Laurence Frank

research associate, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Laurence Frank is a research associate in UCB’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and directs the Living with Lions program in Kenya, a multidisciplinary approach to the conservation and management of lions and other predators outside protected areas. Frank did his doctoral research on spotted hyenas, and then helped Prof. Stephen Glickman establish the Berkeley Hyena Project (1984-2014). After 20 years studying the behavioral ecology and endocrinology of the spotted hyena, Frank turned to conservation research in 1997. Recognizing that most national parks are too small to protect wide-ranging African wildlife and that lions are disappearing due to depredation on livestock, Frank’s conservation projects are based on the needs of rural people and have pioneered effective conservation approaches that are being widely adopted in other countries. By focusing on ancient livestock-management methods, the Laikipia Predator Project has dramatically reduced lion killing in a commercial ranching area. Engaging traditional Maasai warriors in lion conservation, the Kilimanjaro Lion Conservation Project eventually spun off the highly successful Lion Guardians program. The Mara Predator Project demonstrated the conservation importance of sharing tourism revenue with local people. In Laikipia, he is now collaborating with a team from UC Santa Cruz, using the latest developments in GPS technology to examine lion behavior, energetics and response to human activities in unprecedented detail. Frank earned his B.A. from Reed College, his MSc. from the University of Aberdeen and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.

Posts by Laurence Frank