Knowledge for a Better Tomorrow


Caitlin O'Connell PhD

Dr. Caitlin O’Connell is an award-winning author, science writer and photographer and one of the world’s leading experts on elephants, having studied elephants for thirty years. She is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and has authored eight popular books about elephants, including two memoirs about her experiences, The Elephant’s Secret Sense and Elephant Don, and is published by such top houses as Houghton Mifflin, Simon and Schuster and Random House. She won the Sibert Honor and Horn Book Honor, along with four other awards for The Elephant Scientist (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in 2012. In 2014, A Baby Elephant in the Wild (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was awarded Outstanding Science Trade Book and chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection. Inspired by a true story, her thriller about the ivory trade, Ivory Ghosts, was nominated for an International Thriller Writer’s Award. Her nature prescriptive, Wild Rituals, was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and explores the importance of ritual to humans and nonhuman social animals. Her books have been translated into four languages. She created and taught a narrative science writing class for Stanford University and the New York Times for several years, while working on the award-winning Smithsonian documentary, ELEPHANT KING, based on her research. Caitlin’s TEDYouth talk about elephants has more than 65,000 views.

Dr. O’Connell is also a Faculty Associate at the Center for the Environment at Harvard University and an Affiliate at the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University. She has written dozens of scientific papers and numerous feature magazine articles about her research, including her current cover article in Scientific American on Why Animals Play. Together, Caitlin and her husband, Tim Rodwell, founded and run Utopia Scientific focused on elephant conservation, science messaging, education and media. They also co-founded an independent production company, Triple Helix Productions, with a mandate to develop more accurate and entertaining science content for the entertainment industry. Visit


Timothy Rodwell MD, PhD, MPH

Timothy Rodwell is a physician trained in infectious disease ecology, preventive medicine and epidemiology. He received his PhD from University of California, Davis, his MD from Stanford University and his MPH and Preventive Medicine Residency training from San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Rodwell has been studying tuberculosis (TB) and zoonotic disease epidemiology since 1995. He specializes in international health and development, with an emphasis on disease monitoring, control and treatment in resource-poor settings. Previous research included investigations of anthrax and population dynamics in elephants in Namibia, bovine tuberculosis control in African buffalo in South Africa and coral reef restoration in the British Virgin Islands.