Jumbos for Jumbos: Tufts Elephant Conservation Alliance (TECA)
Across continents, elephants struggle to survive and thrive on landscapes increasingly shaped by and for people. With populations already depleted by poaching for the ivory trade, elephants are also confronted by fragmentation and disappearance of their wild habitats. This habitat loss forces elephant families into conflict with farm families who are also trying to extract a living from the earth. The consequences of these conflicts are grave, and sometimes fatal, for both species.
Recognizing that elephants are extraordinary animals that serve globally as critical keystone species and locally to embody the spirit of Tufts University, a multi-disciplinary group of faculty members from across the university have formed Jumbos for Jumbos: Tufts Elephant Conservation Alliance (TECA). TECA identifies opportunities to focus the university’s diverse resources to promote trans-disciplinary research, scholarship, outreach, and teaching that will substantially advance elephant conservation.
Creating environments in which wild elephants can thrive demands an understanding of the complex biophysical, sociocultural, economic, and geopolitical landscapes in which the elephant’s struggle to exist plays out. Tufts University is uniquely positioned to apply its collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and multi-sector approach to successfully address this research challenge. Together, our campuses provide the broad expertise this problem requires with scholars in human and veterinary medicine, wildlife policy, environmental sciences, engineering, public health, diplomacy, conflict studies, urban planning, economics, and epidemiology.
Who We Are
TECA is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of faculty members from across the university. They are committed to identifying opportunities to focus Tufts’ diverse resources to promote trans-disciplinary research, scholarship, outreach, and teaching that will substantially advance elephant conservation.
Center for Animals and Public Policy: Allen Rutberg
Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy: Ellen McDonald
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine: Marjorie Bercier
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine: Felicia Nutter
School of Arts & Sciences: Dale Peterson
School of Arts & Sciences: Zarin Machanda
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy: Will Masters
School of Medicine: Paola Massari
Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences: John Castellot
School of Engineering: Karen Panetta
School of the Museum of Fine Arts: Chantal Zakari
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine & the Gordon Institute: Jack Derby