Jilian Marie Fazio

Jilian Marie Fazio

Jilian Marie Fazio

Adjunct Faculty

Conservation, Asian Elephant welfare and behavior

Dr. Fazio is currently a Research Fellow for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). Her work is focused primarily on Asian Elephant welfare and behavior, however she is also the Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan Coordinator and International Studbook Keeper and works on research focused on felids as well.

Dr. Fazio worked as a full-time animal keeper at several facilities including the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park between 2002-2010. In 2004, she traveled to the Khao Kheow Open Zoo (KKOZ) in Chonburi, Thailand, to serve as a project assistant for the Clouded Leopard Consortium. While with the Smithsonian, she worked primarily on Asia trail with a collection of Asian carnivores. Between 2006-2010, Jilian attended George Mason University and obtained her M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. Jilian traveled again to KKOZ and utilized both the clouded leopard population maintained in KKOZ’s breeding center as well as the individuals housed at SCBI to perform her M.S. research thesis: “A Behavioral Assessment of the Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa); comparative analysis of reproductive success.” From 2010-2016, Jilian served as a Graduate Research Fellow for NZP-SCBI while completing her Ph.D in Environmental Science and Public Policy from GMU; Dissertation: Adrenal activity and reproductive cycles during captive management in the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus). During this time, she served as a GMU graduate teaching assistant for Ecology and Evolution.


Current work:


Non-invasive monitoring of behavior and welfare in zoo-housed Asian elephants to examine effects of management changes


Monitoring success of various rearing methods on the SSP population of clouded leopards


Examining the impact of husbandry and management on reproductive success and stress in felids