Associate Bios

Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Ronald V. Clarke

Dr. Clarke was Dean of the School of Criminal Justice from 1987-1998. Before moving to the United States in 1984, he was employed for fifteen years in the British government’s criminological research department, the Home Office Research and Planning Unit. He became the Director of the Unit in 1982. While at the Home Office, he jointly developed the rational choice perspective on crime with Derek Cornish and helped to launch the British Crime Survey. He also led the team that originated situational crime prevention and is now considered to be the world’s leading authority on that approach. He is currently the Associate Director of the Center for Problem-oriented Policing, a virtual institute, and he has been Visiting Professor at University College London since 2001. In 2012, his colleagues and former students published a festschrift in his honor (The Reasoning Criminologist, Routledge) and in 2015 he was awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.


Justin Kurland

Justin Kurland is a Post-Doctoral Associate at the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice. He received his Ph.D. in Security and Crime Science from University College London and his M.A. in Criminal Justice from Boston University. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Dr. Kurland primarily focused on crime prevention in the context of crowd-related sporting events. He has received multiple awards, grants, and invitations to appear on both radio and television talk shows. In addition, Dr. Kurland presented his research at several prestigious international  conferences, such as the International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications (ICCSA) and the International Crime and Intelligence Analysis Conference.


Lauren Wilson 

Lauren Wilson is a current doctoral student at Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, studying under Dr. Clarke. Lauren’s background is in environmental science, with a focus on population genetics and spatial ecology. She earned an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, and a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Georgia. Lauren is re-learning issues of wildlife crime from a criminological, rather than an ecological, perspective, and is interested in poacher decision-making and land management practices that expand from the typical focus on enforcement.


NJIT Federated Department of Biological Sciences

Gareth Russell Gareth Russell

Gareth J. Russell, PhD, is an assistant professor in the department of biological sciences at New Jersey Institute of Technology whose research is driven in large part by an intense interest in how complex ecological systems work. This interest manifests itself in a variety of specific research activities. One such activity involves the colonial wading birds of south Florida, and of Everglades National Park in particular. There are two main themes. One is analysis of the wading bird distribution data collected by the systematic reconnaissance flights. Another interest is information-based statistics in ecology, likelihood and Bayesian methods for estimating survivorship and related curves, small-world and other network models as they apply to ecological systems.


Simon Garnier

Simon is currently an Assistant Professor in the Federated Department of Biology of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Rutgers University. He is the head of the Swarm Lab, an interdisciplinary research lab that studies the mechanisms underlying Collective Behaviors and Swarm Intelligence in natural and artificial systems. The Swarm Lab started to operate in July 2012.


Maggie Wisniewska 

Maggie is interested in understanding behavioral ecology of group-living animals navigating human-altered ecosystems. As an undergraduate and graduate student, she studied animal behavior in the California chaparral, the savanna mosaic of Texas, the fynboss of South Africa, and most recently in the semi-arid savanna of Namibia. Currently, Maggie is a PhD student in the Federated Department of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark and The New Jersey Institute of Technology. In her doctoral work, she uses statistical modeling to examining whether African elephants use spatially explicit memories about poaching to avoid poaching hotspots, and what implications such avoidance, or its lack, may have on the species’ ability to survive in the wild. As a member of C3E, Maggie hopes to link animal behavior, conservation science, and criminology to augment poaching prevention strategies and ultimately benefit biodiversity conservation.


John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Mangai Natarajan Ph.D Mangai Natarajai headshot

Mangai Natarajan, Ph.D is a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the director of the International Criminal Justice BA Program. She is an active policy-oriented researcher who has published widely in four areas: organized crime (drug trafficking); women police, violence against women and international crime and justice. Her wider academic interests revolve around crime theories that promote crime reduction policy thinking. Being of Indian origin, she has developed an interest in preventing the poaching of tigers, the national animal of India. Dr. Natarajan’s current research project involves in-depth analyses of elephant rampages in villages which have become a serious problem of human-animal conflict.


Gohar Petrossian

Gohar Petrossian is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at CUNY – John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her research interests include crimes against wildlife, with a particular interest in IUU fishing, spatial and temporal analysis of crime and GIS mapping, environmental criminology and opportunity theories, and crime prevention. She is currently working on a book titled Last Fish Swimming: The Global Crime of Illegal Fishing (Global Crime and Justice Series. ABC-CLIO, LLC, Praeger Imprint).


Other Collaborators

Andrew Lemieux 
Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement

Andrew Lemieux studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Arizona (BS 2005, MS 2006). He subsequently earned a Master’s degree (2008) and PhD (2010) in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. His doctoral research examined the risk of violent victimization Americans are exposed to in different activities and places. Since 2010, he has worked at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) as a post-doc and then as a researcher. His current research focuses on the spatial and temporal elements of wildlife crime within protected areas with a specialization in data-driven ranger patrol strategies, offender networks, and patrol data collection systems.


Antony C. Leberatto  Antony Leberatto headshot
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
New Jersey City University

Antony C. Leberatto earned his PhD from Rutgers School of Criminal Justice in Newark, New Jersey. He began a field investigation into Peru’s illegal wildlife trade by interviewing the actors involved in fauna trade (hunters, middlepersons, sellers, buyers) and rescue processes ( fauna rescue center workers, environmental police, and conservationists) in 2012. This ongoing investigation explores the sociopolitical, historical, and cultural meanings of Peru’s wildlife trade with the aim of creating sustainable and conscientious solutions that conserve biodiversity and improve the lives of citizens in biodiversity zones. His other research interests include: programs evaluations, international criminology, victimizations, and situational crime prevention.


William Moreto
University of Central Florida

Dr. William Moreto is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida, where he is currently the coordinator for the graduate crime analysis certificate. His expertise is in environmental criminology and crime science, situational crime prevention, policing and policing innovation, wildlife crime, and wildlife law enforcement. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Uganda and is currently conducting a multi-year, cross-national study with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) on frontline ranger perceptions of their occupation. He is also working with colleagues at the WWF to examine illegal activities within protected areas in seven tiger ranger countries in Asia. In 2015, he was awarded a visiting scholar fellow at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement and in 2016 he became an associate member of the Ranger Federation of Asia. Beyond his work in wildlife crime and wildlife law enforcement, he has conducted research on the residential burglary, maritime piracy, and non-prescription opioid use and “pill mills.” His research has been published in top peer-reviewed journals, including Justice Quarterly, British Journal of Criminology, and Oryx: The International Journal of Conservation.


Stephen Pires 
Florida International University

Stephen F. Pires completed his graduate work at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey under the mentorship of Dr. Ronald Clarke. Dr. Pires is an expert on the illegal wildlife trade with a particular focus on commonly poached species (i.e. hot products), illicit markets, and the organization of the illegal trade.  In addition to his work on wildlife crime, Dr. Pires has published several articles on the topic of kidnapping for ransom from a situational crime prevention perspective.


Julie Viollaz
Michigan State University

Julie Viollaz is a Research Associate at Michigan State University and works as a consultant on wildlife crime issues. She specializes in field interventions to help communities and NGOs apply crime prevention techniques to poaching and wildlife trafficking. She has a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the CUNY Graduate Center & John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a B.A. in Biology from Mount Holyoke College. She was part of the team that conducted the mid-term evaluation of USAID’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (Phase III) in the Congo Basin. Her other research includes understanding the port characteristics that facilitate illegal fishing, building a response toolkit for human-carnivore conflict and retaliatory killings, and designing an evaluation methodology for anti-poaching interventions.