Dr Alexandra Zimmermann

B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc., D.Phil.

Head of Conservation Science

Senior Research Associate, WildCRU, University of Oxford
Chair, IUCN-SSC Task Force on Human-Wildlife Conflict

As Head of Conservation Science I focus on the R&D (research & development) side of our field programmes and impact strategy aspects of our conservation mission. I joined Chester Zoo in 2000 with a particular interest in organisational strategy and the role of zoos in conservation, later lead-editing the book “Zoos in the 21st Century” (Cambridge University Press).

I am partly based at Oxford University as a Senior Research Associate at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). My main specialization is human-wildlife conflict (HWC), and I am the founding Chair of the IUCN-SSC Task Force on Human-Wildlife Conflict, as well as a Member of the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group and the Asian Elephant Specialist Group. 

I work particularly on conflict analysis, and community-based social initiatives focussing on livelihoods, poverty, and behaviour change. My research typically involves studying the underlying social, cultural and political drivers of conflict and developing strategies that transfer capacity and decision-making to the affected stakeholders.

Having founded our Assam Haathi Project in India, created our Living with Tigers Project in Nepal, developed our project for Andean Bears in Bolivia, studied Jaguar conflict across seven countries of Latin America, and led Chester’s four Darwin Initiative grants, my team and I are currently developing several further exciting initiatives in human-wildlife conflict, livelihoods and sustainable development, and ecological research around the world.

Partners and Collaborators

  • Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford
  • IUCN Species Survival Commission
  • Green Governance Nepal
  • Ecosystems-India
  • Prometa Bolivia

Key publications

Zimmermann, A., (2014). Jaguars and people: a range‐wide analysis of human‐wildlife conflict. D.Phil. Thesis. Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Zoology Department, University of Oxford.

Wilson, S., Davies, T.E., Hazarika, N. & Zimmermann, A. (2013) Understanding Patterns of Human-Elephant Conflict in Assam: An Analysis to Inform Mitigation Strategies. Oryx.

Chartier, L., Zimmermann, A. & Ladle, R.J. (2011). Habitat loss and human–elephant conflict in Assam, India: does a critical threshold exist?. Oryx. 45 (04): 528-533.

Davies, T. E., Wilson, S., Hazarika, N., Chakrabarty, J., Das, D., Hodgson, D. J. & Zimmermann, A. (2011), Effectiveness of intervention methods against crop-raiding elephants. Conservation Letters. 4: 346-354

Zimmermann, A., Baker, N., Inskip, C. Linnell, J.D.C., Marchini, S., Odden J., Rasmussen G. & Treves, A. (2010) Contemporary views of human-carnivore conflicts on wild rangelands. In: Wild Rangelands: Conserving Wildlife While Maintaining Livestock in Semi-Arid Ecosystems. Editors: J. du Toit, R. Kock & J.C. Deutsch. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. 129-151.

Cavalcanti, S., Marchini, S., Zimmermann, A. , Gese, E.M. & Macdonald, D.W. (2010). Jaguars, livestock and people in Brazil: reality and perceptions behind the conflict. Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids. Eds D.W. Macdonald & A.J. Loveridge. Oxford University Press. Oxford UK. 383-402

Zimmermann, A. (2010). The role of zoos in contributing to in situ conservation. In: Wild Mammals in Captivity. D. Kleiman. et al. (Ed). Chicago University Press, Chicago. USA.

Inskip, C. & Zimmermann, A. (2009). Human-Felid Conflict: A Review of Patterns & Priorities Worldwide. Oryx 43 (1): 1-17.

Zimmermann, A., Davies, T.E., Hazarika, N., Wilson, S., Chakrabarty, J., Hazarika, B. & Das, JC. (2009). Community-based human-elephant conflict management in Assam. Gajah. IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group. 30: 34-40.

Zimmermann, A., Hatchwell,M., Dickie,L. & West, C. (2007) Zoos in the 21st Century: Catalysts for Conservation? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK.

Zimmermann, A. & Wilkinson, R. (2007). The conservation mission in the wild: Zoos as conservation NGOs. In: Zoos in the 21st Century: Catalysts for Conservation? Ed. A. Zimmermann et al. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK. pp. 303-321

Leader-Williams, N., Balmford, A., Linke, M., Mace, G., Smith, R.J., Stevenson, M. Walter, O., West, Cd., & Zimmermann. (2007). Beyond the ark: Conservation biologists’ views of the achievements of zoos in conservation. In: Zoos in the 21st Century: Catalysts for Conservation? Ed. A. Zimmermann et al. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK. pp.236-256.

Mace, G., Balmford, A., Leader-Williams, N., Manica, A., Walter, O., West, C., & Zimmermann, A. (2007) Measuring zoos’ contributions to conservation: A proposal and trial. In: Zoos in the 21st Century: Catalysts for Conservation? Ed. A. Zimmermann et al. Cambridge University Press, pp. 322-342

Balmford, A., Leader-Williams, N., Mace, G., Manica, A., Walter, O., West, C., & Zimmermann, A. (2007) Message received? Quantifying the conservation education impact of UK zoos. In: Zoos in the 21st Century: Catalysts for Conservation? Ed. A. Zimmermann et al. Cambridge University Press, pp. 120-138.

Zimmermann, A., Walpole, M. J., & Leader-Williams, N. (2005) Cattle ranchers’ attitudes to conflicts with jaguars in the Pantanal of Brazil. Oryx. 39 (4): 406-412.

Projects I'm involved in

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