Charlotte Hacker presenting her public dissertation defense
Photo: Natalie Hager
Charlotte Hacker, Snow Leopard Conservancy Associate, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled, “Understanding snow leopard (Panthera uncia) population structure, diet, and human dimensions using noninvasive genetic approaches” this past July. Her work as a Research Associate with the Conservancy surrounded the study of livestock depredation by snow leopards in pastoralist communities on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China. While these studies were impacted by COVID-19 and Charlotte’s evacuation from China, they were successfully completed due to conservation capacity building and cooperation between researchers and members of the local community. Study results have been shared via technical reports are in various stages of publication.
Charlotte Hacker during her research study in China using Foxlights to deter predators
Photo: Li Ye
Charlotte received the Bayer Fellowship through Duquesne University to further support her research during the pandemic. She co-developed and served as a snow leopard genetics expert for the Snow Leopard Network’s training initiative, led the creation of standardized research protocols for scat sampling, and shared her work remotely via webinar trainings, podcasts, guest lectures, and conferences.
Charlotte Hacker during her research study in China with a herder’s guard dog
Photo: C. Hacker
Charlotte will move on in her career as a research biologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior. Her role will focus on supporting and providing recommendations for wilderness and wildlife management. She will also remain involved in the snow leopard research community via the Snow Leopard Network and as a lead author on a book chapter surrounding snow leopard genetics.
Charlotte Hacker during her Foxlight study in China with her research team
Photo: C. Hacker
We offer our hearty congratulations to Charlotte and wish her much success as she pursues her career in wildlife biology.