Society for Conservation Biology

A global community of conservation professionals

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Society Staff


Dr. Debborah Luke
Executive Director

202-234-4133 (ext. 7102)

Debborah (Debi) Luke joined SCB in 2017 and has an extensive executive-level background working in a membership services organization and more than 20 years of conservation science, research, and program development and management experience.  She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of South Florida where her research focused on manatee sensory biology. Debi launched the Manatee Care and Research Department while working at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Florida and obtained the first John H. Prescott Grant for the Hawaiian Islands while serving as Director of Education and Research at Sea Life Park in Hawaii.  Most recently, Debi served as the Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as where she was instrumental in initiating SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction, a collaborative science-based conservation program that helps AZA members increase their direct involvement in conservation efforts. 

Warren Sander
Chief Financial Officer

202-234-4133 (ext. 7109)

Warren’s experience extends through both the non-profit and for-profit spheres, encompassing both community-based and international perspectives. Having held senior management positions in banking and higher education, he has most recently served as the CFO of a private non-profit university in Virginia. He earned his MBA from the College of William and Mary, holds a BA in Political Science/International Studies, and has studied extensively in South Korea and mainland China.


Shonda Gilliland Foster
David H. Smith Conservation
Research Fellowship Program Director
202-234-4133 (ext. 7101)

Shonda has coordinated the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program since its move to the Society for Conservation Biology in 2005. She is a graduate of the Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology Master’s program at the University of Maryland, College Park, where her research focused on the valuation of ecosystem services provided by the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System. Originally from Michigan, Shonda received her BA in Social Relations and Political Theory from Michigan State University and then followed that with two years in the congressional office of U.S. Senator Carl Levin before pursuing her graduate studies. 

Nathan Spillman
Membership & Communications Director
202-234-4133 (ext. 7114)

Nate joined SCB in August 2011. Prior associations-related experience includes work for the NAACP and the Community Associations Institute.

Matt Herbert
Membership and Communications Manager
202-234-4133 (ext. 7107)

Matt Herbert joined SCB in April 2015. Prior to joining SCB, Matt was a reporter at Environment and Energy Publishing in Washington D.C. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014 with a BA in journalism and a minor in conservation biology. He has interned at National Geographic and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.


Kathleen Munger
Membership and Communications Program Assistant
202-234-4133 (ext. 7108)



Kathleen graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in government and politics, a minor in international development and conflict management, and a global fellowship in science diplomacy. Before joining SCB she interned at the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Protection Agency. Kathleen has studied, volunteered and worked in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Honduras, Hungary and Myanmar. Most recently, she led adventure and community service trips for high school students in Fiji.

Miriam Hernandez
Administrative Assistant

202-234-4133 (ext. 7106)

Miriam graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Agricultural & Resource Economics and has experience with general administration and front-end financial management. Before joining SCB, she interned with the National Archives in College Park, working with land preservation and conservation. She is also fluent in Spanish, and in her spare time loves to go hiking, kayaking and dancing.

Corinne Leard
Conservation and Science Intern

Corinne Leard graduated from Bucknell University with a BS in Animal Behavior in January 2018. She was previously involved in research focusing on comparative cognition and behavior in non-human primates. She is using her time as an intern with SCB as an opportunity to learn more about the field of conservation biology as she hopes to transition into working in conservation science.

Lélio Adriano
Conservation and Science Intern

Lélio Adriano graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and Finance in December 2017. He has experience with economic research and fundraising from a previous research internship in Vietnam. As one of SCB’s first conservation and science volunteer interns, he is using his time with us as a learning experience, as he is interested in taking elements of the field of conservation biology into the realm of design. Lélio speaks Portuguese, English, French and Vietnamese.

Mark Burgman
Conservation Biology


Mark A. Burgman is Director of the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis in Australia and the Adrienne Clarke Chair of Botany at the University of Melbourne. His research is in ecological modelling, conservation biology, biosecurity and risk assessment. He has worked on models for a broad range of species and regulatory settings including marine fisheries, forestry, irrigation, electrical power utilities, mining, and national park planning.  He received a BSc from the University of New South Wales (1974), an MSc from Macquarie University, Sydney (1981), and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York (1987). He worked as a consultant ecologist and research scientist in Australia, the United States and Switzerland during the 1980’s before joining the University of Melbourne in 1990. He was elected to the Australian Academy of Science and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology in 2006.




Ellen Main
Senior Editor 
Conservation Biology

202-234-4133 (ext. 308)

Ellen Main has worked on Conservation Biology since 1993 as editorial assistant, managing editor, and currently as senior editor. She has a BS in Biology and an MS in scientific communications. Her previous experiences include work on an oceanographic book series, a science-education magazine, and an extracurricular science education program. She works out of her home in Florida.




Frith Jarrad
Managing Editor
Conservation Biology

Frith C. Jarrad joined SCB as Managing Editor in late 2013. Frith has held academic research positions in the fields of conservation biology and ecology at the School of Botany, the University of Melbourne, and the School of Mathematical Sciences, the Queensland University of Technology. She received Bachelor degrees in Science and Forest Science with Honours (2001) and PhD (2009) from the University of Melbourne. Frith is based in Melbourne, Australia.