#14 & #15 Show Notes | Turning Passion into Research: Elephants & Human Health with Daniella Chusyd, PhD

Hello, friends! Welcome back to Rewildology. In this week’s episodes, I’m chatting with a very interesting researcher, Daniella Chusyd, Ph.D. who is studying elephants to better understand ourselves.

In Part 1, we go back in time and learn about her childhood, international experiences, and opportunities that led her to academia. We go into depth about her current research, and let me tell you, it’s fascinating. From studying elephant mental aging to working with elephant orphanages in Zambia and South Africa to understand how experiencing early life trauma relates to health, behavior, and cognition, Daniella is pioneering a whole new way to learn about us while conserving the world’s largest land animal. I’ve studied elephants a lot over the years and I learned so much from Daniella. I’m sure you will, too!

In Part 2 of my conversation with Daniella, we explore the struggles she’s encountered throughout her career and what she’s had to overcome to continue moving forward. We also chat about when she thinks she’ll finally have reached success and gives fantastic life advice that you’ll want to hear.

If you’re liking the show so far, please subscribe and share wherever you’re listening. Sharing is the best way to help the show grow and I promise to continue bringing on fascinating guests and sharing their inspiring stories.

Here is my convo with Daniella:

Ep. 14 | Turning Passion into Research: Elephants & Human Health with Daniella Chusyd, PhD Part 1
Ep. 14 | Turning Passion into Research: Elephants & Human Health with Daniella Chusyd, PhD Part 1

Listen to these episodes on YouTube.

Show Notes

Part 1

  • (Brooke) Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like? [1:50]
  • Daniella tells the story of how she ended up in Isreal for many years before returning to the states for a PhD program. [4:19]
  • (Daniella) “And it’s really, I think, a good opportunity to try to live in different countries if you can. I know not everyone necessarily has the means, but if possible it just gives you a different perspective and really start to understand values and, and what your values are and what your needs are. And also just to have different lenses on what’s important in customs and communicating with people, especially people that have a different background than you that might not speak the same language as you.” [7:00]
  • Daniella shares how she became passionate about elephants and decided to take an unorthodox path to study them in a human nutrition department. [17:44]
  • Daniella does a deep dive into her projects and what she’s discovered through her studies. [35:31]

Part 2

  • Daniella shares how she’s managing to keep her research going through COVID and global shutdowns. [2:00]
  • (Brooke) How do you make a career out of research and how the hell do you get funding for these unbelievable projects? [5:30]
  • Brooke asks Daniella about the struggles she’s had to overcome in her life. [14:40]
  • Brooke asks Daniella when she feels she’ll have reached success in her career. [23:00]
  • Daniella shares her advice with those listening. [28:30]
  • Closing remarks.


Daniella’s website on the School of Public Health’s website at Indiana University: https://publichealth.indiana.edu/research/faculty-directory/profile.html?user=dchusyd
Daniella’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dchusyd/

Check out other Rewildology episodes.

Ep. 12 & 13 Show Notes | Fun in the Galapagos Sun with Josy Cardoso

Ep. 11 | BONUS Episode: Brooke’s Interview on the Rossifari Podcast

Ep. 9 & 10 Show Notes | Musician to Conservationist with Jon Rossi

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Brooke Mitchell-Norman
Brooke Mitchell-Norman

Brooke is a conservation biologist that has traveled the world studying how to balance human activity and healthy wildlife populations. She’s met several inspiring people along the way. These are their stories.

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