Anne Hilborn

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Twitter:    @AnneWHilborn  

I tweet a lot of pictures of cheetahs, my fieldwork, carnivores eating things, and about my love of hyenas.





Currently I am a PhD student at Virginia Tech in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, in Marcella Kelly's lab.  She studies jaguars in Belize, and her students work on  carnivores all over the world. Check out her awesome students and  great camera trap pictures  at her website.  


For my research on cheetahs I collaborated with the Tanzania Carnivore Project  which runs the long term cheetah research project in the Serengeti with support from the Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
















From 2004-2007 I worked as a research assistant for the Serengeti Cheetah Project (now part of the Tanzania Carnivore Project).  My work involved searching the Serengeti plains for  cheetahs, identifying them via their spot patterns, recording where they roamed, picking up their poop, and watching their hunts.   Dr. Sarah Durant at the Zoological Society of London runs the Serengeti Cheetah Project as part of the Tanzania Carnviore Conservation Project which works to conserve cheetahs and other carnivores in Tanzania.  For more information click here.


In 2010 I did a Masters degree at Imperial College London on cheetah hunting behavior with Dr. Sarah Durant and Dr. Nathalie Pettorelli at the Zoological Society of London. We looked at the factors that influence whether a cheetah will have a successful hunt.  





Pettorelli et al. (2015) Individual Variability: The Missing Component to Our Understanding of Predator–Prey Interactions.


Hilborn et al. (2012). Stalk and Chase: how hunt stages affect hunting success in Serengeti cheetah.


Pettorelli et al. (2009). Exploring habitat use by cheetahs using ecological niche factor analysis.




Various Media


Nov 2015 profile in The Atlantic by Ed Yong



I told Ed my favorite poop collecting story. Sadly it didn't turn up in the article, but you can watch me tell it in the podcast below


2015 podcast with Breaking Bio about the ups and downs of researching cheetahs in the Serengeti. Poop is mentioned a lot.

Episode 80 – Seeing spots & sniffing poop with Anne Hilborn


In 2015 I was involved with the genesis of several biological related hasthtags on twitter including #fieldworkfail, #junkoff and #cuteoff

Below are links to storifys of the hastags or mainstream media coverage of them.



Storify about #fieldworkfail


Washington Post article


IFL Science


The Guardian


My blog post for The Fisheries Blog







#Junkoff didn't make quite the splash but

I was impressed by the diversity of

reproductive strategies highlighted.

See the articles below for more....




The Independent





On a related note, check out #hyenasexfail

Because why not?












#Cuteoff (featuring cute animals instead of genetalia) did quite well and got a lot of coverage, including this radio interview I did for Australian Broadcasting Corporation


If you prefer not to have to hear my voice, here are some links to print coverage







National Geographic


The Washington Post






Sept 2015


Profile by Cathy Grimes for the Virginia Tech website.  














Landrovers stuck in the mud is a part of life in the field.

Triumph after a successful scat collection

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For old school coverage, check out this 2007 Seattle Times article  -


UW grad scours Serengeti for cheetahs



Poop is also mentioned right out of the gate.  Seems to be a theme

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