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Advisory Committee

Return to the Who We Are homepage
View the Directive for Advisory Committee Members
Advisors | Videos of Online Meetings

Next Advisory Committee Meeting: September 18th, 2013 at 4:00pm San Francisco time.

Introduction

The SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee members provide us with valuable advice on how best SAVE THE FROGS! can accomplish its mission, as well as taking part in our campaigns and programs and spreading the word about our activities. If you are dedicated to environmental conservation, and feel you would be a valuable addition to our Advisory Committee, please send us your resume and a single paragraph describing how your skills or abilities would benefit SAVE THE FROGS!.

 

Advisors

Dr. Víctor H. Luja

La Paz, México

Victor LujaDr. Luja received his Ph.D. in Use, Management and Preservation of Natural Resources at the Northwestern Center of Biological Research (Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste) in Baja California Sur, Mexico. His dissertation research focused on the ecology, demography and conservation status of small and isolated populations of Baja California Treefrogs (Pseudacris hypochondriaca curta) in oases of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Dr. Luja is interested in the ecology and conservation of Mexican amphibians; especially in evaluating the effects of the human activities over both populations and communities. His research also focus on the distribution of invasive amphibians and reptiles in Baja California Sur, and the effects of tropical cyclones as sources of natural selection in both native and exotic frogs. He is a passionate wildlife photographer.

Dr. Krishan Sharma

Ajmer, Rajsasthan, India

Krishan SharmaDr. K.K. Sharma is a Professor of Zoology at the MDS University Ajmer, India. He has studied amphibians for the last thirty five years, in India and abroad. His interest in conservation of amphibians is focused on three main lines: (1) replacement of frog dissection in the schools, colleges and universities by digital alternatives of dissection and emphasis on biological studies in nature -- changing the curriculum from Dead Biology to what he calls Live Biology; (2) identification and species categorization of frogs based on their bio-acoustics characteristics (sono-taxonomy) to avoid unnecessary killing of frogs done by traditional taxonomists for this purpose; and (3) habitat restoration, particularly in extreme geographical regions such as the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, where urbanization, scanty rains and indiscriminate use of insecticides and fertilizers have put most of the frogs and toads under severe threat. A large number of Professor Sharma students are involved in saving frogs from road accidents on highways particularly during the breeding seasons. Dr. Sharma is also actively involved with educating the general public about amphibians, and has hosted several Save The Frogs Day events. You can view Dr. Sharma's CV here.

Dr. Franco Andreone

Torino, Italy

Franco Andreone - HerpetologistDr. Andreone is the Curator of Herpetology at the Natural History Museum in Turin, Italy, and has conducted research on the amphibians of Madagascar for the past 20 years. He recently launched “A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar” (ACSAM), an initiative aimed at conserving Madagascar's highly diverse frog fauna, as described in the Sahonagasy Action Plan. Dr. Andreone serves as Madagascar’s Chairman of the Amphibian Specialist Group. He is interested not only in conducting research on Madagascar’s most endangered species (i.e. Mantella cowani), but also in increasing public awareness in the country, through activities such as the Saogongogno Festival in Maroantsetra, which aims to protect the urban population of the tomato frog, Dyscophus antongilii. Franco’s activities are also mirrored in Italy, where he conducts several actions for amphibian conservation. Franco serves as associate editor for scientific journals such as Zookeys, Phyllomedusa, and Alytes. You can view his CV and learn more about his research here.

Dr. KV Gururaja

Bangalore, India

KV GururajaDr. Gururaja travels extensively in the Western Ghats of India and the Western Himalayas, addressing the impact of habitat fragmentation and modification on frogs. His research interests are in behavioral ecology of amphibians, landscape ecology and urban ecology. He is keen on understanding reproduction behavior in endemic frog families of Western Ghats and key ecological variables that influence breeding behaviors and distribution. Dr. Gururaja also focuses on patterns, processes, causes and consequences of forest fragmentation on amphibians and their distribution modeling. He has found and described two new species of frogs, Nyctibatrachus karnatakaensis and Raorchestes ochlandrae. Based on amphibian diversity and distribution, he has proposed conservation priority areas in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Dr. Gururaja works closely with forest managers, researchers and students alike and loves interacting with people and school children to spread the SAVE THE FROGS! message. Future plans include building a larger network of people and students, educating them and moving towards collective efforts in conservation of amphibians. You can read Dr. Gururaja's CV here.

Dr. Vic Eichler

Three Rivers, Michigan, USA

Vic EichlerVic Eichler, Ph.D. is a retired developmental biologist whose professional career was largely devoted to studying the developing nervous system of amphibians. He published research on the role the developing optic nerve has on the developing centers of vision of the frog, and the role the brain has on the developing pineal gland and 'frontal organ'. The latter, often called the third eye, is located in the skin of the head between the eyes of many species of frogs. He has studied the asymmetries found in the roof of the forebrain in representatives of most extant families of frogs and salamanders as well as hormonal dependency in the development of anuran amphibians from larva to adult form. Vic is chairman of his local wetlands and environmental protection committee and has been a devoted activist for SAVE THE FROGS! in Michigan for several years.

Dr. Jean-Marc Hero

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Jean-Marc HeroDr. Hero is an ecologist and associate professor at Griffith University in Gold Coast, Australia. He serves as Secretary General Elect of the World Congress of Herpetology, former President and current Committee Member of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Project Leader of PPBio - Australasia, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Innovative Conservation Strategies. His expertise in ecology stems from his extensive experience with amphibians, spanning over twenty years and across several continents. Dr. Hero has conducted fieldwork in Australia, Brazil, Fiji and Nepal. He has been on the forefront of global amphibian declines since they were first detected and has published three books, six book chapters, one monograph, forty-eight refereed journal articles, twenty-two non-refereed reports/articles, two posters, and one audiocassette. His current research focuses on detecting the impacts of climate change on Australian frog species. During his 14 years as an academic, he has supervised numerous graduate and undergraduate students who have successful completed their degrees; he currently supervises five PhD students, and two Masters students. You can view his CV here and watch his TEDx talk here.

David Speiser

New York, NY, USA

David SpeiserMr. Speiser has an expertise in organizational and strategic planning, having spent over 15 years as a management and operations consultant and project manager for global financial institutions. Mr. Speiser is also a wildlife photographer and nature enthusiast who is committed to conservation. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Audubon Society. He has “birded” in nearly every state in the U.S. and on six continents, where he has seen (and in many cases photographed) over 4,000 birds. Mr. Speiser has led bird walks for environmental educators, ornithological researchers, and NYC public elementary school groups. A series of his photographs of North American birds was recently used for an educational talk and poster on bird migration for the Central Park Zoo, where he has served as a volunteer guide in the education department since 2003. He received his bachelor of science from Cornell University in 1991, and currently lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter. You can see his bird photos (and photos of his beautiful daughter Liliana) here.

Michael Starkey

Oakland, California, USA

Michael StarkeyMr. Starkey has worked as an ecological consultant for environmental consulting firms and government agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish & Game.  He has worked with a wide diversity of California wildlife, including California Tiger Salamanders, San Francisco Garter Snakes, Giant Garter Snakes, bats, and ringtails. He has also worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, studying larval development and parental behavior of the neo-tropical frog, Leptodactylus insularum. After witnessing the result of widespread extinction of amphibians in the Panamanian rainforest, Mr. Starkey became dedicated to conserving amphibian species around the world. Mr. Starkey began volunteering with SAVE THE FROGS! in 2010 to inform the public about the threats facing amphibians and to to help nurture a society that respects and cherishes all forms of wildlife. Mr. Starkey serves as Chairman of the Advisory Committee. In this position, he rallies together scientists, volunteers, and others in order to help broaden SAVE THE FROGS’ mission of conservation. Mr. Starkey coordinates our Belize Eco-Tour and regularly gives lectures on amphibian conservation at universities, schools, and to public interest groups. You can view Michael's webpage here.

Gilbert Adum

Kumasi, Ghana

SAVE THE FROGS! GhanaGilbert Adum is the Executive Director and Chief Ecologist of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, an organization he co-founded in September 2011. Gilbert is one of only two Ghanaian scientists to complete a higher degree in a field related to amphibians, completing both his Bachelor's and Master's degree at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology's Department of Wildlife in Kumasi, Ghana. Gilbert received statistics training at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and through Cambridge University's Tropical Biology Association program, where he was awarded the prestigious Cambridge SCCS Best Report Award for the Year 2011. He also studied taxonomy at Humboldt University in Germany. Gilbert has led research teams in novel amphibian research and conservation, including the re-discovery of the critically endangered West African Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua). Through a grant from the Zoological Society of London, Gilbert established that the deadly amphibian disease Chytridiomycosis is not currently a threat to Ghanaian frogs. Gilbert has presented his research results at scientific conferences in the United Kingdom and Tanzania and he continues to train undergraduates in the ecology, survey and conservation strategies of Ghanaian amphibians. Through his work with SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, Gilbert aims to not only prevent the extinction of Ghana's endangered frogs, but also to spread the message of frog conservation and environmental protection across the entire African continent.

Chris Berry

Santa Cruz, California, USA

Chris BerryMr. Berry is the Water Resources Manager for the City of Santa Cruz, and he is currently working on a multi-species habitat conservation plan for the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), Pacific Pond Turtle (Emys marmorata), tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi) and other aquatic species. Through his Advisory role at SAVE THE FROGS!, Mr. Berry is especially focused on reducing the number of non-native American Bullfrogs entering California. He serves on several County of Santa Cruz advisory bodies including the Fish & Game Commission. He has recently worked on Endangered Species Act compliance for anadromous salmonids; invasive species and riparian protection policy; and water resources protection policy work for the County of Santa Cruz Water Advisory Commission. As a sub-adult before migrating to the Central Coast of California, Mr. Berry frequented the lakes, creeks and bogs of New England. He received his Bachelor's degree in Biology with a concentration in Aquatic Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his Master's degree in Environmental Management with a concentration in nonpoint source water pollution impact assessment from the University of San Francisco.

Robert Jadin

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Robert JadinRobert Jadin is a Ph.D. student in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research focuses on the morphological and molecular phylogenetics of amphibians and reptiles, mainly venomous snakes. Robert's research also includes tropical amphibian and reptile monitoring in Peru along with studies of disease ecology on amphibians and their parasites. Robert has conducted fieldwork in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and throughout the United States. Robert is also actively involved in outreach to the general public about amphibian and reptile declines and has hosted many SAVE THE FROGS! events. You can read more about his research here.

Nurul Islam

Nurul Islam frogsNurul Islam is the Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS! Bangladesh, Asia's leading amphibian conservation organization. Nurul also serves on the SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee, and is an intern student of Veterinary Medicine at the Chittagong Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (CVASU) in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Nurul volunteered more than 300 hours to SAVE THE FROGS! prior to joining our staff. He successfully coordinated the 4th Annual Save The Frogs Day with 14 events in Bangladesh in 2012. His primary research interests are amphibian diseases, effect of pesticides, threats identification and mitigation, monitoring the population trend and conducting community education. Nurul aims to protect amphibians and raise environmental awareness among Bangladesh's people. Nurul has received the 2013 Marie Kirchberger Award for Amphibian Conservation, the 2012 Save The Frogs Day Award, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Award, and Bat Conservation International's 2013 Conservation Impact Award. He is a curator of a citizen science project entitled Amphibians in Bangladesh, a part of iNaturalist's Global Amphibian Bioblitz.

Alyson Lee

Worcester, MA

Alyson LeeAlyson Lee has been donating her graphic design wizardry to SAVE THE FROGS! since she designed our logo in 2008. She created the vast majority of the flyers, merchandise, icons, posters and other graphics on savethefrogs.com and has put in many volunteer hours, working directly with SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger on lots of projects that you have likely seen -- and some you may even wear if you have ever ordered merchandise from the SAVE THE FROGS Gift Center!. Alyson has over twenty-five years of cutting-edge graphic design experience. She has also worked on fine crafts, specialty typesetting, and has served the music industry as both a label and collateral designer and venue promoter. Alyson has served clients in the education, government, retail, life sciences, nonprofit and tele-communications sectors.

George Sellers

Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

George SellersGeorge Sellers has been teaching biology for over 30 years. George has a Masters in biology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he conducted research on parasites of lizards. He recently founded the National Association of Biology Teacher's BioClub project that now has chapters at high schools and community colleges in the USA and Canada. George has been the American Chemical Society's Florida Teacher of the Year and currently serves on the advisory board for the Society's ChemClub. He has given numerous presentations at national and state meetings, published several book reviews for the National Science Teachers Association and has published peer-reviewed scientific papers on parasitology. George currently lives in Greenwood, SC and teaches high school biology at Ware Shoals High School.

Izabela Barata

Minas Gerais, Brazil

Izabela BarataIzabela Menezes Barata is a Brazilian biologist who specializes in herpetology and has been studying the amphibian fauna since 2002, focusing on the ecology and distribution patterns of species in the Brazilian Cerrado biodiversity hotspot. She is a researcher at the Biotrópicos Institute, a non-governmental environmental organization founded in Minas Gerais in 2003. Izabela has coordinated research projects on amphibian conservation since 2007. Bringing together scientific research and the social application of the involved knowledge, she is also dedicated to environmental education and dissemination of the importance and diversity of Brazilian amphibians. She has organized Save The Frogs Day events since 2010. Izabela graduated from the Catholic University of Minas Gerais, where she also received her master's degree in vertebrate zoology.
Email: izabela@biotorpicos.org.br

Frank Santana

San Diego, California, USA

Frank Santana"Since I was a kid, I have been fascinated by amphibians. I remember
turning over a log in my backyard and finding a salamander. I initially
thought it was a lizard. After learning that the lizard was actually a
salamander, I started reading books about amphibians and became more and more fascinated by them. Today, I am a conservation ecologist at the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research where I study amphibians and reptiles with the goal of protecting them from human impacts. Currently, I am working on a project to protect the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana muscosa) in southern California. The Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog is a critically endangered species that has been reduce to only 200 adults and is threatened by habitat loss, drought, introduced species, and the chytrid fungus. In order for conservation programs to succeed we need help from all members of the community. As a member of the SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee I hope to share my passion for amphibians with other citizens with the goal of encouraging them to become amphibian ambassadors."

Jamie Bettaso

Arcata, California, USA

Mr. Bettaso is a researcher with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and has worked in northern California with amphibians and reptiles since 1998. He completed both a B.S. and M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the Wildlife Department at Humboldt State University in 1995 and 2004, respectively. His primary focus for the past five years has been on the Trinity River Restoration Program, and has focused on two species, the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii) and the Pacific Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata), examining impacts of managed flow regimes, temperature influences and restoration activities on the Mainstem Trinity River. Other work has involved the detection of chytridiomycosis in northern California amphibians, and conducting egg mass surveys, as well as work with Pacific Pond Turtles in watersheds outside of the Trinity River.

Dr. Christian Lentz

Durham, North Carolina, USA

Christian LentzMr. Lentz is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sociology at Duke University and is currently writing a dissertation at Cornell University’s Department of Development Sociology. He holds masters degrees from both Cornell and from Yale University, where he studied at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His research grows out of an early commitment to conservation to include interests in agriculture, forestry, and state formation in frontier areas of Southeast Asia. He has done extensive fieldwork in Indonesia and Vietnam and speaks both languages fluently. In Indonesia, Mr. Lentz's interests in nature-society relations led him to study teak forestry, protected area management, and agricultural adaptation to El Nino droughts. On this last project, he collaborated with local non-governmental organizations and with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). In Vietnam, his interest in frontiers has led him to his current dissertation project: to explain the historical processes through which modern states simultaneously construct national space and incorporate people and place within their boundaries. His research in Vietnam was supported by the Fulbright Foundation. You can view his CV here.

David Urbanic

David UrbanicMr. Urbanic is a technologist and entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. Currently President & CEO of Zoomify, Inc., he has been a senior member of management and technical teams at NetFlix, Borland International, and the University of California, and has served on the boards of numerous governmental and nongovernmental organizations supporting educational, cultural, and environmental initiatives. Mr. Urbanic provides technical expertise to SAVE THE FROGS!.

David Wong

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

David WongDavid Wong is an architect and a passionate environmental activist. His background in biology has helped him advocate "green design" in architcture for over three decades. In the 1990's he led citizen efforts in successfully saving an urban forest in the city of Vancouver. David was instrumental in having the 1st Annual Save The Frogs Day legally recognized by the Mayor of Vancouver. He has also spent the past 10 years raising native Pacific Treefrogs in an effort to re-populate the city's urban frog population. An advisor to business and political leaders, David Wong has been recognized by the media as one of the province's "100 most influential Chinese-Canadians". He spends his spare time fussing around with his treefrogs, and nurturing his massive carnivorous plant collection.

Dr. James Webley

Gold Coast, Australia

Dr. James WebleyDr. Webley is a marine ecologist working in Brisbane, Queensland. When not helping to manage recreational fishing around the estuaries of Moreton Bay he writes for a website that discusses ecology, nature, biodiversity and living sustainably. He has also been known to wander up moonlit streams in search of endangered frogs. You can view his CV here.

Michael ChangMichael Chang

Reston, Virginia, USA

Mr. Chang holds a law degree from George Mason University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia. Mr. Chang provides SAVE THE FROGS! with valuable legal advice. He currently practices commercial law with Blankingship & Keith in northern Virginia.

Dr. Todd Tupper

Alexandria, VA, USA

Todd Tupper - HerpetologyDr. Tupper is an Assistant Professor of Zoology at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. He received a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from George Mason University in 2006. His dissertation work focused on the conservation and management of Fowler’s toad (Bufo fowleri) at Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. He is currently involved with a few projects at the National Seashore, including aiding in the development of a pattern mapping recognition program for B. fowleri, determining trends in oviposition site selection in B. fowleri and quantifying temporal variation in anuran detection probabilities for more effective long-term monitoring. Dr. Tupper will also be involved with telemetry of the eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos) in the Provincelands at Cape Cod National Seashore.

Dr. Malcolm McCallum

Texarkana, Texas, USA

Malcolm McCallum - HerpetologyDr. McCallum is an Associate Professor in Biology at Texas A&M University at Texarkana. His academic training is in conservation ecology, ecotoxicology, and evolutionary biology, and his publications encompass the ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. He has been comparing recent extinction rates in amphibians to those from the fossil record and examining how future climate change may influence reproduction, range extent, and persistence of amphibians and reptiles in North America. Dr. McCallum is the managing editor of Herpetological Conservation and Biology, a journal dedicated to the conservation and life history ecology of amphibians and reptiles. You can read more about his research here, and view his CV here.

 

 

Videos of Advisory Committee Meetings

April 3rd, 2013 Online Meeting

Our first ever online meeting!