Reptiles and amphibians are mysterious creatures, beloved by some, feared by others, and, for a small segment of the population known as herpetologists, absolutely fascinating to study. Reptiles and amphibians play critical ecological roles that are often overlooked due to their exceptional abilities to avoid detection. Unfortunately, these creatures are also very sensitive to human disturbance and exotic diseases, and many populations are in grave danger of extinction. Join herpetologist Kevin Shoemaker on a whirlwind tour of amphibian and reptile diversity and the reasons for their decline, and a discussion of how we can conserve these fascinating creatures and their key ecological roles.
Presented By: Kevin Shoemaker, Ph.D
Kevin Shoemaker, Ph.D., is currently an assistant professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where he serves as director of the Applied Population Ecology lab. Shoemaker’s research at UNR covers a wide range of species from tortoises to prairie dogs to bats, but always focuses on questions directly relevant to wildlife conservation and management. Shoemaker received his master's and doctoral degrees at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where his dissertation research on the population ecology of bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) helped to clarify the conservation status of small freshwater turtle populations. Originally from eastern Massachusetts, Kevin has always been particularly fascinated with reptiles and amphibians—especially turtles!