Lumpkin, Susan 1954(?)–

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Lumpkin, Susan 1954(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1954; married John Seidensticker (senior scientist at Smithsonian National Zoological Park); children: Lesley Anne. Education: Eastern Michigan University, B.S., 1976; Duke University, Ph.D., 1980.

ADDRESSES: Home—1427 Decatur St. NW, Washington, DC 20011. Office—FONZ Communications Office, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20008.

CAREER: Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, DC, editor of ZooGoer, 1987–, director of communications for Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), 1990–; Wild Mammals in Captivity, founding editor.

AWARDS, HONORS: Postdoctoral fellow, Smithsonian Institution, 1980.


(Editor with husband, John Seidensticker) Great Cats, illustrated by Frank Knight, Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 1991.

(Editor with others) Wild Mammals in Captivity: Principles and Techniques, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1998.

(With John Seidensticker) Smithsonian Book of Giant Pandas, Smithsonian Institution Press (Washington, DC), 2002.

(With John Seidensticker) Cats: Smithsonian Answer Book, photographs by Art Wolfe, Smithsonian Books (Washington, DC), 2004.

Contributor of more than one hundred articles to periodicals, encyclopedias, books, and web archives.


Small Cats, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1993.

Big Cats, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1993.

(With John Seidensticker) Dangerous Animals, illustrated by Christer Eriksson and others, Time-Life Books (Alexandria, VA), 1995.

(With John Seidensticker) Cats and Wild Cats, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 1996.

SIDELIGHTS: Writer and editor Susan Lumpkin studied natural science psychology with a focus on animal behavior, an interest that led her to a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. She went on to become editor and then webmaster for the publication ZooGoer, and eventually became director of communications for Friends of the National Zoo.

Lumpkin has authored or edited a number of books on natural history, both for adults and children, frequently collaborating with her husband, John Seidensticker. Several titles focus on single animal families, such as Cats: Smithsonian Answer Book. The volume uses a question-and-answer format to cover various species of cats, from varieties suitable for pets to those considered predators, including lions, tigers, jaguars, ocelots, and pumas. While the book targets the general audience, Sue O'Brien, in a review for Library Journal, pointed out that "the text also offers many examples and cites scientific studies for those who would like additional details." A similar effort, Smithsonian Book of Giant Pandas, discusses the shrinking population of pandas in their natural habitat and attempts to educate the public about the situation. Lumpkin and Seidensticker visited panda reserves in China in order to observe the animals in the wild.



Booklist, October 1, 2004, George Cohen, review of Cats: Smithsonian Answer Book, p. 289.

Library Journal, March 1, 2002, Deborah Emerson, review of Smithsonian Book of Giant Pandas, p. 132; October 1, 2004, Sue O'Brien, review of Cats: Smithsonian Answer Book, p. 108.

Quarterly Review of Biology, March, 1998, James H. Shaw, Tracy S. Carter, and Tammie Bettinger, review of Wild Mammals in Captivity: Principles and Techniques, pp. 85-86.


John Seidensticker Home Page,∼lala5252/ (February 9, 2005), "Susan Lumpkin."

Smithsonian National Zoo Web site, (February 22, 2005), "Susan Lumpkin."