Dr. Donald J. Brightsmith is an Associate Professor of Ecosystem Health in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and the Schubot Avian Health Center at Texas A&M University. He holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from Duke University, an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University and is the author of over 75 scholarly works. His interest in wild birds started at a young age with binoculars in the backyard and has led him to projects, collaborations, and teaching in Peru, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Indonesia, and throughout the US. His specialties are tropical ecology, ornithology, and wildlife conservation, especially topics related to wild and captive parrots.
He has worked on parrots in Peru since 1993 and ran the Tambopata Macaw Project (now The Macaw Society/Sociedad Pro Guacamayo) since 1999. His research has focused on a wide variety of topics including parrot conservation, clay lick use, nesting, movements, habitat use, etc. He also conducts research on the diets of captive and wild parrots, parrot enrichment, and wild Red-crowned Parrots in Texas. As an advisor to government and private parrot conservation projects he is helping put his knowledge to work for the benefit of wild parrots.