Joyce Poole is Co-Founder of ElephantVoices. She has a Ph.D. in elephant behavior from Cambridge University, and has studied the social behavior and communication of elephants for over thirty years, dedicating her life to their conservation and welfare. Her contributions to science include the discovery of musth in male African elephants, the description of the contextual use of elephant vocalizations, including those below the level of human hearing, and the discovery of vocal imitation.
Her finding that ivory poaching destroys the fabric of elephant society was instrumental to the decision to ban the international trade in ivory in 1989. Her understanding of male elephant behavior and the importance of social learning and role models in elephant society have been key to the adoption of more humane elephant management practices. Joyce has written two books, numerous scientific papers and popular articles on the subject of elephant behavior and conservation, and has participated in scores of media projects.
As head of the Elephant Program of Kenya Wildlife Service from 1990-1994, Joyce was responsible for elephant conservation and management throughout Kenya. Her knowledge and enthusiasm inspired many Kenyans who hold key elephant management positions in the country today. In 1996 she was awarded a Smith College Medal for her elephant research, conservation and training in Africa.
She is a renowned elephant researcher and elephant expert who’s devoted to the observation and study and protection of elephants. She is the Director of Research and Conservation for ElephantVoices; the Research Director and Scientific Advisory Committee member of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project and Captive Elephant Management Coalition. She serves on the Advisory Board for Species Survival Network is a Trustee for the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and she is the previous head of Kenya Wildlife Service's Elephant Program. Dr. Poole earned the Certificate of Recognition by the California Legislature Assembly, for tireless efforts in educating people on elephant captivity.
She's served as a Consultant, to IMAX and as the Scientific Advisor Africa’s Elephant Kingdom, Discovery, and as a Consultant to Richard Leakey & Associates in the areas of Training, Lecturing, and Advising for wildlife documentaries. Among other accomplishments, Joyce Poole authored “Coming of Age with Elephants”, (Hyperion Press, 1996; Hodder & Stoughton, 1996). Joyce Poole has been a Consultant for Tanzanian Wildlife Department and the World Wildlife Fund, plus she has served as a Researcher for the African Wildlife Foundation in Assessing effects of poaching on East African elephant populations.
Observing the natural behavior of elephants has been her life's work. Dr Poole also worked in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania assessing the effects of poaching on the age structure and social and reproductive patterns of elephant populations in East Africa. She been an invited speaker to lecture for the National Geographic Society, University of Edinburgh, the Science Museums of the la Caixa Foundation”, Barcelona and has also lectured on Animal Cognition and Communication at Tufts Center for Animals.
Printed Articles and books highlighting her work in Elephant social behavior, communication research and conservation work includes Readers’ Digest, Scientific American, Science, National Geographic Kids, National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Explorer, LA Times, Highlights for Children, Scholastic, The New York Times, Science Times, Science, Science News, Spektrumdirekt, National Geographic News, Kyodo News Washington Bureau, Daily Telegraph, Guardian.
Dr. Poole serves as an Advisory Board member on The Wild capture Awareness project. is a Co-Founder of the Wild Capture Awareness Campaign. Learn more about Joyce Poole at ElephantVoices.