Dr. Cynthia Moss, IFAW Elephant Expert

Dr. Cynthia Moss

IFAW Elephant Expert


Cynthia Moss is a member of IFAW's Global Elephant Team, which campaigns actively against the ivory trade and for better protection and conservation of elephants and elephant habitat. As one of IFAW's Elephant Experts, she also provides the organization with key scientific information on the species.

IFAW researcher Vicky Fishlock blogs about her work with Cynthia in Amboseli.

Cynthia has spent more than 40 years studying the elephants of Amboseli National Park, providing an in-depth picture of an African elephant population. As part of her conservation efforts she has conducted surveys of other elephant populations in Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Botswana and has trained African scientists from across the continent in elephant research techniques.

In addition to her numerous books and scientific articles, Cynthia has made four television documentaries for the BBC which follow one of Amboseli’s elephant families over the course of 19 years. In Africa’s Forgotten Elephants, another BBC documentary, she introduces viewers to some of the most inaccessible elephant populations in Africa. She has also made a 13-part series on the Amboseli Elephants for Animal Planet.

Cynthia heads her own organization, the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, which is registered in both the US (a 501(3)(c) charity) and Kenya. The U.S organization’s address is: 10 State Street, Newburyport, MA 01950; U.S. Executive Director, Betsy Swart, Tel: 508-783-8308; Website: www.elephanttrust.org


  • Awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, a 5 year grant awarded for exceptional creativity and a demonstrated track record of significant achievement
  • Founder, Program Director and Trustee, Amboseli Trust for Elephants
  • Research Assistant to Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Elephant Social Behavior Study, Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania


  • Honorary Doctorate, Smith College
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), Philosophy, Smith College


  • Moss, C.J., Croze, H. and Lee, P.C. 2011. The Amboseli Elephants: A Long–Term Perspective on a Long–Lived Mammal.
  • Moss, C. J. 2000. Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family
  • 1997. Little Big Ears: The Story of Eli
  • 1992. Echo of the Elephants: The Story of an Elephant Family
  • 1982. Portraits in the Wild: Behavior Studies of East African Mammals
    Moss, C. J. and Pringle, L. 1997.
  • Elephant Woman: Cynthia Moss Explores the World of Elephants

Selected Journal Articles:

  • Moss, C.J. 1983. Oestrous behaviour and female choice in the African elephant. Behaviour, 86(3/4): 167-196
  • 1990c. Elephants in Tarangire. Pachyderm, 13: 26-30.
  • 1991. Chobe National Park elephant age structure survey, Report to Dept. of Wildlife and National Parks, Botswana.
  • 1994. Some reproductive parameters in a population of African elephants, Loxodonta africana. In: Bambra, C.H. (ed.), Proceedings 2nd International NCRR Conference, Nairobi: Institute of Primate Research, 284-292.
  • 1996. Getting to know a population. In: Kangwana, K. (ed.), Studying Elephants. Nairobi: African Wildlife Foundation Technical Handbook Series, 7: 58-74.
  • 2001. The demography of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) population in Amboseli, Kenya. Journal of Zoology (London), 255: 145-156.
  • 2002. Elephant research in Amboseli: a perspective from 28 years. In: Schwammer, H.M, Foose, T.J., Fouraker, M, & Olson, D. (eds) A Research Update on Elephants and Rhinos: Proceedings of the International Elephant and Rhino Research Symposium, Vienna, June 7-11, 2001, Schuling, Munster, 96-102.
  • Moss, C.J. & Poole, J.H. 1983. Relationships and social structure of African elephants. In: Hinde, R.A. (ed.), Primate Social Relationships: An Integrated Approach. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, pp. 315-325.

Press contact

To schedule an interview with Cynthia Moss, contact:
Jaqueline Nyagah
Communications Manager, IFAW Kenya
Tel: +254 (20) 807 2197
Email: jnyagah@ifaw.org