Science degree from the University of Tours, France, and his doctorate in resources and ecosystem management from the National Museum of Natural History of Paris in 2010. His doctoral study of the socioecological aspect of traditional hunting in the Central African Republic would decisively influence his approach of conservation biology, mixing social science with ecology.

Starting as a veterinarian, Dr. Vanthomme expanded his focus from the animal to the species, and now focuses on the large scale, complex interactions between human societies and ecosystems. He believes conservation scientists have an important role to play in providing to society the tools to understand complex socio-ecological interactions and help decision makers choose the best path ahead.

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