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Laurel Neme

Laurel Neme, Ph.D. is a contributor to National Geographic, Mongabay, and other news agencies.

She is passionate about telling stories of the silent victims of wildlife trafficking—rangers on the frontlines, rescued animals, and the people who help them. She often writes about people who fight against the illegal trade—including schoolchildren, forensic scientists, and policy makers.

She is the author of Animal Investigators: How the World’s First Forensics Lab is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species, which is a “CSI for wildlife” that tells of three true cases of wildlife crime from beginning to end. She also wrote Orangutan Houdini, a picture book that tells the true story of an ape who outsmarts his zookeeper. Her work has been featured on multiple media outlets, such as ABC News Nightline, CBS News, and National Public Radio.

In her writing she builds on more than a decade of policy and fieldwork in a dozen African countries for the U.S. Treasury Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and as a consultant. She holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and, in 2013, won the University of Michigan’s Humanitarian Service Award for her fight against illegal wildlife smuggling.

In her spare time, she volunteers at a local raptor rehabilitation center and takes long walks with her dog.

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