Why ISWE is Important

The survival of a species is dependent on maintaining the health and well-being of individuals and populations. The production of hormones is the foundation of species survival by regulating reproduction and facilitating the maintenance of homeostasis. Researchers have been evaluating and monitoring gonadal, pituitary and adrenal hormones for decades, and yet our understanding of these physiological mechanisms is limited to only a small percent (2-3%) of wildlife species. The International Society of Wildlife Endocrinology (ISWE) was initiated in 2010 out of a desire by wildlife endocrinologists to further knowledge and expand resources in this field of study.

ISWE presents an opportunity for developing and applying non-invasive endocrine monitoring techniques much more broadly and systematically to help solve a variety of management problems for many zoo-held species. These tools can also be used to monitor, better understand and manage the health and well-being of wildlife.

ISWE By-Laws

Read the ISWE By-Laws, which were updated by the Board and approved by the membership in 2021. The By-Laws include a Code of Ethics and Professionalism for ISWE members.

ISWE Board

Chair Katie Edwards UK Chester Zoo
Vice Chair of Membership & Fundraising Ratna Ghosal India Ahmedabad University
Vice Chair of Ethics & Special Initiatives Kerry Fanson Australia La Trobe University
Treasurer Tina Chiarelli USA University of Central Florida
Secretary Kathleen Hunt USA George Mason University
Communications Chair Tamara Keeley Australia University of Queensland
Conference Chair Jella Wauters Germany Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
Trainee Representative to the Board Allie Case USA George Mason University
Emeritus Board Member Mandi Schook USA Disney’s Wild Animal Kingdom
Emeritus Board Member Nadja Wielebnowski USA Oregon Zoo
Emeritus Board Member Janine Brown USA Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Emeritus Board Member Linda Penfold USA SEZARC
Emeritus Board Member Karen Goodrowe USA Point Defiance Zoo




ISWE History


The 6th ISWE Conference is held in Orlando, Florida at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The keynote speakers for this conference are Tyrone B. Hayes and James Gelsleichter.


The 5th ISWE Conference is held in Berlin at Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research. The keynote speakers for this conference are Gabriela Mastromonaco, André Ganswindt and Lee Koren.


The 4th ISWE Conference is held in Chicago at Lincoln Park Zoo. The keynote speakers for this conference are Sam Wasser and Neena Schwartz.


ISWE holds its 3rd annual conference at Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria. The conference focuses on “Non-invasive Monitoring of Hormones”. The keynote speakers are Janine Brown, Michael Heistermann, Erich Möstl, Tobias Deschner, Nadja Wielebnowski, Chadi Touma, Martin Dehnhard, Tim Ellis and Katharina Hirschenhauser.


ISWE holds its 2nd annual conference at the Toronto Zoo. The conference offers four sessions: 1) Method Development 2) Innovative Endocrinology 3) Recent Advances in Basic Endocrinology as Applied to Adrenal Function 4) Recent Advances in Basic Endocrinology as Applied to Reproduction. The keynote address is by Glen Van Der Kraak and Rudy Boonstra.


ISWE holds its 1st annual conference at the Cincinnati Zoo. The conference offers three sessions: 1) Methods Development 2) Innovative Endocrinology 3) Recent Advances in Basic Endocrinology. The keynote address is by Rupert Palme.


International Society of Wildlife Endocrinology (ISWE) is established. ISWE’s inaugural mission is “to advance the field of wildlife endocrinology by promoting stronger inter-disciplinary collaboration among wildlife and conservation biologists to optimize animal health, reproduction, and welfare in support of global conservation efforts” and vision is “to provide an international forum that facilitates the exchange of information and development of collaborative wildlife endocrine studies and to help advance the use of non-invasive and minimally invasive sampling technologies and assist in the standardization of methods and analyses for the scientific study of wildlife physiology both in situ and ex situ”.


Two wildlife endocrinology workshops were held in 2008 and 2009 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (Front Royal, VA). It was recognized that wildlife endocrinologists have not had a setting for sharing methods, resources and knowledge about their research except for scientific publications. The majority of projects never make it to publication, because many are analyzing samples for clinical reasons (i.e., health and reproduction of one or two animals located at their facility/zoo). The information that they have gathered is extremely important. Additionally, there are a lack of resources for scientists who want to begin using these non-invasive methods.

ISWE Publishing Productivity

ISWE publishing productivity