Dr. M. Sanjayan

Dr. M. Sanjayan

Category: Science Journalism

M. Sanjayan is an American conservation scientist, writer and Emmy-nominated television news contributor, specializing in the role of conservation in improving human well-being, wildlife and the environment. He is referred to as Sanjayan, using one name as is Tamil custom. He is executive vice president and senior scientist at Conservation International and host of the television series Earth – A New Wild, produced by National Geographic Studios in association with Passion Pictures, which began airing on PBS in February 2015. He also was featured in Grist November 19, 2014, for a story about the PBS series along with Men’s Journal and another recent story in Grist.

Prior to Conservation International, Sanjayan was lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy. His scientific work has been published in peer-reviewed journals Science, Nature and Conservation Biology and his expertise has received extensive media coverage, including Vanity Fair, Outside, Time, Men’s Journal, The New York Times and The Atlantic. His television experience includes serving as a correspondent for Years of Living Dangerously, the 2014 Emmy-nominated climate change series and hosting and contributing to television programs on The Discovery Channel and the BBC. In 2009, he appeared as a guest on Late Show with David Letterman. He also writes for The Huffington Post.

In May 2012, CBS News named Sanjayan its science and environmental contributor and his 2013 CBS Evening News report on elephant poaching was nominated for an Emmy in the investigative journalism category. National Geographic Society recently selected Sanjayan for its Explorers Council, a distinguished group of top scientists, researchers and explorers who provide advice and counsel to the Society across disciplines and projects. Sanjayan is also a Catto fellow at the Aspen Institute and a senior advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative.

Born in Sri Lanka, Sanjayan and his family moved to Sierra Leone in 1972. He moved to the United States to study at the University of Oregon, where he received both a B.S. in biology and a M.S. in ecology. In 1997, he earned a Ph. D in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.