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RLA membership

Page history last edited by Ariadne Angulo 11 years, 9 months ago

The Amphibian RLA is currently comprised of 20 full-time members, two part-time members and one Biodiversity Assessment Unit staff member. Our full-time members are:


Alessandro Catenazzi


I'm a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. My main areas of research are community ecology and biodiversity. Within community ecology, I'm especially interested in exploring the effects of cross-ecosystem spatial subsidies on population dynamics and trophic interactions. My current conservation interests focus on maintaining the diversity of montane forest and high-elevation frogs in the Neotropics.

Annika Hillers


I’m a herpetologist specialized on West African amphibians focusing on the Upper Guinea forest range (countries from Senegal to Benin). My main interests are tropical ecology, conservation, systematics and taxonomy, phylogeny and phylogeography. Specifically, my research included for example the effects of forest fragmentation and habitat degradation on the biodiversity of leaf-litter frogs, research on West African rainforest refugia based on the phylogeography of forest frogs, phylogenies of different genera (e.g. Phrynobatrachus, Arthroleptis, Conraua), the description of new species, the distribution of species, a lot of survey work, and conservation especially of rare forest taxa. After having completed my PhD at the University of Amsterdam, I had Postdoc positions at the natural history museums in Berlin and Paris. Currently, I’m working as a Conservation Scientist in “The Across the River – A Transboundary Peace Park for Sierra Leone and Liberia” project where I am responsible for the biodiversity research and monitoring program, cooperation with local and international universities and institutions, etc.


Ariadne Angulo


I completed a Master's degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Kent and a PhD in Zoology at the University of Toronto. My research interests include bioacoustics, conservation, ecology, evolutionary biology and systematics of amphibians. I became involved with amphibian conservation assessments as a coordinator and assessor in the Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA) in 2002, and this involvement has not only continued, but progressively increased over the course of time – I am currently the Amphibian Red List Authority Focal Point and oversee the maintenance and curation of the amphibian database on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Arvin Diesmos


Arvin received his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees from the University of the Philippines, and his Ph.D. degree from the National University of Singapore. He is a research scientist of the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila and is in charge of the Herpetology Section. His research focuses on systematics, ecology, biogeography, and conservation of amphibians and reptiles of the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He is a member of the Amphibian Specialist Group, Tortoise & Turtles Specialist Group, Crocodile Specialist Group, and the IUCN Amphibian Red List Authority.


Blair Hedges


Blair is an evolutionary biologist and his research often explores connections with Earth history in diverse groups of organisms and time periods, usually with molecular sequence data (see http://evo.bio.psu.edu/hedgeslab/).  He also conducts biodiversity research on Caribbean islands for species discovery and resolving systematic questions concerning amphibians and reptiles (see www.caribherp.org). Besides that conservation work, Blair continues efforts to halt habitat destruction (see www.caribnature.org) and has recently begun rescue operations for captive breeding of critically endangered frog species in Haiti, one of the most environmentally devastated countries in the world. 


Dale Roberts


I work mostly with frogs and have a broad array of interests.  I have worked extensively on frog acoustics and the evolution and use of calls in mate choice and species recognition.  I dabble in taxonomy – mostly with frogs but recently also with spiders.  I have a deep interest in the historical biogeography of south-western Australia  with studies using molecular clocks in the 1980's aiming to understand the history of the frog fauna and more recently looking at intra-specific variation and population structuring.  That work has been extended to an analysis of the evolution of Myobatrachoid frogs in Australia with a view to analysing life history and call structure evolution.  I also work intensively on mating system evolution and particularly the impact of polyandrous mating systems on anuran evolution. 


I am actively involved with frog conservation at several levels: i) writing recovery plans for three threatened species in south–western Australia and I have been actively involved in the resultant management activities, ii) whole of Australia management planning for anuran conservation including IUCN status assessments and involvement with workshops on chytrid fungus and some cane toad control actions, iii) promoting awareness of the historical development of genetic diversity and the implications of past climate change for the future of frog faunas, iv) the documentation of species level diversity in arid and tropical areas of Western Australia, and v) with the Western Australian Museum I am involved in education programs about frog diversity and conservation – particularly through the development of a CD of frog calls.


Diego Cisneros-Heredia


Franco Andreone


Franco Andreone is zoologist and curator of the Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali (Torino, Italy). His research focusses on several aspects of amphibian and reptile conservation biology. He conducts research on the distribution and conservation status of the herpetofauna of Italy, with a particular emphasis on the influence of human activities on endemic species. Since the end of the eighties he regularly visits Madagascar, where he discovered and described several new species of amphibians and reptiles. In Madagascar he also collaborates with national and international organisations to better define conservation priorities that take into account the ecological and life history of several threatened species. As an RLA he is interested in coupling aspects of taxonomy with ecology of little-known species by also applying integrative techniques. When appointed Co-chair of the IUCN/SSC Declining Amphibian Population Task Force, successively transformed into the IUCN / Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG), he launched the ACSAM (A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar) Initiative. Specific outputs of the ACSAM have been the Sahonagasy Action Plan (the official action plan for the conservation of the amphibians of Madagascar) and several popular and scientific publications, besides tailored actions for increasing public awareness through training courses and field surveys.


Geoff Hammerson


John Measey


I have worked on African amphibians since I started my PhD on Xenopus in 1993. Since then I have done extensive field work in eastern and southern Africa (as well as South America and India) on caecilians and to a lesser extent anurans. I have been working at the South African National Biodiversity Institute since 2006. SANBI works with many partners to coordinate research, policy and redlistings on South Africa's extensive biodiversity. I am privileged to work with a fantastic group of amphibian enthusiasts here as well as a strong and expanding herpetological community encompassing many researchers from all over the world.


Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailovic


Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic, PhD from Belgrade (Serbia), was born in 1962 and has been studying amphibians and reptiles since 1981. She is now Associate Professor of Organic Evolution, Conservation Biology and Animal Ecology at the University of Nis and Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Biological Research, University of Belgrade, Serbia. She is particularly interested in the variation of life history traits in amphibian (e.g. Bufo bufo) and reptile species (e.g. Vipera ursinii, Vipera ammodytes) and in the application of population viability analysis in predicting evolutionary potential of local amphibian and reptile populations. Regarding amphibian conservation, she did her M.Sc. thesis on genetic structuring of crested newt (Triturus cristatus superspecies) populations in ex-Yugoslavia and to date she continues to participate in the evaluation of genetic diversity within this species group and in the evaluation of the conservation status of its breeding sites. Jelka has participated in DAPTF Seed Grants, the Amphibian Specialist Group, and is currently a member of the Amphibian RLA. She has contributed to the Global Amphibian Assessment and to several IUCN workshops focused on the assessment of the Red List status of Amphibians and Reptiles of the Mediterranean basin and Europe. She has been a member of the Conservation Committee of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica (SEH) since 2008, vice secretary of the Council of SEH since 2009 and a member of the Viper Specialist Group since 2010.


Madhava Meegaskumbura



Dr. Madhava Meegaskumbura is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, carrying out research on ecology, evolution, population genetics, systematics and conservation of Sri Lankan frogs. He also works on biodiversity related issues, paleobiology, and systematics, evolution and biogeography of other Sri Lankan fauna and flora.  He did his Ph. D. at Boston University, USA, on Sri Lankan shrub frogs (Pseudophilautus) and was a Ziff Environmental Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University Center for the Environment and Museum of Comparative Zoology, where he worked on the extinctions in Pseudophilautus. He is also a co-chairman of the Amphibian Specialist Group Sri Lanka (IUCN/SSC). He has received several Presidential Awards for research from H.E. the President of Sri Lanka, and has also been awarded the Belamaarich Award for the outstanding Ph.D. thesis (2007) from the Department of Biology, Boston University, USA.


Magno Segalla


Marcio Martins


Marcio Martins is Professor of Ecology at The University of São Paulo,  Brazil. He has been publishing scientific papers on frogs and snakes for more than 20 years. His main research interests include snake and frog community ecology, frog population biology, snake ecomorphology, and anthropogenic factors and life history traits which affect vulnerability to extinction. He has been involved with red list assessments of Brazilian herps for almost 15 years. He coordinated the review of the Brazilian squamates for the IUCN Red List, the reptile review for the Brazilian 2003 national red list, and he also contributed with the preparation or review of reptiles and amphibians for a few state red lists in Brazil. Presently he is the snake authority for the review of the Brazilian red list, which is planned for 2012, and one of the co-chairs of the Amphibiam Specialist Group in Brazil.

Michele Menegon


I have been working on African Amphibians and Reptiles since 1995 and I’ve spent most of my time in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. More recently I’ve been exploring new areas of the so-called Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot as Rwanda, DRC and Ethiopia, but Tanzania remains my first love. I’m mostly interested in taxonomy, biogeography, evolutionary processes and conservation, especially of the montane forest assemblages. During over a decade I’ve had the privilege to work with a great group of people and share with them great time and beers in one of the most diverse places on earth. I’m part of the newly established section of Tropical Biodiversity at the Trento Museum of Natural Sciences in Italy. Part of my work is done in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam, WCS, the Manchester Metropolitan University and the Institute of Biogeography of the University of Basel, in Switzerland.


Mirza Kusrini


Dr. Mirza Kusrini is lecturer in the Department of Forest Resources Conservation & Ecotourism at Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia. She is an enthusiastic advocate of amphibian and reptile conservation and serves as Chair of the Indonesian Herpetologist Society. Her research is mostly on the biodiversity and ecology of amphibians. Mirza is also passionate about conservation education for children. She led several conservation education projects in Indonesia through wildlife camp, teacher training and school counseling.


Michael Lau


Dr. Michael Lau did his Ph.D. research on the habitat use of Hong Kong amphibians and the conservation of the endemic Romer’s Tree Frog which involved captive-breeding and translocation in the University of Hong Kong. He is now working in Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, an environmental NGO based in Hong Kong. He has been involved in rapid biodiversity surveys in South China and Hong Kong, conservation projects on endangered species and nature reserve management and assisted in the Red List Assessment of Chinese amphibians.


Rudolf von May


Rudolf von May completed his Ph.D. in biological sciences at Florida International University. He grew up in a rain forest region of central Peru (Chanchamayo) and is primarily interested in tropical biology, conservation, and the ecology and evolution of amphibians. His recent work focused on diversity patterns, the assessment of threatened species, and the ecology of poison frogs. He has also participated in biological inventories conducted in indigenous lands that need formal protection in Peru (see http://sites.google.com/site/rvonmay/ for further details).


Steve Richards


Stephen Richards manages Conservation International’s RAP biodiversity assessment program in the Asia-Pacific region and is an Honorary Research Associate at the South Australian Museum. His research interests focus on the systematics, ecology and conservation status of frogs, reptiles and odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) in New Guinea, Australia and the South Pacific region. Based in northern Queensland, Australia, Stephen is a member of the IUCN SSC’s Amphibian Specialist Group.


Xie Feng


Feng is Professor of the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, China. His scientific interests include the systematics, evolutionary and conservation biology of amphibians, with a special focus on Chinese salamandrids. He was involved with the assessment of the amphibians of China in the Global Amphibian Assessment, and led a review paper of the GAA results for China. He is currently involved in the development of the China Amphibian Conservation Action Plan.


Our part-time members are:


Jeanne Tarrant


I have been involved in amphibian research in southern Africa since 2006. My MSc research included a systematic review of species from the Drakensberg Mountains and Lesotho. I have recently completed my PhD with the African Amphibian Conservation Research Group at the North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa. This research was focused on threatened frogs of South Africa, including aspects on disease (chytridiomycosis), taxonomy, distribution and conservation. I am currently in the process of establishing a new working group within the Endangered Wildlife Trust in order to implement conservation actions for threatened southern African frogs and am passionate about raising the profile of frogs in this region.


Laurence Jarvis


I am currently finalising a PhD on the ecology and conservation of Triturus cristatus within the UK (Open University). My research interests are in the areas of amphibian declines, population ecology and conservation. I have been involved in projects in Ecuador and Mexico and am currently planning collaborative research with The Biodiversity Group examining population ecology of anurans within Ecuadorian lowland tropical forest. I have also recently taken up a position as Managing Editor of the British Herpetological Society’s Bulletin.


Phil Bowles


I’ve taken a rather circuitous route into conservation, obtaining Masters degrees in Tropical Ecology (James Cook University) and Taxonomy (Imperial) after originally training as a philosopher! I’ve worked as a field herpetologist and entomologist, primarily in Madagascar, Southeast Asia and Australia. I retain particular research interests in those regions, especially as they relate to amphibians, reptiles and dragonflies. My primary conservation interest lies in establishing how differences in species’ ecology influence their distribution and vulnerability to extinction. I work within the Biodiversity Assessment Unit, a joint initiative between IUCN and Conservation International, where I’m currently helping to coordinate the Global Reptile Assessment as well as assisting with updates to the amphibian Red List database.


Past Part-time RLAs:


Aina Pascual Cuadras (2010-2011 internships)


Aina Pascual Cuadras is a Spanish conservation biologist from Barcelona currently working as a Biodiversity Assessment Unit Intern and collaborating with the Amphibian RLA as part-time RLA updating the Red List with recently discovered amphibian species. Before moving to the US to intern for the IUCN, she worked for Earthwatch as part of their Research team in Oxford (UK), and lived in four different European countries. So far, her previous research and experience has focused on studying captive chimpanzees in Spain, sea turtles in Mexico and a bottlenose dolphin in Greece, where she conducted her MSc research on distribution and habitat use of a particular dolphin population living in a semi-enclosed gulf. Moreover, she is determined to pursue a career in conservation and is interested in threatened species’ conservation, protected areas management and any initiative towards wildlife and biodiversity conservation. Besides being a scuba diver, an amateur photographer, a powerboat captain, and an ex semi-professional ice-figure skater, she is fluent in four languages and loves travelling, outdoor sports and music. 


Derek Berezdivin (2011 internship)


Derek Berezdivin is currently getting his Master's degree in Conservation Biology at Columbia University.  He received a B.S. from Brandeis University, where he was involved in the development of an electronic field guide to the invasive plant species of Nantucket..  Other interests of his include web page design, environmental policy, and primate evolution.  He especially loves integrating his passion for animals with his talents for technology, and helped develop the IUCN Red List Amphibian Forum.


Corey Roelke (2010-2011 internship)


I received my B.S. in Biological Sciences from Clemson University in 2005 and my Ph.D in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in 2010.  I'm currently a lecturer at the UTA Department of Biology and a research associate at the UTA Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center.  My interests are in systematics of African frogs of the genus Leptopelis, North American salamanders of the genus Siren, and the natural history and ecology of numerous species of threatened and endangered reptile and amphibian species, such as Cave Salamanders and the Brazos Water Snake in my home state of Texas.  I'm very interested in herp conservation and all levels, but especially the idea of integrated conservation of species through in-situ, ex-situ, and landscape level projects based on sound taxonomic knowledge of specific groups.



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