Wes Sechrest, Ph.D.


Dr. Sechrest founded Global Wildlife Conservation and serves as Chief Scientist and CEO. He leads GWC’s efforts to explore, document, and protect the world’s most threatened species and habitats. Dr. Sechrest has a background in conservation biology, particularly focused on mammal conservation and priority setting for biodiversity conservation. Dr. Sechrest is a conservation biologist, with a focus on international wildlife conservation. His interests in conservation science vary widely, and include work on threatened species, zoology, protected areas, biodiversity patterns and processes, natural history, environmental science, and the link between academic and applied conservation science.

Dr. Sechrest’s research focuses on global conservation issues, as well as field-based biodiversity conservation. Dr. Sechrest is an expert on species conservation, and is extensively involved in advancing conservation efforts, particularly for mammals. He has published numerous scientific papers in leading journals including Science, Nature, BioScience, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His research has been used to set priorities for international conservation to advance protection of the planet’s biodiversity. Additionally, his work has examined the effectiveness of protected areas for species conservation, as well as how to conserve species in areas under high threat from humans and their activities. He has international work experience in more than 25 countries.

Currently, Dr. Sechrest is leading work to explore, research and protect the most biologically important areas on the planet. As GWC’s Chief Scientist and Chief Executive Officer, he is implementing field projects across the planet along with a team of renowned field biologists. He is working on how to identify and conserve threatened species, including how to systematically set conservation priorities. Additionally, he is leading GWC’s efforts to secure long-term preservation of areas of global biological importance. He leads GWC’s collaborative efforts to best conserve the world’s threatened wildlife in partnership with local, national, and international non-governmental and governmental organizations, both in the United States and abroad. Dr. Sechrest also serves on the Board of Directors of Bat Conservation International, on the Global Council of the Amphibian Survival Alliance and on the Board of Trustees of the Haiti National Trust. He is Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University.

  • Ph.D. Biology, University of Virginia.
  • B.S. Biology, Wake Forest University.


Stuart, S. N., T. M. Brooks, S. H. M. Butchart, W. Elliot, M. Heath, D. Hoffmann, L. Honey, I. Kostadinova, P. Langhammer, O. Langrand, S. Leiberman, D. Marnewick, D. Raik, J. P. Rodríguez, W. Sechrest, J. Smart, S. Vergara, S. Woodley, A. Yanosky, and M. Zimsky. 2018. Clariftying the key biodiversity areas partnership and programme. Biodiversity and Conservation, in press.

Mittermeier, R. A., A. B. Rylands, W. Sechrest, P. F. Langhammer, J. C. Mittermeier, M. J. Parr, W. R. Konstant, and R. B. Mast. 2017. Back from the Brink. C. Mittermeir, editor. Cemex, Mexico.

Dinerstein, E., D. Olson, A. Joshi, C. Vynne, N. D. Burgess, E. Wikramanayake, N. Hahn, S. Palminteri, P. Hedao, R. Noss, M. Hansen, H. Locke, E. C. Ellis, B. Jones, C. V. Barber, R. Hayes, C. Kormos, V. Martin, E. Crist, W. Sechrest, L. Price, J. E. M. Baillie, D. Weeden, K. Suckling, C. Davis, N. Sizer, R. Moore, D. Thau, T. Birch, P. Potapov, S. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, N. de Souza, L. Pintea, J. C. Brito, O. A. Llewellyn, A. G. Miller, A. Patzelt, S. A. Ghazanfar, J. Timberlake, H. Klöser, Y. Shennan-Farpón, R. Kindt, J-P. B. Lillesø, P. van Breugel, L. Graudal, M. Voge, K. F. Al-Shammari, and M. Saleem. 2017. An ecoregion-based approach to protecting half the terrestrial realm. BioScience 67:534–545.

Noble, E., S. McKeown, and W. Sechrest. 2011. Rediscovery of the Santa Marta Toro Santamartamys rufodorsalis (Rodentia: Echimyidae), after 113 years, with notes on all three known records and the species’ conservation needs in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Conservación Colombiana 15:40-43.

Raichlen, D. A., A. D. Gordon, and W. Sechrest. 2011. Bioenergetic constraints on primate abundance. International Journal of Primatology 32:118-133.

Fiorella, K., A. Cameron, W. Sechrest, R. Winfree, and C. Kremen. 2010. Methodological considerations in reserve system selection: A case study of Malagasy lemurs. Biological Conservation 143:963-973.

Jones K. E., S. P. Mickleburgh, W. Sechrest, and A. L. Walsh. 2010. Global overview of the conservation of island bats: importance, challenges and opportunities. Pages 496-530 in T. H. Fleming and P. A. Racey, editors. Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation of Island Bats. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bergstrom, B. J., S. Vignieri, S. R. Sheffield, W. Sechrest, and A. A. Carlson. 2009. The Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf is not yet recovered. BioScience 59:991-999.

Jones, K. E., J. Bielby, M. Cardillo, S. A. Fritz, J. O’Dell, C. D. L. Orme, K. Safi, W. Sechrest, E. H. Boakes, C. Carbone, C. Connolly, M. J. Cutts, J. K. Foster, R. Grenyer, M. Habib, C. A. Plaster, S. A. Price, E. A. Rigby, J. Rist, A. Teacher, O. R. P. Bininda-Emonds, J. L. Gittleman, G. M. Mace, and A. Purvis. 2009. PanTHERIA: a species-level database of life history, ecology, and geography of extant and recently extinct mammals. Ecology 90:2648.

Schank, C., E. H. B. Pollard, W. Sechrest, R. Timmins, J. Holden, and J. Walston. 2009. First confirmed records of Large-toothed Ferret Badger Melogale personata in Cambodia, with notes on country records of Melogale. Small Carnivore Conservation 40:11-15.

Schipper, J., J. S. Chanson, F. Chiozza, N. A. Cox, M. Hoffmann, V. Katariya, J. Lamoreux, A. S. L. Rodrigues, S. N. Stuart, H. J. Temple, J. Baillie, L. Boitani, T. E. Lacher, Jr., R. A. Mittermeier, A. T. Smith, D. Absolon, J. M. Aguiar, G. Amori, N. Bakkour, R. Baldi, R. J. Berridge, J. Bielby, P. A. Black, J. J. Blanc, T. M. Brooks, J. A. Burton, T. M. Butynski, G. Catullo, R. Chapman, Z. Cokeliss, B. Collen, J. Conroy, J. G. Cooke, G. A. B. da Fonseca, A. E. Derocher, H. T. Dublin, J. W. Duckworth, L. Emmons, R. H. Emslie, M. Festa-Bianchet, M. Foster, S. Foster, D. L. Garshelis, C. Gates, M. Gimenez-Dixon, S. Gonzalez, J. F. Gonzalez-Maya, T. C. Good, G. Hammerson, P. S. Hammond, D. Happold, M. Happold, J. Hare, R. B. Harris, C. E. Hawkins, M. Haywood, L. R. Heaney, S. Hedges, K. M. Helgen, C. Hilton-Taylor, S. A. Hussain, N. Ishii, T. A. Jefferson, R. K. B. Jenkins, C. H. Johnston, M. Keith, J. Kingdon, D. H. Knox, K. M. Kovacs, P. Langhammer, K. Leus, R. Lewison, G. Lichtenstein, L. F. Lowry, Z. Macavoy, G. M. Mace, D. P. Mallon, M. Masi, M. W. McKnight, R. A. Medellín, P. Medici, G. Mills, P. D. Moehlman, S. Molur, A. Mora, K. Nowell, J. F. Oates, W. Olech, W. R. L. Oliver, M. Oprea, B. D. Patterson, W. F. Perrin, B. A. Polidoro, C. Pollock, A. Powel, Y. Protas, P. Racey, J. Ragle, P. Ramani, G. Rathbun, R. R. Reeves, S. B. Reilly, J. E. Reynolds, III, C. Rondinini, R. G. Rosell-Ambal, M. Rulli, A. B. Rylands, S. Savini, C. J. Schank, W. Sechrest, C. Self-Sullivan, A. Shoemaker, C. Sillero-Zubiri, N. De Silva, D. E. Smith, C. Srinivasulu, P. J. Stephenson, N. van Strien, B. K. Talukdar, B. L. Taylor, R. Timmins, D. G. Tirira, M. F. Tognelli, K. Tsytsulina, L. M. Veiga, J-C. Vié, E. A. Williamson, S. A. Wyatt, Y. Xie, B. E. Young. 2008. The status of the world’s land and marine mammals: diversity, threat, and knowledge. Science 322:225-230.

Boyd, C., T. M. Brooks, S. H. M. Butchart, G. J. Edgar, G. A. B. da Fonseca, F. Hawkins, M. Hoffmann, W. Sechrest, S. N. Stuart, and P. P. van Dijk. 2008. Spatial scale and the conservation of threatened species. Conservation Letters 1:37-43.

Morrison, J. C., W. Sechrest, E. Dinerstein, D. S. Wilcove, and J. F. Lamoreux. 2007. Persistence of large mammal faunas as indicators of global human impacts. Journal of Mammalogy 88:1363-1380.

Lindenfors, P., C. L. Nunn, K. E. Jones, A. A. Cunningham, W. Sechrest, and J. L. Gittleman. 2007. Parasite species richness in carnivores: effects of host body mass, latitude, geographic range and population density. Global Ecology and Biogeography 16:496-509.

Langhammer, P. F., M. I. Bakarr, L. A. Bennun, T. M. Brooks, R. P. Clay, W. Darwall, N. De Silva, G. J. Edgar, G. Eken, L. D. C. Fishpool, G. A. B. da Fonseca, M. N. Foster, D. H. Knox, P. Matiku, E. A. Radford, A. S. L. Rodrigues, P. Salaman, W. Sechrest, and A. W. Tordoff. 2007. Identification and Gap Analysis of Key Biodiversity Areas: Targets for Comprehensive Protected Area Systems. P. Valentine, Series Editor. IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 15. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

McKnight, M. W., P. S. White, R. I. McDonald, J. F. Lamoreux, W. Sechrest, R. S. Ridgely, S. N. Stuart. 2007. Putting beta-diversity on the map: Broad-scale congruence and coincidence in the extremes. PLoS Biology 5:2424-2432.

Nunn, C. L., Altizer, S., Sechrest, W., Cunningham, A. 2005. Latitudinal gradients of disease risk in primates. Diversity and Distributions 11:249-256.

Mace, G. M., J. Baillie, H. Masundire, T. H. Ricketts, T. M. Brooks, M. Hoffmann, S. Stuart, A. Balmford, A. Purvis, B. Reyers, J. Wang, C. Revenga, E. T. Kennedy, S. Naeem, R. Alkemade, T. Allnutt, M. Bakarr, W. Bond, J. Chanson, N. Cox, G. Fonseca, C. Hilton-Taylor, C. Loucks, A. Rodrigues, W. Sechrest, A. J. Stattersfield, B. van Rensburg, and C. Whiteman. 2005. Biodiversity. in Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Current State and Trends: Findings of the Condition and Trends Working Group. Ecosystems and Human Well-being, vol. 1. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Ricketts, T., E. Dinerstein, T. Boucher, T. M. Brooks, S. H. M. Butchart, M. Hoffmann, J. Lamoreux, J. Morrison, M. Parr, J. D. Pilgrim, A. S. L. Rodrigues, W. Sechrest, G. E. Wallace, K. Berlin, J. Bielby, N. D. Burgess, D. R. Church, N. Cox, D. Knox, C. Loucks, G. W. Luck, L. L. Master, R. Moore, R. Naidoo, R. Ridgely, G. E. Schatz, G. Shire, H. Strand, W. Wettengel, and E. Wikramanayake. 2005. Pinpointing and preventing imminent extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102:18497-18501.

Jones, K. E., W. Sechrest, J. L. Gittleman. 2005. Age and area revisited: identifying global patterns and implications for conservation. Pages 141-165 in A. Purvis, J. L. Gittleman, and T. M. Brooks, editors. Phylogeny and Conservation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Fonseca, G. A. B., W. Sechrest, and J. Ogelthorpe. 2005. Managing the matrix. Pages 346-358 in T. E. Lovejoy and L. Hannah, editors. Climate Change and Biodiversity. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Cardillo, M., G. M. Mace, K. E. Jones, J. Bielby, O. R. P. Bininda-Emonds, W. Sechrest, C. D. L. Orme, and A. Purvis. 2005. Multiple causes of high extinction risk in large mammal species. Science 309:1239-1241.

Rodrigues, A. S. L., S. J. Andelman, M. I. Bakarr, L. Boitani, T. M. Brooks, R. M. Cowling, L. D. C. Fishpool, G. A. B. da Fonseca, K. J. Gaston, M. Hoffmann, J. Long, P. A. Marquet, J. D. Pilgrim, R. L. Pressey, J. Schipper, W. Sechrest, S. N. Stuart, L. G. Underhill, R. W. Waller, M. E. J. Watts, and Y. Xie. 2004. Effectiveness of the global protected area network in representing species diversity. Nature 428:640-643.

Rodrigues, A. S. L., H. R. Akçakaya, S. J. Andelman, M. I. Bakarr, L. Boitani, T. M. Brooks, J. S. Chanson, L. D. C. Fishpool, G. A. B. d. Fonseca, K. J. Gaston, M. Hoffmann, P. A. Marquet, J. D. Pilgrim, R. L. Pressey, J. Schipper, W. Sechrest, S. N. Stuart, L. G. Underhill, R. W. Waller, M. E. J. Watts, and X. Yan. 2004. Global gap analysis: priority regions for expanding the global protected-area network. BioScience 54:1092-1100.

Nunn, C. L., S. Altizer, W. Sechrest, K. E. Jones, R. A. Barton, and J. L. Gittleman. 2004. Parasites and the evolutionary diversification of primate clades. The American Naturalist 164:S90-S103.

Mittermeier, R. A. et al. 2004. Introduction: Global Priority Setting for Biodiversity Conservation. Pages 19-68 in R. A. Mittermeier, P. Robles Gil, M. Hoffmann, J. Pilgrim, T. Brooks, C. G. Mittermeier, J. Lamoreux, and G. A. B. da Fonseca, editors. Hotspots Revisited: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions. Conservation International, Washington, D.C.

Gascon, C., G. A. B. da Fonseca, W. Sechrest, K. A. Billmark, and J. Sanderson. 2004. Biodiversity conservation in deforested and fragmented tropical landscapes: An overview. Pages 23-48 in G. Schroth, G. A. B. da Fonseca, C. A. Harvey, H. L. Vasconcelos, C. Gascon, and A.-M. N. Izac, editors. Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes. Island Press, Washington, D.C.

Eken, G., L. Bennun, T. M. Brooks, W. Darwall, L. D. C. Fishpool, M. Foster, D. Knox, P. Langhammer, P. Matiku, E. Radford, P. Salaman, W. Sechrest, M. L. Smith, S. Spector, and A. Tordoff. 2004. Key Biodiversity Areas as site conservation targets. BioScience 54:1110-1118.

Cardillo, M., Purvis, A., Sechrest, W., Gittleman, J. L., Bielby, J., Mace, G. M. 2004. Human population density and extinction risk in the world’s carnivores. Public Library of Science Biology 2:909-914.

Brooks, T. M., M. I. Bakarr, T. Boucher, G. A. B. da Fonseca, C. Hilton-Taylor, J. M. Hoekstra, T. Moritz, S. Olivieri, J. Parrish, R. L. Pressey, A. S. L. Rodrigues, W. Sechrest, A. Stattersfield, W. Strahm, and S. N. Stuart. 2004. Coverage provided by the global protected-area system: Is it enough? BioScience 54:1081-1091.

Rodrigues, A. S. L., S. J. Andelman, M. I. Bakarr, L. Boitani, T. M. Brooks, R. M. Cowling, L. D. C. Fishpool, G. A. B. da Fonseca, K. J. Gaston, M. Hoffmann, J. Long, P. A. Marquet, J. D. Pilgrim, R. L. Pressey, J. Schipper, W. Sechrest, S. N. Stuart, L. G. Underhill, R. W. Waller, M. E. J. Watts, and Y. Xie. 2003. Global Gap Analysis: towards a representative network of protected areas. Conservation International, Washington, DC.

Patterson, B. D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M. Tognelli, T. Brooks, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B. E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Nunn, C. L., S. Altizer, K. E. Jones, and W. Sechrest. 2003. Parasite species richness in primates. The American Naturalist 162:597-614.

Sechrest, W., T. M. Brooks, G. A. B. da Fonseca, W. R. Konstant, R. A. Mittermeier, A. Purvis, A. B. Rylands, and J. L. Gittleman. 2002. Hotspots and the conservation of evolutionary history. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 99:2067-2071.

Sechrest, W., and T. M. Brooks. 2001. Biodiversity – Threats. in Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, http://www.els.net. Nature Publishing Group, London.

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