Alexander Center

About the Alexander Center
With a generous gift from John and Emily Alexander, the Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology was created in 2005 to focus the zoo’s research in small population biology. By integrating existing and new population biology programs into a single center, the zoo will encourage the development of collaborative projects among the zoo’s scientists as well as with other population biology experts and international conservation organizations.

The zoo also hosts the Population Management Center, which conducts population biology-based analyses for captive populations at North American zoos. These analyses are important tools in creating sustainable, healthy captive populations.

Related Projects


Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Recovery Efforts
Habitat loss has caused this shy species to be endangered through much of its range, including Illinois. Lincoln Park Zoo works with partners across the country to guide its recovery.


The Impact of Vaccinations on Domestic Dogs
Vaccinating domestic dogs in villages surrounding Serengeti National Park protects people, pets and predators from disease. Zoo scientists are now studying how vaccination affects domestic-dog populations—key information for planning future campaigns.


Protecting the Puerto Rican Parrot
Lincoln Park Zoo is lending its population-planning expertise to help the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot continue on its path to recovery.


Restoring the Smooth Green Snake
Lincoln Park Zoo is working with the Lake County Forest Preserve District to return the region’s smooth green snakes to their natural habitats.


Developed by Lincoln Park Zoo scientists, ZooRisk assists managers in making scientifically based decisions for animal populations.

Avian Reintroduction and Translocation Database
By providing a single source for researchers and wildlife managers seeking information on avian reintroductions and translocations, this conservation resource will enable them to learn from the past to achieve better results in the future.

Nearly 500 chimpanzees live in sanctuaries across North America. Lincoln Park Zoo scientists have volunteered their expertise to help sanctuaries manage the lifetime care of chimpanzees while planning for a better future.

Zoos across the country cooperate on breeding and transfer plans to ensure healthy populations. In developing PMCTrack, Lincoln Park Zoo scientists have made it possible to evaluate the outcome of every recommendation for the first time—improving population planning everywhere.

Predicting Capacity for African Ape Sanctuaries
Every year sanctuaries across Africa are inundated with orphaned primates from the bushmeat trade. In partnership with the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, Lincoln Park Zoo scientists analyzed population trends for African sanctuaries, helping these havens plan for future care.

PopLink is a computer program developed by Lincoln Park Zoo scientists to track data on individual animals over their lifetimes and use that data to help their management.

Zoo scientists are helping Charles and Lara Foley understand what may be one of the most rapidly growing elephant populations on record. Tarangire Elephant Modeling
In Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park, zoo scientists are helping researchers Charles and Lara Foley understand what may be one of the most rapidly growing elephant populations on record.
The Standards for Data Entry and Maintenance of North American Zoo and Aquarium Animal Records Databases provides specific guidelines for data entry into animal records databases for species including sunbitterns

Data Standards for Animal Records Databases
The Standards for Data Entry and Maintenance of North American Zoo and Aquarium Animal Records Databases provides specific guidelines for data entry into animal records databases, improving consisntency and accuracy.

Lincoln Park Zoo scientists are using population viability analyses to model the future of zoo and aquarium populations.

Modeling the Future of Zoo and Aquarium Populations
Zoo scientists are analyzing the future of zoo populations by conducting population viability analyses (PVAs) for Association of Zoos and Aquarium Animal Programs such as Species Survival Plans®. PVAs can help animal managers plan for the future and determine which management actions can maintain or increase long-term sustainability.


Lisa Faust, Ph.D., is Lincoln Park Zoo's vice president of conservation and science  

Lisa Faust, Ph.D.
Vice President of Conservation and Science

  Joseph Simonis, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in the Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology.  

Josie L. Simonis, Ph.D.
Research Scientist

  Anna Czupryna
Research Coordinator, Serengeti Health Initiative
  Brent Johnson is a population biologist in the zoo’s Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology   Brent Johnson, M.S.
Population Biologist
Kaitlin Perišin is a studbook keeper in the Population Management Center, hosted at Lincoln Park Zoo in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  

Kaitlyn Perišin
Research Biologist

  Lauren Mechak is a research assistant in Lincoln Park Zoo’s Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology  

Lauren Mechak
Assistant Population Biologist


Sarah Long, M.S.
Director, Population Management Center


Cara Groome Bryan
Consulting Population Biologist


Colleen Lynch, M.S.
Consulting Population Biologist


Steven D. Thompson, Ph.D.
Researcher Emeritus


Adrienne Savrin
Research Assistant