Dr. Luke Dollar
DEPARTMENT CHAIR / Professor of Environment and Sustainability
Dollar is a renowned wildlife biologist and conservationist, and a National Geographic Explorer. Much of his research is focused in Africa, as he manages the National Geographic Society's Big Cats Initiative. In Madagascar, Dollar also leads ongoing, long-term research focusing on the ecology and conservation of the island's largest endemic predator, the Fosa, a unique carnivore found nowhere else in the wild, resembling a blend between the mongoose, hyena, and cat families.
Dollar says his academic department at Catawba is seeking students who want academic adventure and to "move the world's needle, and want to be able to do so in an informed way. We will continue to help our students create and curate knowledge, and there's a humility and strength that comes from understanding first-hand the context and magnitude of what it all means."
Dollar also serves as an adjunct professor in Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. He spent the summer of 2017 in Madagascar continuing his study of the Fosa, also with a brief stint in Cartagena, Colombia to present his research, alongside one of his graduate students, at the International Congress for Conservation Biology. He takes prides in sharing his research with local people to educate them about serving as wildlife caretakers rather than wildlife threats.