Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell

Collaborating Scientist –
Center for Conservation Biology

Instructor –
Department of Head & Neck Surgery
Stanford University School of Medicine


Dr. Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell is a faculty member at Stanford University School of Medicine and a world-renowned expert on elephants. She has dedicated the past twenty years of her research career studying elephant communication and how their societies are constructed and maintained, resulting in numerous scientific publications.

She is the author of the internationally acclaimed nonfiction science memoir, The Elephant’s Secret Sense (Free Press, 2007), which highlights a novel form of elephant communication as well as the elephant’s conservation plight. Her photo book, An Elephant’s Life (Lyons Press, Fall 2011) conveys the complicated social lives of elephants through images, and her co-authored, The Elephant Scientist (Houghton-Mifflin, Scientist in the Field series, Summer, 2011), is designed to attract the 6-8th grader to a career in field biology.

Along with over thirty peer-reviewed journal articles, her essays have appeared in a number of popular magazines, including Smithsonian Magazine, The Writer and Africa Geographic. Her work has been covered by multiple international popular magazines, newspapers, radio shows and documentaries. She is the co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Utopia Scientific ( dedicated to research and science education. She teaches Science Writing for Stanford University and The New York Times Knowledge Network.