Dr. Joyce Poole

Collaborating Researcher

Dr. Joyce Poole

Joyce spent most of her childhood and young adulthood in Kenya. She has studied African elephants since 1975, beginning her career working with Cynthia Moss in Amboseli. Her honors thesis at Smith College in 1979 and her PhD thesis from Cambridge University in 1982 both focused on the sexual and aggressive phenomenon of musth in male elephants. She went on to study elephant vocal communication and in 1985 with Katy Payne discovered that African elephants communicate using sounds below the level of human hearing. Through the 1980s, she continued work on aspects of musth and elephant communication while was a research fellow of Princeton University. Between 1990 and 1994 she headed the elephant program at the Kenya Wildlife Service where she was responsible for elephant conservation and management throughout the country. After leaving KWS Joyce returned to her studies of elephant communication this time focusing on the vocal repertoire of African elephants. She is now director of ElephantVoices, a major ATE collaborative project. Joyce lives in Norway with husband Petter and daughter Selengei.

“Elephants form deep bonds with each other, which last for decades. Elephant survival is strongly affected by access to the social and ecological knowledge that older elephants hold; where to go, what to eat, how to avoid danger.”
- Dr. Cynthia Moss

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