Tracking the Mountain Ghost

For almost a decade, Swedish researcher Örjan Johansson has studied the elusive snow leopards of the Gobi Desert. His pioneering work includes equipping 23 individual snow leopards with GPS collars, and publishing groundbreaking papers on how these cats use their habitat or how frequently they kill prey. Last month, Örjan defended the PhD thesis he wrote on this research. In this article, he shares some thoughts about his unique work and what motivates him to do it.

Pioneering Research Leads to PhD

Örjan Johansson’s groundbreaking work on the snow leopard’s biology and behavior has led to novel insights into the spatial needs, predation patterns, and reproduction cycle of this elusive cat. Now, after 8 years of field work, collaring 23 individual snow leopards and spending more than 1,000 nights in the Gobi Desert, this pioneering scientist has received his PhD from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.