Speakers: Past and Present


Mike Dloogatch
-Elections / South Africa's Kalahari Desert Travelogue

This meeting will include the annual election of officers and members-at-large of the CHS Board of Directors. In addition CHS membership secretary and Bulletin editor Mike Dloogatch will present a herp-oriented travelogue about a trip in 2003 to South Africa's Kalahari Desert.

Please note that the November monthly meeting has been rescheduled from the usual last-Wednesday-of-the-month to Wednesday, November 20th.


John Vanek
-Urban Ecology and the Herpetofauna of Lake County, IL

As part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, Lake County is one of the most urban counties in the United States, with a population density >600 persons/km2, >7000 km of roads, and >270000 anthropogenic structures. Despite this human presence, nearly 13% of the county has been preserved for natural resources. Much of this land is owned by the Lake County Forest Preserve District, which manages 55 nature preserves across the county. In this talk, John will present an overview of the LCFPD's long term wildlife monitoring program, focusing on 10 years of herpetofauna surveys. In addition, he will describe his dissertation research on the ecology and conservation of painted turtles, tiger salamanders, and blue-spotted salamanders in Lake County.

John Vanek is a herpetologist and wildlife biologist specializing in non-game conservation and management. John has active leadership roles in The Wildlife Society and Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and is passionate about outreach and environmental education. He is a current PhD candidate at Northern Illinois University, having previously worked for the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory in Carbondale, IL, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Purdue University, and Florida State University. John has a BS in Wildlife Science from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forest, and earned his MS studying the ecology of Eastern hog-nosed Snakes at Hofstra University.


Ann-Elizabeth Nash
-A Reptile Shelter and Reptile Sociality

Twenty years ago, a simple babysitting gig started AE Nash on a new life adventure with reptiles. From that first lizard experience in 1997, Nash soon adopted four green iguanas, with many more available whose owners wanted to rehome their pets. A local shelter gave unwanted reptiles to pet stores and others, with little regard to the problems these animals faced. Soon, the idea of a shelter dedicated to reptiles and amphibians took hold, and Colorado Reptile Humane Society (CoRHS) was born. Nash will speak about the joys and tribulations starting and running a shelter for herps, and how much more work there is needed on behalf of these magnificent and often misunderstood animals. She will also share some of her research on the sociality of the Spiny-Tailed Iguana in Costa Rica.

Executive Director of Colorado Reptile Humane Society (CoRHS), Nash works with reptiles in welfare, conservation, and rehabilitation settings. She is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Northern Colorado and will defend her doctoral dissertation in October 2019. Her research explores the social structure of the Spiny-Tailed Iguana. Nash has published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Herpetological Review, and in Reptiles & Amphibians, Conservation and Natural History. Married, she also shares her space with 1 cat, 3 dogs, and 2 donkeys, all rescues!


Sara Ruane
-Global snake diversity: Describing it, understanding it, and loving it!

Despite having a simple body plan, snakes are an incredibly diverse group of squamates, with almost 4000 species found globally across a myriad of habitats. Sara will speak about some of the work she's been doing that exemplifies this amazing diversity, including research on snake diversity in Madagascar, understanding what characteristics makes an arboreal snake arboreal, and how she uses old museum specimens to better understand modern snake systematics. She will also speak a little bit about why being concerned about snake conservation is important, and not just for people who like snakes!

Sara began her career in herpetology by going for walks in the woods with her grandmother in northeastern Pennsylvania, with her grandmother always encouraging her to flip over rocks and logs to see what was under them; this quickly turned into a passion for finding herps, especially snakes! Sara did her undergrad work at UMass Amherst, an MS at the University of Central Arkansas where she focused on turtle ecology, and a PhD at City University of New York with a focus on snake systematics. Her work on disentangling and revising milksnake taxonomy during her dissertation was followed by postdoctoral positions at the American Museum of Natural History studying snakes of Madagascar and then a second postdoc at LSU's Museum of Natural Science. At LSU, Sara pioneered a method that allowed for extracting and sequencing DNA from old preserved museum specimens, which had previously proven challenging. In 2017, Sara started her current position at Rutgers University Newark, where she is an assistant professor in the department of biological sciences. The Ruane Lab seeks to simultaneously inform reptile and amphibian systematics while also answering broad, contemporary questions in evolutionary biology. Current research focuses on the phylogenetics of the Malagasy pseudoxyrhophiines and examining undescribed diversity for poorly known New Guinean snakes. New and upcoming research from the Ruane Lab includes co-historical demography and genetic diversity of NJ squamates in the Pine Barrens and urban snake population dynamics and gene flow. While Sara's interests in herpetology are broad, her lab focuses primarily on snakes, especially with respect to systematics, phylogenetics, and phylogeography. Besides snakes, Sara loves the color pink, chicken wings, and poodles (but not necessarily in that order)!


Michael Burger
-The Fascinating and Sometimes Profound History of Keeping Herps in America

Love them or hate them, Americans have long held a fascination for amphibians and reptiles. Both the display and keeping of herps has had a very lengthy and interesting history in the U.S. Michael Burger's recently released book "The Dragon Traders, A Collective History of the Reptile Trade in America and the Age of Herpetoculture" (2018) reviews the people, places, trends, and events that influenced the rise in popularity of herps in zoological institutions, the show trade, and the private sector.

Hobbyist, zoo keeper, author, and photographer, Michael Burger was born on Chicago's north side before relocating to herpetologically diverse southern Florida in the 1960s. He is now a resident of the Lone Star State where he maintains a mixed and varied collection of lizards, tortoises, snakes, cats, and dogs.


-Show and Tell

June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.


Joe Cavatiao
-Amphibians of the Chicago Region

What's a mudpuppy? Can toads give you warts? Where can I find a tree frog? Joe Cavataio will share his extensive knowledge Chicago's frogs, toads, and salamanders, including natural history and recent conservation aimed at ensuring the long-term survival of these intriguing animals.

Joe is a lifelong naturalist with a focus on herpetology, particularly in urban areas and where the natural landscape has been altered by humans. Food scientist during the week and field herper on weekends, he enjoys getting wet and dirty in pursuit of reptiles and amphibians and doing all he can within his power to play a role in conservation.


Chris Lechowicz
-SCCF Pine Island Sound Eastern Indigo Snake Project: Current Challenges

The SCCF Pine Island Sound Eastern Indigo Snake Project (PISEISP) was developed in 2012 in Lee County, Florida by the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, a non-profit organization on Sanibel Island, after the once extant eastern indigo snake disappeared from Captiva in 1988 and from Sanibel in 1999. Prior to the beginning of the project, the three other large islands in Pine Island Sound had recent unverified reports of eastern indigo snake sightings. Through permits from the USFWS via the Orianne Society an effort to assess, inventory, and develop plans to sustain this federal and state listed threatened species on the last islands in Florida known to harbor eastern indigo snakes began. With research, education, and community participation, this project has shown some success and has gotten positive publicity on the effort to sustain populations of this snake. Much work is still needed to keep the snake and the project in the public's focus as new people (residents and visitors) come to the islands. The research currently being conducted is focused on population biology, home range and habitat use.

Chris Lechowicz is a long-time CHS member that grew up on the southwest side of Chicago and in the Chicago Herpetological Society. He has two Bachelors of Science degrees from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Zoology and Computer Science and a Masters of Science degree in Environmental Science from Florida Gulf Coast University. He is the Director of the Wildlife & Habitat Management Program and staff herpetologist at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in Sanibel, FL where he has worked for over 16 years. Chris is coauthor of the book Amphibians & Reptiles of Sanibel & Captiva Islands: A Natural History (2013) and has a natural history website (graptemys.com) dedicated to the map turtles (Genus: Graptemys). Chris's current herp research at SCCF is with Florida box turtles (T. c. bauri), diamondback terrapins (M. t. macrospilota), and eastern indigo snakes (D. couperi).


Stephen Barten, DVM
-Snake Road: Herping Hotspot

Snake Road is a unique ecosystem in the Shawnee National Forest of southern Illinois that consists of towering limestone bluffs bordered by hardwood forest and buttonwood swamps. A narrow gravel road parallels the bluffs at their base. So many snakes cross the road on their way to and from their hibernaculums in the bluffs that the USDA Forest Service closes the road for two months both in the spring and fall to protect the snakes from vehicular traffic. The 2.7-mile closed section is open to foot traffic, and herpetologists and field herpers flock to the area to observe the phenomenon. Veterinarian and wildlife photographer Stephen Barten will describe the experience, the snakes, and the other wildlife that are commonly encountered in his image-heavy presentation. On a good day, one can observe over 100 snakes on the Snake Road.

Dr. Stephen Barten is a veterinarian and long-time reptile lover. His biggest hobby is wildlife photography, including amazing photographs of snowy owls, jaguars, and even mountain gorillas. He received his DVM from the University of Illinois in 1978, and has since been involved in the North American Veterinary Conference for over 25 years. Stephen is also an author for three chapters of the 3rd Ed. of Mader's Reptile Medicine and Surgery textbook, published in 2019.


Daniel Keyler
-Snakebite Envenoming in Sri Lanka: Polyspecific Antivenom Development

Sri Lanka has been historically plagued with human suffering from venomous snakebite. The problem still persists, as it has been estimated that 143,750 vials of antivenom would be required to provide adequate treatment for the 37,100 snakebite patients in the year 2000. Currently available antivenoms for Sri Lanka snakebite patients are produced and manufactured using the venoms of the Big Four Asian species: cobra (Naja naja), Russell's viper (Daboia ruselii), common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), and the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus). Although the same species are endemic to Sri Lanka their venom profiles are different than those of the same species on mainland Asia. Further, the hump-nosed viper (Hypnale spp.), common in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, is not included in the production of these antivenoms. Antivenoms currently distributed in Sri Lanka do not include Hypnale, and are prepared using venoms from non-indigenous speices that are likely to differ from those of Sri Lankan snakes, representing a problem for the treatment of envenomations in this country. Thus, Sri Lanka's need for optimally efficacious antivenom has driven the efforts to achieve the development of a polyspecific antivenom for the country using the venom from Sri Lanka's indigenous medically important snakes via combining the scientific, technological and economical resources from Costa Rica and the United States in collaboration with Sri Lankan official governmental agencies, legal counsels, environmental, medical and veterinary academic institutions, and religious and cultural leaders.

Dan has been actively involved with studying venomous snakes since he was a young boy. His interest in herpetology and the toxicology of venoms was spurred early on by the late Sherman A. Minton Jr., MD, a friend and mentor until his passing in 1999. Dan's interest in the conservation, and study of the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) in the Upper Mississippi River Valley has been a lifetime commitment. Professionally, he has been busy as Immediate Past President of the North American Society of Toxinology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, and Professor of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Minnesota. Dan's academic research has been in the area of immunotoxicology and has involved the development of immunotherapeutic agents such as antibodies against environmental toxins like PCBs, and vaccine development for nicotine addiction and toxicity. He has contributed to the scientific literature as an author for book chapters involving immunotherapeutics, animal toxins, and venomous snakebite, and has coauthored two books, Venomous Bites from Non-Venomous Snakes: A Critical Analysis of Risk Management of Colubrid Snake Bites, and Venomous Snakebite in the Western United States. He served as Envenomation Section Chair with the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology 2002-07, and is an author and member of the Medical Advisory Committee to the Online Antivenom Index. In recent years he has used his immunotoxiclogy background in research toward the development of antivenom for treating snakebite victims in the country of Sri Lanka where snakebite is a major public health problem. This has involved travel to Sri Lanka and collaboration with Costa Rica's Instituto Clodomiro Picado, University of Costa Rica. Importantly, he spends as much time out in the field as possible where he is most content.


-General Meeting Canceled

Due to the frigid temperatures of the polar vortex reaching dangerous levels, the General Meeting has been canceled.


Holiday Meeting
-Pot Luck Holiday Part

Everyone is welcome to this year end celebration, we will have a pot luck party. Please come with food or drink to share if you can and bring someone new along to introduce them to your society. We will also be ordering pizzas! While there is no scheduled speaker we will have short business section for some quick announcements and our elections! Feel free to bring animals but please be sure to pack them securely and in temperature controlled shipping style boxes.


Maggie Solum
-Crocodile Cognition and Learning

Crocodile Cognition and Learning covers a variety of topics including sensory adaptations in alligators and crocodiles, intelligence and learning in the wild and in captivity and how zookeepers use this information to better care for and train our animals.

Maggie started out at Serpent Safari Reptile Zoo in 2007 as a tour guide, followed closely by the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest in 2009. Juggling both facilities for almost 7 years while finishing her Bachelor's in Biology at Elmhurst College and interning at local zoos. In June 2016 she accepted a job at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas as a Terrestrial Ectotherms keeper - or a herp keeper. Her focus is crocodiles and venomous snakes while also managing our invertebrate collection at the zoo.


Roger Carter
-Searching For Hidden Herps

Using inspection cameras to go where few herpers have gone before, Roger delves down into hard to reach crevices, burrows, and hollow logs to find well-hidden reptiles on his herping trips.

Roger had lived in the Chicago area from 1972 to 1989, when him and his wive moved to the Indianapolis area for new job opportunities. He used to be an active member in CHS activities including shopping center shows and field trips with members of the CHS. He and his wife are both active in the Hoosier Herpetological Society becoming President three times and currently sitting as the Treasurer.


George L. Heinrich
-The Big Turtle Year: Celebrating Wild Turtles Across the United States

Turtles play significant ecological roles and are visible elements in many habitats. A long list of diverse threats to species globally has contributed to ~59% of all turtles being threatened with extinction. Working in negative synergy, these threats present broad and immediate conservation challenges for one of the most endangered wildlife taxa in the world. Despite the urgency of the situation, opportunities for conservation are abundant and the charismatic attraction of turtles makes them an excellent group for education and outreach efforts to enhance ecological, conservation, and environmental awareness. The United States is the most turtle-rich country (62 species and 89 terminal taxa), with many taxa of conservation concern. While species from areas such as Asia, South America, and Madagascar often receive the majority of conservation attention, the plight of species within the U.S. quietly goes unnoticed. The goal of The Big Turtle Year initiative is to increase awareness regarding the status of these often overlooked species and to emphasize their rich diversity, natural history, and conservation. Throughout 2017, Florida Turtle Conservation Trust researchers visited numerous sites accompanied by other biologists and conservationists in an effort to see as many species as possible during a single year, while examining threats and conservation actions needed. In addition, a national lecture series will disseminate the information gathered to a wide range of audiences, including stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.thebigturtleyear.org.

George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida reptiles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services, is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours. A graduate of Memphis State University, his current work focuses on the ecology and conservation of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve (St. Petersburg, Florida), anthropogenic threats to diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin), and distributional surveys of the Suwannee cooter (Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis) within its southern range. George is an invited member of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, served twice as co-chair of the Gopher Tortoise Council, and is the executive director of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust.


Frank Ziegler
-Reptiles and Amphibians of Romania

From May 2005 to August 2007 Frank was a Peace Corps Volunteer who worked with some Environmental Non-Government Organizations as well as other work. He was able to observe, photograph and record herps of all kinds and witnessed various behaviors throughout the year. From colorful newts, to legless lizards, to rarely seen spadefoot toads, Frank had a unique opportunity to observe herps and was also able to connect with Romanian Herpers, both amateur and professional. Romainia is a unique place to observe European herp species, it hosts a variety of habitats from the Carpathian Mountains, the lowland plains and forests, the fertile Danube Delta and the unique Machin Mountains.

Frank Ziegler was born in Minnesota and enjoyed finding herps all over the state from a young age. He became a member of the Minnesota Herpetological Society in 1994 and conducted the Reptile and Amphibian Survey for the Arboretum at St. John's University, where he earned a degree in Environmental Science in 2003. He received a second degree in Wildlife Management with a minor in Hydrology from St. Cloud State University in 2010. Frank has worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a Vegetation Specialist, as a Fisheries Technician, and as a volunteer frog call surveyor for multiple years. As a Peace Corps volunteer from 2005-2007, he was able to study the herps all over Romania and has presented to the Minnesota Herpetological Society twice on the topic. He was the first to document the arrival of Plains Leopard Frogs in Story County, Iowa, in 2017. He currently live in Ames, Iowa with his wife and two children.


Daniel Parker
-The Road and the Forest - The wildlife of a historic natural area in Central Florida and the road that divides it.

This presentation will cover an extensive University of Central Florida (UCF) study on the impacts of State Road 40 on wildlife in Ocala National Forest, Marjorie Harris-Carr Greenway, and Silver River State Park in Marion County, Florida. This area is known in herpetological circles as the former home of Ross Allen's Reptile Institute at Silver Springs, but it's rich history goes much deeper than that. This presentation will include tidbits on the colorful history of the area, the results of a radio telemetry study on box turtles and gopher tortoises, and notes on other herpetological projects.

Daniel Parker is a biologist with University of Central Florida (UCF) and DRMP. He is also the owner of Sunshine Serpents (www.sunshineserpents.com). Through his company he guides reptile-themed eco tours, gives educational presentations, photographs herps, assists with TV and film production, and breeds captive reptiles. Parker's photographs have appeared in Reptiles, Reptilia, and Herp Nation magazines as well as numerous other publications world wide. His biological interests have involved diverse species. These include indigo snakes, gopher tortoises, sand skinks, Florida black bears, and many established exotics such as the Burmese python. Parker hopes that his work has helped to promote an increased understanding of Florida's natural environment and the wildlife that lives there.


-Show and Tell

June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.


Dr. Robert Lovich
-Amphibian and Reptile Partnerships: Experiences and Successes

Rob Lovich has been involved in numerous partnerships for amphibians and reptiles. This month he plans to discuss the many partnerships he has been involved with, with some of the specific goals, and results that resulted in benefits to amphibians and reptiles.

Robert Lovich is a herpetologist who has been living in southern California for several decades. He has worked in academia, private sector, and also for the federal government. He is presently a Senior Natural Resource Specialist for the U.S. Navy in San Diego, California, and manages projects throughout the southwest. While his work over the years has included all manner of natural resource issues and species, his passion is amphibians and reptiles and has been studying them for decades. He is the senior author of the first Strategic Plan for Amphibians and Reptiles for a department of the U.S. government. Active in PARC at large since 2004, he has previously served as the California State Coordinator (2004-2009), been a prior member of the Joint National Steering Committee, Southwest PARC co-chair, and presently serves on the SW PARC steering committee. He has several dozen peer-reviewed publications, and his academic pedigree includes a dissertation on the phylogeography and conservation of the Arroyo Toad (Anaxyrus californicus), at Loma Linda University in 2009. His M.S. thesis was on the phylogeography of the Granite Night Lizard (Xantusia henshawi) was completed in 1999, and resulted in the elevation of the Sandstone Night Lizard (Xantusia gracilis) to full species. Robert received his B.S. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii in 1996. In 2009, Robert co-published his first book, "Lizards of the American Southwest" by Larry Jones and Robert Lovich (eds.). Robert serves as Assistant Editor of Herpetological Conservation and Biology since 2006, and is a member of the Herpetologist's League Conservation Committee. He is an active member of several herpetological societies, and has been the fortunate recipient of a number of awards. When not working or hanging out with his family, Robert enjoys surfing, golfing, or working on his 1960's Pontiacs.


Dr. Tony Colbert
-UVB Lighting: A Comprehensive Summary

In this month's talk, Dr. Tony Cobert plans to discuss using UVB lighting within the captive reptile husbandry. He is seeking to outline UVB bulb types and brands commonly available within the reptile trade as well as offer reptile owners guidelines with which to choose a UVB source that fits a specific captive specie's needs.

Dr. Tony was born, raised, and educated in the Midwestern United States, graduating from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. He has traveled extensively during his education, pursuing preceptorships and externships in exotic animal medicine from experts in Australia and throughout the United States. While in veterinary school he was the President of both the Iowa State's Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians and Association of Avian Veterinarians clubs, heavily supplementing his own education and the education of others interested in exotic animals with hands-on exotic animal clinical experience, clinical reference materials and lectures from experienced exotic practitioners Following graduation, Tony spent a year working as a crocodile veterinarian in the Philippines, dividing his time between two facilities on opposite ends of the county. In 2014 he returned to the US to practice exotic animal medicine in California for two years before returning to his home city to join Ness Exotic. Currently he shares his life with a ball python that he has had since age 17, a red-eared slider that has been in his family since he was 15, a Russian tortoise, a blue-tongued skink, and two cockatoos.


Yatin Kalki
-Herping in Southern India

In this talk Yatin will first focus on his experiences herping in the highly urbanized landscape of Bangalore city and then move onto talk about the pristine rainforests of the Western Ghats and herpetofauna found there.

Yatin grew up in the urban megacity of Bangalore, India where at the age of 17, started catching and relocating snakes that found their way into the neighbors' houses. He then went on to assist herpetologists in the Western Ghats, a mountain range in South India which is considered a biodiversity hotspot of the world. He is currently getting his bachelor's degree in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also works in the Herpetology Collections department at the Illinois Natural History Survey. As a part of a study abroad program, last year he traveled to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands where he got to assist with herp research. Over the last few years he's spent a lot of time herping in the Midwest and the Southeastern US along with his friends from the U of I.


Dr. Robin Warne
-Of microbes and frogs: Determinants of developmental plasticity, physiology, and disease dynamics in amphibians.

We know little about how microbiome community dynamics equate to microbial function, or how reciprocal interactions between hosts and their microbiome shift to regulate host phenotypic responses to environmental stress and disease. Furthermore, disease susceptibility often varies across ontogeny in animals, and periods of high vulnerability to infection during developmental windows can result in massive die-offs of wildlife. While high disease risk in developing animals is attributed to immature immune systems, emerging evidence suggests that gastrointestinal microbiota also play a central but poorly understood role in shifting susceptibility to infections. In particular, gastrointestinal microbiota may be central to developmental shifts in vulnerability to dietary and intestinal associated pathogens. This is because intestinal microbiota undergo remodeling across ontogeny in many vertebrate animals, and these functional changes can have long-term consequences for adult phenotypes. This project used gut microbiome manipulation in larval amphibians, along with ranaviruses as a model developmental and disease system to test how the gut microbial community influence phenotypic development, physiological performance, and disease susceptibility across ontogeny in closely related species that vary in their resistance to infection. Through swapping microbiomes between species at the egg stage, we demonstrated that hatching, like birth in humans, is a critical window for microbe colonization, and that initial inoculation may have long-term consequences for the community composition of microbiomes as well as for the function of animal hosts. Indeed, we found that altered microbiomes influenced amphibian growth, metabolism, development, morphology, and susceptibility to ranavirus infection. Combined with a broad set of research from my lab, these results provide insight into the physiological and ecological determinants of amphibian developmental plasticity, physiological performance, stress tolerance, and disease resistance.

Dr. Robin Warne is an Associat Professor at Southern Illinois University within the Department of Zoology. He received his PhD from University of New Mexico in 2008 and his Bachelors from University of Californa, Santa Cruz in 1996. He's a vertebrate physiological ecologist with a research focus on several inter-related topics that include: ecophysiology of homeostasis in a changing world, environmental stress and emerging disease interactions, the physiology of animal interactions in ecological communities, and the roles symbiotic microbiota play in animal development and disease. In his research he works with a diversity of taxa that includes amphibians, reptiles, rodents, and insects. Currently his lab is exploring how developmental plasticity, physiological performance, and disease across ontogeny in amphibians are determined by interactions between neuroendocrine function and gut microbiome dynamics, how physiological homeostatic function (stress hormones, osmoregulation, immune function) in rodents influences their behavior and foraging, and subsequently alters plant community ecology. They are also testing how variation in essential fatty acid availability influences performance in snakes. Last, they are exploring the ecological and physiological factors underlying epizootic outbreaks of ranavirus - an emerging disease of ectothermic vertebrates.


Ray Pawley
-Rattlesnake Hibernation

What can be learned from a group of "sleeping" Rattlesnakes? Quite a bit, as the data reveals. Unlike hibernating mammals (endotherms) that lose weight to stay alive (catabolize), the Rattlesnakes (ectotherms) appear to maintain a status quo, with some even gaining some weight during the cold weather (i.e. anabolize). There are other surprises including the revelation that these Rattlesnakes undergo ecdysis only once a year and eat 10 (or less) meals annually. And there is more.

My City Zoo career began at Lincoln Park when I was hired by Marlin Perkins to supervise the Reptile and Small Mammal houses as well as manage the animals to script for the new "Wild Kingdom" program that was soon to begin. Three years later I became the Curator of Herpetology at Brookfield Zoo, eventually taking on additional Curatorial positions with Birds, Mammals and Public Relations. I was very honored to have served as CHS President in past years. After moving to Arabela, New Mexico, I was Director of the Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso, Consultant for the Spring River Park Zoo in Roswell, and currently serve as a Judge for the Herpetologist's League's E. E. Williams Herpetology Research Grant (Ecology) which provides funding for competing graduate students. Currently I write zoo, wildlife and herpetology-based articles for Zoo and Herpetology Journals as well as area news media.


David A. Mifsud
-Hingeback Tortoise Conservation in Madagascar

Hingeback Tortoises (genus Kinixys) are among the most critically endangered tortoises in the world. These species are in decline throughout much of their range for various reasons including habitat loss, bushmeat consumption, and collection for the pet trade. They are faced with multiple stressors which may reduce their range, number of species, and number of individuals within populations. Although effort has been made with select species in targeted areas, little is known about this group of unique hinged tortoises in many parts of their range. Numerous data gaps exist regarding species viability, threats, habitat use, natural history, reproduction, longevity, population structure, husbandry, conservation needs by species, within range country, and species range-wide. To date, no comprehensive effort has been made to compile and synthesize all available research and resources on the Kinixys complex. This presentation will discuss each species of the genus Kinixys, their threats and natural history and recent work conducted on the Malagasy endemic. In addition, techniques used to successfully maintain and breed this genus will be discussed with emphasis placed on basic husbandry needs, breeding, and incubation. Indoor and outdoor housing will be discussed as well as dietary and health concerns.

David A. Mifsud, owner of Herpetological Resource and Management, is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Professional Ecologist, and a Professional Wetland Scientist. He has been working for 20 years in conservation field with expertise in amphibians and reptiles and has spent his career advocating for the protection and best management of herpetofauna in Michigan and the Great Lakes. He developed Michigan's only salamander monitoring program and has served as an expert on vernal pools conservation in Michigan for over 15 years. He is the Co-Chair of the State of Michigan Amphibian and Reptile Technical Advisory Board and administer of the Michigan Herpetological Atlas. David also serves as an expert on Great Lakes Turtles and African Tortoises for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group and is also active in global turtle and tortoises conservation. Mifsud is the author of the Amphibian & Reptile Best Management Practices for Michigan and co-author of the Kinixys Conservation Blueprint. Mifsud is also the co-author of the recently released revised edition of Amphibians and reptiles of the Great Lakes Region with James H. Harding.


Christopher Pellecchia
-Conservation and Ecology of Endangered Rock Iguanas in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic features a unique ecological phenomenon within the genus Cyclura: the sympatry of two species of Rock Iguana. The critically endangered Ricord's Rock Iguana (C. ricordii) has a limited distribution within the southwestern DR, while the vulnerable Rhinoceros iguana, (C. cornuta) has distinct geographically isolated populations throughout the country. Christopher Pellecchia is currently conducting field research in the Dominican Republic on both species of Cyclura. This presentation will be an overview of the current research being conducted on the species including field observations from the 2017 summer field season. This talk will dive into novel discoveries within the burrow ecology, nesting habits, population ecology, and interspecific interactions of both iguana species. You will also learn about the existential threats these iguanas face including poaching, the illegal charcoal trade, and habitat loss. This talk will also outline the trials and tribulations of international field research and reptile conservation.

Christopher Pellecchia is a Ph.D. student & NASA/MSSGC fellow at the University of Southern Mississippi and a staff member of the International Reptile Conservation Foundation, Inc. Christopher received his B.S. from Auburn University in 2013 and his M.S. from Jacksonville State University in Alabama in 2015. Christopher is also a member of the IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist Group. His research interests include exploring and understanding patterns in population/community ecology, evolution, and conservation biology of reptiles. Currently, he is interested in the conservation, ecology, behavior, reproduction, and life history strategies of iguanid lizards. His other research interests include management of invasive reptile populations, imperiled reptile species headstart program implementation with in situ conservation management, and the impacts of the illegal trade of reptiles. Christopher is also a passionate herpetoculturalist, with extensive experience in captive reptile husbandry and reproduction. His captive collection's current focal species are Rhinoceros Iguanas and Sand Boas. Christopher's herpeto-focused background spans academia, non-profit conservation organizations, international advocacy groups, federal and state agencies, the reptile hobby, and the reptile industry, providing a unique perspective on current reptile research, reptile conservation, and reptile ownership.


Lee Walston
-Conservation of Reptiles and Amphibians on Federal Lands

The federal government owns or administers approximately 640 million acres of land in the United States, and many of these areas contain a significant amount of ecologically important habitat for reptile and amphibian species. In the face of increased urbanization, energy development, and climate change, it is becoming more important for federal agencies to prioritize species conservation in their missions. This presentation will provide an overview of amphibian and reptile conservation on federal lands, with some examples of the work by Argonne National Laboratory. Examples include studies of Blanding's Turtle and Eastern Hognose Snake spatial ecology for the U.S. Air Force and assessment of solar energy impacts on the Desert Tortoise for the Bureau of Land Management.

Lee Walston is an ecologist at Argonne National Laboratory where he has worked for over 10 years to evaluate ecological issues associated with renewable energy development. He completed his B.S. degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale and a Master's degree in biology from Eastern Illinois University. Over the years, Lee has published several journal articles on reptile and amphibian conservation. He is a native of central Illinois, spending most of his childhood chasing blue racers and figuring out the difference between fox snakes and prairie kingsnakes. He and his family currently reside in Chicago's western suburbs. He rarely passes up an opportunity to go herping.


Dr. Linda Yang
-Reproductive Disease in Reptiles (Sex Optional)

Dr. Yang will be discussing reproductive diseases and issues in reptiles. The talk will cover problems such as egg binding, disease, and hemipene/penile prolapses. She will cover common causes, diagnosis, and treatment options in caring for herps with these ailments.

Dr. Linda Yang was born in Beijing, China and immigrated to the US when she was two years old. She grew up around the Chicagoland area and earned her undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis. Throughout undergrad, Dr. Yang volunteered regularly with the St. Louis Zoo as a research assistant and veterinary technician assistant, learning more about the care of zoo animals and wildlife populations. In 2009, Dr. Yang graduated with a major in Biology and a minor in Art. A year later, she entered veterinary school at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and graduated in 2014. During veterinary school, Dr. Yang was very active with the Wildlife Medical Clinic, a non-profit student-run clinic dedicated to helping injured wildlife and educating the public about wildlife conservation. She was a manager for two years, gaining experience treating and handling multiple species of wild birds (including raptors), mammals, and reptiles. Some of her favorite patients included Gandalf the White Pelican, Qigiq the Snowy Owl, and Mo the Box Turtle.


Jason Juchems
-Captive Care and Breeding of Solomon Island Leaf Frogs

Jason will speak on the details and his experiences in the captive care and breeding of Solomon Island Leaf Frogs (Ceratobatrachus guentheri).

Graduate of Bradley University ('07) and Saint Xavier University ('12), Jason spent 8 years as an intermediate school educator and currently serves as a school administrator. Jason has also worked as a Keeper and Education Intern at Wildlife Prairie State Park in Peoria, Illinois. He has served as the 2005 and 2008 President of the Central Illinois Herpetological Society. He has kept reptiles and amphibians since childhood and in 2011 his book Poison Dart Frogs: A Guide to Care and Breeding was published. Jason has been a speaker at the Clean Water Celebration at the Peoria Civic Center on Illinois reptiles and amphibian. He was also a speaker at 2012 American Frog Day in Chicago, IL and the 2014 National Amphibian Expo in Indianapolis, IN. Jason was a 2013 and 2014 Reptile Report Nominee for Amphibian Breeder of the Year.


-Show and Tell

June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.


Dr. David Steen
-Community Ecology of Snakes and Turtles

Snakes and turtles can occur in species-rich assemblages; this makes them useful for examining ecological interactions that promote co-existence as well as determining natural history traits that make them susceptible to conservation threats; however, these animals are generally overlooked in both ecological and conservation studies. I will discuss two lines of research I have pursued over the last few years, including A) the large scale habitat preferences of upland snakes and examining how their interactions as competitors and as predator/prey influence their persistence and B) novel threats facing freshwater turtle populations through increased mortality of adults, including road mortality and fish hook ingestion.

Dr. David Steen is an assistant research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University and affiliated with the Alabama Natural Heritage Program. David received his B.S. from the University of New Hampshire, his M.S. from SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and his Ph.D. at Auburn University; he also completed a postdoctoral position at Virginia Tech studying turtle ecotoxicology. Aldo Leopold said, "There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." David is one of the latter. As a wildlife ecologist and conservation biologist, his goals are to generate a better understanding of how wildlife populations use and persist on landscapes as well as recommendations regarding how we can develop, farm, restore, and live on these landscapes while accommodating wildlife (particularly amphibians and reptiles) and natural ecological processes. David is also an active science communicator, reaching tens of thousands of people each day through his blog and social media.


Gerry Salmon
-Prey Selection in Western Copperheads (Agkistrodon laticinctus)

This presentation is an overview of research being conducted on the diet of copperheads (Broad-banded and Trans-Pecos populations) based on field observations, and work in museum collections and in captivity. The two formerly recognized subspecies (now recognized as A. laticinctus) have had little attention in this regard in the past. Results reveal a varied diet that may follow seasonal trends. Additionally this highly evolved ambush predator exhibits foraging behaviors that allow it to capitalize on seasonally available insect and amphibian prey. This study (conducted in collaboration with Harry Greene) has recorded several novel species included in the diet, and is relevent in captive management of wild specimens (consistent feeding) and for eliciting feeding in neonates and juveniles which may refuse typically available rodent prey.

Presented by Gerry Salmon, Member of SSAR, Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research (current VP), South Texas Amphibian and Reptile Society, Austin Herpetological Society, Chicago Herpetological Society and East Texas Herpetological Society. He has been an avid naturalist with a strong interest in Herpetology and geographic distribution of North American reptiles. He has been doing natural history research for more than 30 years in museum collections, in captive collections, and in the field. He is a retired New York State Police Sergeant, a former state park naturalist for New York and South Carolina, and has worked as an endangered species monitor on pipeline and wind farm construction projects. He resides in Boerne, Texas.


Dr. Eric T. Hileman
-Demography and Life History of an Imperiled North American Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus)

The Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a small, cryptic North American rattlesnake with a distribution centered on the Great Lakes. Ongoing population declines due to habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and harvest led to the species being listed as threatened and endangered in Canada and threatened in the United States under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2016. Population estimates are essential for identifying population trends, assessing extinction risk, and elucidating the effects of land management practices on population persistence. However, conservation of Eastern Massasauga populations has been hampered by data gaps related to how the species varies in life history and demography across the range. For example, key demographic estimates are lacking for populations near the range center of the species where the largest number of Eastern Massasauga populations may still persist. Consequently, realistic extinction risk models and management guidelines related to the timing of habitat management activities have been difficult to develop. In this talk, Dr. Hileman will discuss research he and fellow collaborators are doing that will inform conservation efforts for this imperiled snake.

Eric T. Hileman is a postdoctoral fellow in the biology department at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, respectively. He is interested in traditional and spatially explicit capture-recapture models, population ecology, life-history evolution, and conservation biology. Eric is the former Director of Conservation, Education, and Animal Welfare at the Racine Zoo in Racine, Wisconsin. He has taught field-based tropical herpetology courses in Costa Rica for the last decade.


Rich Crowley
-Passionate Journey With Short-tailed Pythons

Keeping short-tailed pythons since 1997 with focus on Borneo (Python breitensteini) and Blood pythons (Python brongersmai). This talk is a discussion on the captive husbandry of these species, their breeding, and their origination in captivity. Along with that the experiences I have had for working with short-tailed pythons for two decades!

Member of the CHS since 1997 celebrating my 20th year this month. Past President 2006 and current President also chaired the CHS Adoptions Program from 1998 to 2000. Employed by Argonne National Laboratory as the Budget Officer, past President of Lewis University Alumni Association and published fantasy novelist.


Alicia Beattie & Jared Bilak
-Mudpuppy Conservation

Alicia Beattie completed her M.S. in Zoology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. The Daniel P. Haerther Conservation and Research Department at the Shedd Aquarium provided funding and support for her project studying diets, population structure, and seasonal activity patterns of mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus), aquatic salamanders of concern throughout the Great Lakes region. Ms. Beattie holds a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota, Morris. She is currently the Project Manager at Chagrin River Watershed Partners (Inc.) in Ohio. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Jared Bilak, a PhD student at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, is continuing the mudpuppy research project. Mr. Bilak completed his M.S. in Environmental Biology at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. His Master's research assessed the prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Ranavirus among eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) populations in Western Pennsylvania.

The speakers will discuss the findings and conservation implications of their research, as well as future directions and the next phase of their research on mudpuppies at Wolf Lake, a shared lake in the highly developed region of Chicago, Illinois and Hammond, Indiana. They will also discuss the big picture implications of their project, and explain how research like theirs helps conservation of mudpuppies and other species in the Chicago area. The work of Ms. Beattie and her co-authors, Dr. Philip Willink and Dr. Matt Whiles, will be published in the February issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research.


Holiday Meeting
-Pot Luck Holiday Party

Everyone is welcome to this year end celebration, we will have a pot luck party. Please come with food or drink to share if you can and bring someone new along to introduce them to your society. We will also be ordering pizzas! While there is no scheduled speaker we will have short business section for some quick announcements and our elections! Feel free to bring animals but please be sure to pack them securely and in temperature controlled shipping style boxes.


Martha L. Crump
-What Amphibians and Reptiles Mean to Us: Lore, Mythology, and Conservation

Throughout time and worldwide, humans have loved and hated amphibians and reptiles. We admire some for their association with fertility and rebirth, but we despise others out of fear or lack of understanding. We worship some as gods and goddesses, and believe that others are the Devil himself. We perceive these animals as powerful, able to cause natural disasters and to kill, but also useful in boosting our own health and wellbeing. Folklore reveals much about our perceptions-positive, negative, and indifferent. In the end, our perceptions of the animals can influence conservation priorities. Conservation biologists cannot address all of the world's declining species because we lack the financial resources, personnel, and time. We must make priority decisions about what species get saved. How will we make these choices? Public support plays a major role in species preservation. For this reason, we need to understand (and in many cases change) how the public both thinks and feels about the species in need of protection. I suggest we incorporate local folklore and mythology into our conservation efforts.

Marty was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She grew up in upstate New York and in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA, where she raised tadpoles and kept frogs and salamanders as pets. She received her PhD at the University of Kansas in 1974, and was Professor in the Zoology Department at the University of Florida from 1976-1992. In 1992, she moved to Flagstaff, AZ, where she is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. In 2011 she accepted an Adjunct Professor position in the Department of Biological Sciences at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, where she is located now. As a tropical ecologist, Marty studies behavior, ecology, and conservation of amphibians. Much of her research has involved frog reproduction and parental care, as well as declining amphibian populations. She has worked mainly in Latin America-specially Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Marty is currently studying Darwin's frogs in Chile. Marty has published 65 scientific papers, book reviews, and book chapters. In 1997 Marty received the Distinguished Herpetologist Award from The Herpetologists' League. Marty is one of six co-authors of the textbook Herpetology (Pough et al.; 4th edition 2015). Marty shares her passion for biology by writing for a general audience and for children. She has written articles for Natural History magazine and for Highlights and Ranger Rick. She has published the following books for a general audience: (1) In Search of the Golden Frog, (2) Headless Males Make Great Lovers and Other Unusual Natural Histories, (3) Extinction in Our Times: Global Amphibian Decline (co-author with James Collins), (4) Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers and Other Unusual Relationships, and (5) Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog, Adder's Fork and Lizard's Leg. She has published the following books for children/young adults: (1) Amphibians, Reptiles, and Their Conservation, (2) Mysteries of the Komodo Dragon: The Biggest, Deadliest Lizard Gives Up Its Secrets, (3) Amphibians and Reptiles: An Introduction to Their Natural History and Conservation, and (4) The Mystery of Darwin's Frog.


Ryan McVeigh
-Reptiles in Captivity, Trends, and Species Diversity.

Reptiles have been kept in captivity for over 100 years. In the last few decades they have exploded in popularity and there have been trends to the types of animals kept and why. Within the popularity of a new species, often other species disappear from the hobby. This presentation covers the history of reptile keeping, what trends have come and gone, and what we can do to ensure diversity within captivity of species for the long term.

Ryan founded the Madison Area Herpetological Society in 2010. He wanted to share his love of reptiles with all around him and help educate people on their proper care. Before then, Ryan had done school shows and worked in a pet store educating young kids about the wonders of the reptile world and how to keep them properly. His love of reptiles started when he was only 4 years old as he was always chasing and catching frogs, salamanders, and garter snakes. Ryan has been keeping reptiles since he was 7 years old and has been actively breeding them in captivity for the past 8 years. Ryan graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and worked until 2015 as a Project Engineer. Starting in 2015, Ryan became the Brand Manager for the Zilla line of reptile products. As time goes on his love for these animals, developing products to better suit the keepers and their pets, and spreading education continues to grow.


John Vanek
- Ecology of Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes on a Barrier Island

Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes are a poorly studied species with a fascinating natural history. Radio-telemetry, visual encounter surveys, and trapping were used to study the ecology of this species living on a barrier island off the coast of New York. Snakes on the island were found to be lacking color polymorphisms, feed exclusively on Fowler's Toads, and to occur in extremely dense populations. The snakes also nested and denned communally, and used smaller home ranges than those in other populations.

John is a current PhD student at Northern Illinois University, where he studies wildlife ecology and conservation. John earned an MS in Biology from Hofstra University in NY, where he studied the ecology of Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes on a barrier island. He also has a BS in Wildlife Science from The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (which has the longest name of any university in the United States). Throughout his career, John has had the good fortune to work with Eastern Hellbenders, Timber Rattlesnakes, Black Bears, Red Wolves, Gopher Tortoises, Peregrine Falcons, and a suite of other species. His current research at NIU focuses on the distribution of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals in Lake County, IL.


Ted Levin
-America`s Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake

Of all the rattlesnakes in the Western Hemisphere, the timber rattlesnake has evoked the widest, most controversial constituency. The first venomous snake encountered by European colonists, it was the first New World snake classified by Linnaeus, who gave it the Latinized name Crotalus horridus, which translates to scaly beast with musical rattle. Levin's book captures the snake's natural history and unique behaviors, and looks at the people who love them, loathe them, and have abused them through illegal trade.

A former Bronx Zoo zoologist, Levin is the author of Blood Brook: A Naturalists Home Ground, Backtracking: The Way of the Naturalist, and Liquid Land: A Journey through the Everglades, which won the Burroughs Medal in 2004. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Audubon, National Wildlife, National Geographic Traveler, and other publications. Ted lives in Thetford, Vermont, where he has served on the conservation commission and both as justice of the peace and director of youth baseball. For many years he has led tours to the rattlesnake-rich landscapes of the Southwest and Southeast. In the summer of 2008, Ted organized and led a team of eleven- and twelve-year-old Little League all-stars on a goodwill baseball tour of Havana, Cuba, the first trip in more than fifty years to be sanction by both the United States and the Cuban government's.


Dr. Doug Mader
-Iguanas in the Florida Keys

The Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) has been one of the most popular reptile pets ever in the United States - except for the Florida Keys. Green Iguanas are common in the tropical island chain and are considered pests by locals. So much so that the County commission has placed a bounty on the reptiles and have an "open season" for their demise. It is legal to shoot and kill iguanas providing that they are killed with a single shot. This talk will discuss the ecological impact of the popular pet, the origin of the problem and possible solutions.

Dr. Mader, a graduate from the University of California, Davis in 1986, is the co-owner the Marathon Veterinary Hospital, a referral hospital in the Conch Republic. Dr. Mader is the consulting veterinarian for the Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital, the Monroe County Sheriff's Zoo, the Key West Aquarium and the Theater of the Sea. Dr. Mader is an internationally acclaimed lecturer and is on the review boards of several scientific journals. He has published numerous articles in scientific and veterinary journals, national magazines, and three textbooks, including the Elsevier publication, Reptile Medicine and Surgery. The University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Achievement Award and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Wildlife Conservation Award are amongst Dr. Mader's many recognitions.


-Show and Tell

June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.


Chip Cochran
-Project Pondo: A Chameleon Conservation Effort

Chip will be giving a talk on Project Pondo: a chameleon conservation effort by Herpetological Conservation International (HCI). HCI is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 dedicated to conserving imperiled reptile and amphibian species. The first conservation project HCI has undertaken is the creation of a reserve for the endangered Pondo Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion caffer). Time permitting, Chip will also provide an update on his PhD project, a study investigating geographic venom variation in the Southwestern Speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus pyrrhus), a project CHS helped fund.

Chip Cochran is a PhD candidate in Dr. William K. Hayes lab at Loma Linda University where he is studying morphological, dietary, and venom composition differences among populations of southwestern speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus pyrrhus). He received his BS from The University of Arizona in 2006 where he majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. During his time at the University of Arizona he worked in Matt Goode's lab primarily radio tracking Tiger rattlesnakes (C. tigris) for a project investigating the effects of golf courses on Tucson herpetofauna. His research interests include: venomous animals and their venoms, evolution, conservation, and ecology.


George L. Heinrich
-Turtle Science: Why Turtles Are Cool

This presentation will introduce the fascinating world of turtles and turtle science. Did you know that the sex of some species is determined at a pivotal point during egg incubation, or that turtles are the most endangered group of animals on earth? How about the fact that turtles can talk and are actually more social than we realized? Come learn about their diversity, conservation, and the latest research findings. George will also provide an overview of the fieldwork that he and his colleagues are doing with the Suwannee cooter (Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis), diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), and gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) in Florida.

George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida reptiles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services (www.heinrichecologicalservices.com), is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours. A graduate of Memphis State University, his interests include southeastern upland, riverine, and brackish wetland ecosystems, conservation challenges facing Florida's non-marine turtles, and the role of education in conserving herpetofauna. George is an invited member of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, served twice as co-chair of the Gopher Tortoise Council, and is a co-founder of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust.


Gerry Salmon
-Saving herps - one at a time: working as a Timber Rattlesnake monitor on pipelines and wind farms in the northeast.

His presentation will include highlights of his work with Northeastern timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and conservation efforts that became the basis for a recent seasonal employment protecting threatened wildlife in areas of heavy construction.

Gerry Salmon has been an avid naturalist for most of his life (he is 55 years old). He has a strong interest in Herpetology and geographic distribution of North American reptiles and amphibians. He is also a long-term contributor to Northeastern timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) field biology and conservation efforts. Gerry has presented several times in the past at our monthly meetings on anaconda natural history, timber rattlesnakes, mexicana kingsnakes, and herping in South Carolina, and in west Texas.


Sam Fellows
-Pursuit of Royalty: Searching for Queensnakes in Wisconsin.

Sam's presentation will be on glacial relic snake species in Wisconsin. Specifically, he will discuss finding queensnakes and northern ribbonsnakes in Wisconsin at the northernmost edge of their range, and his continuing search for other glacial relics in Wisconsin.

Sam Fellows graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a Bachelor's of Science in Biological Sciences in 2012. His undergraduate work under Dr. Gerlinde Hobel focused on sexual selection in Eastern Gray Treefrogs and African Dwarf Frogs. Since graduating, he has worked as a Herpetology and Fisheries technician for the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish, volunteered time assisting contract biologists with the Wisconsin DNR with eastern massasauga surveys, and has worked as a Wildlife Technician for the Milwaukee County Parks Department. Most recently, he's been accepted into San Diego State University's Evolutionary Biology Master's program, where he'll be studying the evolutionary relationships within the genus Crotalus (rattlesnakes).


Dr. Matt O Connor
-The Great Philippine Turtle Rescue

On June 23rd, 2015, 4,000 turtles destined for the markets of China were confiscated from a warehouse on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. 3,800 of these turtles were the critically endangered Philippine forest turtle (Siebenrockiella leytensis), a species thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered back in 2001. An international effort quickly materialized involving many organizations that brought turtle experts and medical supplies from around the world within a matter of days to respond to the crisis. Dr. Matt O'Connor, staff veterinarian at the Shedd Aquarium, was one of those able to lend his expertise and assist with the treatment and release of these rare Philippine forest turtles back into the wild. He will share the story of the turtles and results of the international efforts.

Dr. Matt O'Connor oversees the care of 32,000 animals at the aquarium, from mammals to fishes. In addition to his animal care responsibilities, Dr. O'Connor is a leader in veterinary education, overseeing the aquarium's teaching partnership with the Illinois Zoo and Aquatic Animal Residency program among Brookfield Zoo, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and Shedd. The Chicago-area native has also contributed to a wide spectrum of research and field work. Just before joining Shedd, he was called upon for his expertise on a critically endangered turtle species, hundreds of which were found on the island of Palawan in the Philippines in deplorable conditions by smugglers. His knowledge led to a successful recovery and release effort. Dr. O'Connor has four years of experience in private practice treating exotic animals, and hespent three years overseeing the care of the 700 species at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium as a resident veterinarian. He holds a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of California, Davis. He earned his pre-veterinary and veterinary medicine doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Gavin Brink
-Poisonous snakes. How many are there? How do they work? What is the most poisonous?

Think you know all about poisonous snakes? No, you don't. Come hear Gavin speak and learn stuff that will wow your friends and make you a hit at parties. Well, maybe not, but you will be able to shut down that pompous jerk that proclaims, "There's no such thing as a poisonous snake."

Gavin is a long time CHS member, who really likes Latin America and poisonous snakes. He has a neat hammock in his snake room.


Dr. Matt Allender
-Diseases of Wild Box Turtles

"The Illinois landscape has undergone unprecedented change in the last 100 years, and many environments no longer resemble the ecosystems that species evolved in. Declines of several state species have been associated with these landscape changes, however the associated changes in pathogen presence and subsequent ability of habitats to support healthy populations remains largely unknown. Deteriorating wildlife health threatens the sustainability and successfulness of conservation efforts as has been observed in Illinois with White Nose Syndrome, Ranavirus, and Snake Fungal Disease. Monitoring the health of sentinel species allows early detection of ecosystem change and directly benefits species health and recovery efforts. Eastern Box turtles are distributed across the eastern US in a variety of habitats, have long lifespans, small home ranges, and are slow to reach reproductive maturity, all which may potentiate their susceptibility to environmental stress and make them excellent indicator species for environmental change. Moreover, habitat fragmentation, infectious diseases, and toxicological exposure are of increasing concern in box turtles. Over the past four years, we have been monitoring hematologic, plasma biochemical, contaminant exposure, and pathogen prevalence in Eastern Box Turtles in Illinois. The presentation will discuss the conservation of eastern box turtles by describing their capture (using dogs), examinations, and other health factors that may enhance or threaten populations."

Matt Allender, DVM, MS, PhD; Diplomate ACZM; Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarian; Assistant Professor Departments of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Research Affiliate, Prairie Research Institute


Phil Goss
-Us vs. T.H.E.M. (The Anti-pet Agenda)

The reptile and other pet communities are under constant attack from anti-pet groups. This talk covers the history of the largest anti-pet organizations, animal rights vs. animal welfare, fraudulent fundraising, lobbying efforts and many other aspects of the animal rights (AR) movement. The majority of Americans are still unaware of the true agenda behind these groups and it is crucial to learn what's happening so you can educate others. It is vital to know what groups are working to end your freedom to have pets. Do your part to fight them and spread the truth.

Phil is a longtime herper, having been active in the hobby and industry for over 15 years. Phil currently owns Goss Reptiles (www.GossReptiles.com) and has worked in all aspects of the industry including pet shops, large scale breeder, pet distributors and industry manufacturers. He is president of USARK.


-Show and Tell

June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.


Justin Michels and Don Becker
-Documenting your finds by herpmapping

Both Justin Michels and Don Becker move through the computer world as easily as they move through the natural world, certainly a rare combination. They are frequent contributors to Field Herp Forum being knowledgable herpers and excellent photographers. They will talk about participating in citizen science with a new app they've developed called Herpmapper which is also an excellent way to keep a life list.


Scott Ballard
-Recent revisions to Illinois Herp Laws

The April meeting of the Chicago Herpetological Society will feature Scott Ballard of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Ballard is the author of the Illinois Herptiles-­Herps Act that went into effect the beginning of this year. Everyone in Illinois who owns a reptile or amphibian or enjoys field herping needs to review this new law, but it’s particularly important for breeders, native animal keepers, and keepers of large or venomous animals. Talk with the man who wrote the law.


Danny Mendez
-Raising Ethical Standards in Herpetoculture

Danny Mendez is a professional zoologist and radio host/producer of one of the longest running, and most downloaded zoological based radio programs on the internet, UrbanJunglesRadio. With over 15 years experience as a zookeeper, biologist and later the director of the living collection for Liberty Science Center in NJ, Danny has had extensive experience with a diverse group of animals both in captivity and in the wild and is a past president of the NJ Herp Society. He is currently works in wildlife rehabilitation with Black Bears at a state licensed facility and keeps a large collection of reptiles at home which consist mostly of neotropical tree boas from the genus Corallus and various rare geckos such as Uroplatus from Madagascar. He was the first person to refine the simple genetic trait which causes striping in Amazon Tree boas, giving rise to the Tiger line of Amazon Tree boas.


Dan Krull
-How to make a pair of snake skin boots without killing a snake

Dan will describe the current trade in wild snake hides, its effect on the ecosystem, its cruelty, and the 1 billion dollar industry which drives it. Additionally, he will present a snake skin alternative which has the power to stop the international trade in skin while at the same time saving or improving human lives, and supporting conservation and education.

Dan Krull is co-founder of Eden Bio-Creations, and is a conservationist, animal husbandry expert, public speaker, and environmental consultant who has been working with captive animals for 20 years. He is a huge fan of the Chicago Herp Society, and is honored to have been invited back again to present to such an active and engaged society.


Erica Mede
-Handling Reptile Emergencies

If you keep animals you won't want to miss Erica's talk. What do you do for your favorite herp when that medical emergency explodes in your face? Erica will cover the common and uncommon situations and what to do before you get to the vet.

Erica Mede is a certified veterinary technician working on obtaining board certification in exotics. She currently works at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. She is the veterinary technician liaison for the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians and has given talks to that organization as well as other national and local institutions.


Dr. Stephen Barten
-The Wildlife of the Pantanal, Brazil

The Pantanal of central-western Brazil is the world's largest wetland ecosystem, covering an area 15 times the size of the Everglades (it's also bigger than 29 of the states in the U.S.). It has the densest population of crocodilians--Yacare Caimans--found anywhere in the world, and is a great place to find yellow anacondas. It also is one of the best places in the world to see wild jaguars, giant river otters, giant anteaters, tapirs, howler and capuchin monkeys, coatis, and capybaras, as well as the critically endangered hyacinth macaw and over 650 other species of birds. Steve Barten toured the Pantanal by bus, truck, boat, and foot, which allowed him close approach and photography of the wildlife. The highlight was witnessing a jaguar catch a 6-foot caiman.


Chris Gillette
- Behavior of American alligators and crocodiles in captive & wild situations

American alligators and American crocodiles are large predatory reptiles known for their impressively powerful jaws, teeth, and a less than friendly disposition. These animals are often regarded as rather simplistic killing/eating machines and are not widely recognized for possessing a high level of intelligence or being behaviorally complex. In my eleven years of experience working hands-on with these animals I have found them to be intelligent creatures who learn quickly and often defy our preexisting notions on their behavior, and I am constantly surprised the more I work with them. Join me as I discuss observations and experiences ranging from captive training and handling to working passively with wild crocodilians in their natural habitats, encompassing everything from hatchlings to 15ft+ beasts.

Chris Gillette has dedicated his life to working with reptiles and amphibians, ranging from academic publications discovering new invasive species in south Florida to appearing on numerous popular wildlife tv shows, primarily GatorBoys. His love of wildlife is expressed through award winning photography from the amazon rainforest, Costa Rica, across the US, and Mexico


Colette Adams
-Philippine Crocodile Conservation

The Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is a Critically Endangered freshwater crocodile endemic to the Philippine archipelago. It is estimated that less than 250 non-hatchling Philippine crocodiles survive in the wild, making it the most severely endangered crocodile species on the planet (van Weerd 2010). The remnant Philippine crocodile populations are severely threatened by hunting,the use of destructive fishing methods, and the degradation and conversion of freshwater wetland habitat. In mainstream Filipino culture crocodiles are seen as vermin and considered to be a threat to children and livestock (van derPloeg et. al 2011a). Crocodiles are stereotyped as ferocious man-eaters, and associated with greed and deceit. Corrupt government officials, selfish athletes, landlords and moneylenders are often called buwaya, Filipino for crocodile. These negative attitudes towards crocodiles form a major obstacle toin-situ conservation. This talk will highlight the creative conservation initiatives underway in the municipality of San Mariano in northern Luzon - one of the two last strongholds of Philippine crocodiles in the wild. Thanks to the generous support of many conservation-based organizations,including the Chicago Herp Society, the Mabuwaya Foundation has been successful in engaging community support, creating the first Philippine crocodile reserve, and significantly increasing the number of crocodiles in the area.

Colette Adams is currently the General Curator and Grants Coordinator at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. She had a passion for reptiles long before the 1976 commencement of her zoo career, when she began working in the Reptile Department as a keeper. Though her titles have changed and administrative duties have increased over the years, she remains the primary caretaker of several groups of crocodiles at her zoo. Colette is a member of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group and the Philippine Crocodile National Recovery Team. She is also an avid fundraiser for various species of endangered crocodiles.


Andy Snider
-Recollections of Armenia and the Armenian Viper

Andy is currently the new Curator of Herpetology and Aquatics at the Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo. He came to Chicagoland from Fresno California, where last he was Director of Animal Care and Conservation at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. This is Andy's fifth zoo position, and he's been in the zoo field for over 28 years. He is currently the Population Manager and SSP Coordinator for the Jamaican Boa, Epicrates subflavus, and has a passion for the unusual and rarely seen herps and aquatics. He was the impetus behind the National Amphibian Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo when he was the Curator of Herpetology there, and is also a personal member of the TSA, Turtle Survival Alliance.


Robert Jadin
-Title: Untangling a phylogenetic knot of venomous snakes: Evolutionary discoveries of highland pitvipers from Middle America

New World pitvipers, such as the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), were incorporated into the first formal species descriptions by Linneaus (1758). This trend continued in the 18th and 19th centuries through the works of Laurenti (1768), Dumeril and Bibron (1835), Schlegel (1841), Günther (1863), and many others. Surprisingly, after more than 250 years of investigation there is still much to be discovered about New World pitvipers systematics. Central and South American pitvipers are a point of continued systematic confusion as cryptic lineages, in combination with inadequate sampling, obscure the complete diversity and evolutionary relationships of this group. This incomplete understanding results in an impediment for medical treatment of snakebite victims. From fieldwork in the tropics to morphology in the lab, this talk will shed light on how new species are found and described as well as how these advances are permitting us to make broader understandings about biogeographic patterns and treatments in modern medicine. Systematic studies like this are becoming increasingly important in our current age of rapid biodiversity loss.

Robert Jadin is currently a biology instructor at Northeastern Illinois University. Robert is a herpetological systematist whose graduate work focused on studying the diversity and evolutionary relationships of New World pitvipers incorporating both morphological and molecular phylogenetics. However Robert's research expands beyond reptiles and includes other projects ranging from speciation mechanisms of trematode parasites to descriptive morphology of lizard and snake hemipenes. Robert's fieldwork includes months in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. In addition, Robert enjoys road cruising on rainy nights, long walks in cloud forest habitats, flipping rocks and logs with herps underneath, writing natural history notes, and inferring phylogenies.


-Show and Tell

June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.


Kristen Wiley and Jim Harrison
- Venomous Vacation: KRZ visits Sri Lanka

The small country of Sri Lanka has the highest death rate from snakebite per capita in the world. This presentation will describe Jim and Kristen's trip to Sri Lanka, where they worked with the Sri Lankan AVRI team to set up a venom production serpentarium and produce the very first venom to be used in antivenom production for the country. Amazing herps were seen and worked with, great friends were made, and big strides were taken towards helping the wonderful people of this small country deal with the big problem of snakebite.

Kristen Wiley has been at Kentucky Reptile Zoo since 1998. She is responsible for the daily husbandry of a wide variety of venomous snakes, as well as permitting, licensing, and antivenom importation for the zoo. Kristen has a master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University, where she studied the microhabitat use of timber rattlesnakes. Outside of the zoo, Kristen is an avid equestrian, and participates in the sport of eventing.

Jim Harrison founded Kentucky Reptile Zoo in 1990 after an injury forced his retirement form the police force. Jim's goal was to provide venom in a manner that is humane to the animals and sustainable to the environment. To that end, KRZ houses primarily captive-born snakes. Jim is the sole venom extractor at the zoo and on some occasions extracts from over 100 snakes in one day. Venom from KRZ goes to researchers and pharmaceutical companies all over the world. When not working, Jim enjoys martial arts and old horror movies


Andrew and Sarah Gilpin
-Seeing the details in life

Join us for a glimpse into some of our recent travels consisting of photos from trips to Australia, Ecuador, and South Africa!

We are a young couple who share a passion for the outdoors and photography. Our passion for photography and spending time in the field has taken us around the world in pursuit of incredible reptiles, amphibians, insects, mammals, scenery and well, just about everything!


Chris Lechowicz
-Graptemys- Map Turtles of the Choctawatchee and Pea Rivers

Long time CHS member and herpetologist at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Chris Lechowicz, will present a summary of his thesis work on Graptemys in the Choctawhatchee and Pea Rivers in southern Alabama and northern Florida. Chris received a grant from the CHS in 2007 for this project. This unique population of sympatric megacephalic map turtles (G. barbouri and G. ernsti) adds exceptions to several rules pertaining to population ecology of Gulf Coast Graptemys. Chris will also debut his first book "Amphibians and Reptiles of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida: A Natural History" and have copies available. http://www.graptemys.com/


Sarah Orlofske
-Title: Amazing amphibians of the Peruvian Amazon: diversity, research and outreach.

Talk Summary: The Madre de Dios region of Peru has amazing herpetological diversity that has fascinated scientists for decades. However, new discoveries continue to be made and future research is needed to understand these incredible species and their interactions with the rapidly changing environment. This talk will provide a glimpse of the overall diversity, in-depth look at some remarkable species, and highlight research and outreach activities.

Bio: Sarah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. She received her Bachelors from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder. Sarah began her research in Peru as an undergraduate and has returned several times to continue biodiversity monitoring and other research endeavors. The main focus of Sarah's research is the interaction of parasites with their amphibian hosts, but she also studies amphibian physiology, ecology, evolution, and conservation.


Joesph Milanovich
-Amphibians and Global Change: What do we Stand to Lose?

Talk summary: This talk will outline the current threats to amphibians in the face of global change and detail the importance of conserving amphibian taxa. Aside from inherent value, amphibians may provide key ecological roles to help maintain healthy ecosystems. Understanding the roles of amphibians could provide evidence to support conservation of amphibian taxa across the world.

Bio: Joe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Loyola University Chicago. He received his Bachelors from Adrian College, his Masters from Arkansas State University, and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. From 2010 to 2013 Joe was a post-doctoral fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati, and in August 2013 he joined the faculty at LUC. Joe teaches Ecology and his research examines the impact of global change on amphibians and the importance of herpetofauna to ecosystems.


Holiday Meeting-*Thursday*
-Pot Luck Holiday Party

Everyone is welcome to this year end celebration, we will have a pot luck party. Please come with food or drink to share if you can and bring someone new along to introduce them to your society. While there is no scheduled speaker we will have short business section for some quick announcements. Feel free to bring animals but please be sure to pack them securely and in temperature controlled shipping style boxes.


Steve Barten
-\"Field Herping 2013: Grand Cayman, South Texas, Wisconsin Hoggies, and Snake Road\"

Steve Barten's presentation for the November election meeting will be a photographic travelogue of the herps and other wildlife he encountered this year. A veterinarian, Barten started his year by traveling to Grand Cayman in the Caribbean to teach a week-long course on herpetological medicine to the veterinary students at St. Matthews University. The trip allowed him to tour the Cayman blue iguana breeding facility, the Cayman Turtle Farm, and view most of the herps found on the island. In April Barten joined several CHS members for a herping trip to python breeder Dave Barker's property in South Texas. June brought a visit to the eastern hog nosed snake communal nesting sites in Wisconsin, and September meant another trip to Snake Road in southern Illinois with a group of CHS members. Barten is a renowned photographer whose talks showcase his beautiful images. He is a long time CHS member and past CHS president. His practice is the Vernon Hills Animal Hospital in Mundelein, IL, where he has special interest in herpetological medicine and surgery


Jen Stabile
-Amphibian Conservation

Conservation of the Mona Coqui (Eleutherodactylus monensis) Jennifer L. Stabile Amphibian Conservation Coordinador Albuquerque BioPark Zoo, Albuquerque, New Mexico In the heart of the Caribbean lies Mona Island, 66 km (41 mi) west of Puerto Rico and 61 km (38 mi) east of the Dominican Republic. The Mona Passage, the waters surrounding the island, connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Caribbean Sea. Mona is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Caribbean, and being it is a natural reserve there is no large scale tourism, no hotels and no permanent residents. Eleutherodactylus monensis is endemic to Mona Island and of the 17 species of Puerto Rican frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus is the least studied. The Mona Island Coqui is a medium sized frog endemic to Mona Island, Puerto Rico. There is little known about its current population status, ecology and reproductive biology. Since 2004 the IUCN has listed it as a vulnerable species because of its restricted range and the effects of introduced predators on the island. In addition to its limited range other factors that may lead to population declines include chytridiomycosis (Bd) which is present on Mona, habitat alteration and climate change. An ex situ captive breeding program for Eleutherodactylus monensis was started in order to (1) establish a captive assurance population, (2) learn about its reproductive biology, and (3) provide education and outreach opportunities for this unique species.

Jen began her zoo career as a docent and intern in the Department of Herpetology at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens (CFZ&BG) in 2004. She obtained most of her venomous training during an internship at the Med Toxin Venom Laboratories and was hired on at the CFZ&BG as a Reptile and Amphibian Keeper in 2005, later being promoted to Amphibian Conservation Coordinator. During her first few years of employment she worked on her weekends as a research assistant with Ray Ashton at the Ashton Biodiversity Research & Preservation Institute studying the ecology and conservation of Florida herptefauna, with emphasis on amphibians and tortoises. In 2011 Jen took a position with the ABQ BioPark Zoo as Senior Keeper of Herpetology/ Amphibian Conservation Coordinator. She also currently serves as a contract partner with The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to conduct proactive surveillance for emerginf amphibian pathogens in species of greatest conservation need. Early in her career, Jen began working with the common coqui frog (Eleutherodactylus coqui), and thus began a long term partnership with Dr. Rafael Joglar, founder of Proyecto Coqui. She has over 8 years experience working both in-situ and ex-situ with the coqui frogs of Puerto Rico.


Justin Julander
- Natural history of Australian pythons and implications for captive care.

Talk Summary: The pythons of Australia are a diverse group of ambush predators that are adapted to life in a variety of habitats. While the many species share several key features, various taxa are also specifically adapted to fill certain niches. Such behavior and adaptive traits in the wild are quite fascinating and recent studies have provided important insights into the natural history of these snakes. There are also implications on captive care that will help keepers improve conditions for their maintenance in an artificial environment.

Bio: Justin Julander is the founder and co-owner of Australian Addiction Reptiles. He has been keeping and breeding Australian reptiles for the last 16 years. Justin received a PhD in Bioveterinary Sciences from Utah State University in 2005 and is currently employed there as a research associate professor in the Institute for Antiviral Research. He is author of 2 books, 2 book chapters, and over 30 scientific articles.


Desiree Wong
- Conservation of iguanas in Andros

Desiree Wong will be sharing her experiences from the 2013 Shedd Aquarium's Iguana Research Expedition to Andros, Bahamas. She started out as a hobbyist, making small contributions to green iguana keeping. Eventually, a trip to Grand Cayman and experiences with the Blue Iguanas led her to become actively interested in conservation. For a number of years, she promoted reptile and amphibian conservation via the International Reptile Conservation Foundation, performing education and outreach at the reptile shows across the county. She hopes to continue making contributions to cyclura species conservation, with future trips planned to the Carribean and Bahamas.


Erica Mede
-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Poop!

Talk Summary The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Poop will leave you breathless (and not from the smell) and unable to look away from your reptile's feces again! Here you will learn about the Good (the beneficial flora and fauna of scat), the Bad (the nasties that lurk in your reptile's colon including parasites and signs of disease), and the Ugly (the differences between normal and abnormal dung). The TV show Scrubs puts it best, "it all comes down to poop".

Bio Erica is a certified veterinary technician (CVT) from Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital and the President and founder of Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue. Her deep seated love for reptiles started when she was a little girl at the Lincoln Park zoo, where she spent more time watching garter snakes in the small gardens than looking at the animals on display. Now she works towards her AVTCP Exotic and Avian specialization. Erica is currently the Technician Liaison for the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV because that's a mouth full) where she has utilized the rules of Zombieland for her presentation and helps with the CHS Jr. Herper meetings too (not with zombie talk). She currently enjoys sharing her home with a pitbull named Harley Quinn whose greatest joy in life is hiding pig ears under Erica's pillow and her mini-reptile collection all with similarly epic names.


Show and Tell
-The speaker is you

Members are invited to bring in their personal pets and share fun stories, interesting breeding information, general info and natural history facts about their favorite animal. Please transport your animals in escape proof enclosures that will protect them from the summer heat. Use coolers and cold packs as needed.


Russ Gurley
-Keeping and Breeding Tegus

Russ Gurley was a founding member of the American Federation of Herpetoculturists in the 1980s and served as a creative force behind The Vivarium magazine for several years. He has produced many books and articles relating to the captive care of reptiles, including geckos and other lizards, snakes, and more recently aquatic turtles and tortoises. These articles have appeared in journals such as Reptiles, Reptilia, MANOURIA, The Batagur, and on various websites.

Russ has a BFA in painting and illustration and minored in Zoology at Oklahoma State University and received his teaching credentials at East Central University. He has been a sculptor and illustrator, book layout designer, and he gets to paint in his limited free time. In addition to some of his paintings, Russ donates a handmade "action figure" sculpture each year at the auction at the fall Tinley Park NARBC show and these one-of-a-kind figures have raised more than $15,000 for USARK and PIJAC over the last ten years. (Russ donated one set of figures, depicting Chad Brown and Robyn Markland, to raise money for Pro Exotics after their devastating fire.) Russ was an educator for seven years and was awarded Teacher of the Year honors twice and runner-up Teacher of the Year once.

Russ's first turtle-related book, The African Spurred Tortoise, Geochelone sulcata, in Captivity, was published in 2002 and has sold over 25,000 copies. He has authored a number of other popular books including A Color Guide to Tarantulas of the World I, A Color Guide to Tarantulas of the World II, Tarantulas and Scorpions in Captivity, Keeping and Breeding Freshwater Turtles, Baby Turtles, SULCATAS: Spurred Tortoises in Captivity, Turtles in Captivity, LIZARD MAN: The Life and Adventures of Bert Langerwerf (with Bert), and he currently has a few other books in the works.

Russ is the Director of the Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group, an organization that promotes the captive breeding of rare turtles and tortoises and spreads the most recent information relating to the keeping and breeding of captive turtles and tortoises through The Batagur magazine, articles, books, conferences and workshops, and through their website (www.ttpg.org). Russ and his TTPG members host the TTPG Conference on Captive Care and Breeding in Arizona each year in November.

Russ is also the owner of LIVING ART publishing www.livingartpublishing.com. This company publishes herpetoculture-related books and has received numerous accolades recently for its Turtles of the World Series. This series of intensely focused books will eventually cover most species of turtles and tortoises on the planet and Russ currently has turtle and tortoise experts worldwide working on manuscripts. The first of the series are Leopard Tortoises: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Stigmochelys pardalis by Richard Fife and Jerry Fife and Star Tortoises: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Geochelone elegans and Geochelone platynota by Jerry Fife. Matamatas: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Chelus fimbriatus by David Fogel, Redfoots and Yellowfoots: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Chelonoidis carbonaria and Chelonoidis denticulata by Amanda Ebenhack, and the upcoming Mediterranean Tortoises: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Testudo species by Jerry Fife.

Russ maintains a large collection of turtles and tortoises and has a variety of unusual snake and lizard projects. He enjoys working with Pyxis species, Testudo species, and a number of aquatic and semi-aquatic species. Russ was the first in the US to breed the Flat-tailed tortoise, Pyxis planicauda, and the Toad-headed turtle, Phrynops tuberculatus. He also likes Cordylus species, Egernia species, and Blue tegus, among others. Russ and his wife, Fionnuala, have two daughters.


Dan Krull
-Citizen Science A Volunteer Army

Dan Krull is a herpetologist, environmental consultant, on camera talent, public speaker, and all around herp enthusiast. He works for Herp Nation Media as a producer, talent, and salesman. He is an avid fishermen and outdoorsman who loves finding and photographing herps anywhere he can. He has fifteen years experience captive breeding colubrid snakes, amphibians, geckos and chameleons, and currently breeds western hognose snakes. Dan's life goal is to have a positive effect on herp conservation and science in general by educating EVERYONE, especially kids.

Dan will discuss how real scientific discovery is being inhibited by the process research gets funded, and how everyday folks can change that.


Gerry Salmon
-Herping the Trans-Pecos: Meyenberg to Sanderson Snakedays

Gerry Salmon has been an avid naturalist for most of his fifty-two years. He has a strong interest in Herpetology and geographic distribution of North American reptiles and amphibians. He is a former state park naturalist for New York and South Carolina, an associate of the Department of Herpetology at the Bronx Zoo, and worked at the Miami Serpentarium in the early 1980's. He recently retired from a career with the New York State Police and now resides in Boerne, Texas. He now works as a seasonal endangered species monitor on pipelines and wind farms in the Northeast. Gerry is also a current board member of the Southwest Center for Herpetological Research (SWCHR) and is a volunteer curatorial assistant in the Texas Natural History Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. One of Gerry's primary interests is the natural history and diversity of snakes and other herps in the American Southwest and Mexico. His talk is based on more than 25 years of experience in the region and its herpetology.


Dusty Rhoads
-Trans-Pecos Ratsnakes, Bogertophis subocularis

The focused study of an organism's natural history leads to interesting questions that can be answered by scientific investigation. This presentation takes us through the natural history of Trans-Pecos Ratsnakes (Bogertophis subocularis). From their evolutionary relationships - to the very little we think we know about their ecology, reproduction, and population dynamics - a literature review of "Subocs" has led this presenter to two conclusions: (1) They are possibly the most unique among their many extant Lampropeltinine relatives, and (2) they may serve as a useful model for answering some important, general questions about evolution and speciation (i.e. the formation of new species), as well as the population structure of Chihuahuan Desert herpetofauna. The latter is an important question for conservation, as this is the richest geographical region in squamate diversity in a massive area of planet earth spanning Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico.

While this talk will briefly cover keeper interests, such as husbandry and captive color mutations, the main focus is natural history and a prospectus for research using comparative phylogeographic methods.

Finally, the presenter will touch on the importance and enormous, unequalled, and largely untapped power of herpers in aiding important scientific research.


Dustin ("Dusty") Rhoads was born and raised in Galveston County, Texas, and from a very young age, "herpetology" to him meant excitement and adventure - catching and keeping snakes, lizards, turtles, toads, and other creatures, and teaching his family and friends about them. For years he kept and eventually bred "herps", but it wasn't until his final year as a college senior that he learned that herpetology could also mean using the predictive power of evolution science to answer the unknown about any creature that someone has an interest in. Dusty is a Brigham Young University graduate and is the author of several popular and peer-reviewed publications, including the well-reviewed book, The Complete Suboc (ECO Herpetological Publishing, 2008), which covers all ratsnake species west of the Pecos River. Until recently, Dusty attended graduate school at Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi) studying the evolution, ecology, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. His herpetological interests include natural selection, the genes influencing local color adaptation and speciation, geographic variation, phylogeography, and the evolution and persistence of the "Blonde" gene in Trans-Pecos Ratsnakes. He's also interested in helping others understand and overcome the fear of snakes, and in using native plants to invite wildlife back into our now largely suburbanized country. He's a firm believer that there is room for many experts on North America's comparatively "well-known" herps, though he thinks "poorly-known" is nearer the mark for perhaps all of them. He also feels that- no matter how herpetology changes in meaning throughout a student's lifetime - it should never stop meaning excitement and adventure.


Ray Pawley

Ray has the distinction of having been the only Zoologist/Curator who has managed the extensive herp collections at both Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos. Moreover, following his departure first from Lincoln Park and then from Brookfield, Ray witnessed the closure of both highly popular reptile houses. In Ray's view, these closings leave an enormous void in Chicagoland and as we know, Nature abhors a vacuum. So should we. Ray has served as a Zoo exhibits consultant from time to time at Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium and other Chicago area facilities during his tenure at Brookfield Zoo over the decades and these assignments have often provoked new ideas about creating a new, stand-alone herpetological facility in Chicago. Ray will share these ideas with you. Nearly 40 years of managing not only herp, but, at times, mammal and bird collections at both Zoos; published over 100 articles including some peer reviewed; served on the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board for 17+ years; conducted several major animal acquisition expeditions to Mexico, Kenya and the USSR; and was a Charter board member associated with the Willowbrook Wildlife Haven in DuPage County. Ray's passion for herps is equaled only by his enthusiasm for the visitors who flock to reptile houses to see them.


-Holiday Party


Julie Tenbensel / Elections
-Dragons in Our Midst

At this meeting local CHS member Julie tenBensel will present "Dragons in Our Midst," a program dealing with the proper husbandry of monitor lizards.


Gerold Merker
-Rosy Boas

Gerold Merker, a private breeder from northern California, will speak to us about rosy boas. Gerold is a co-author of Rosy Boas: Patterns in Time and several other books on snakes of the western U.S.


Jeff Lemm

of the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research, will speak on "Rock Iguanas: Conservation of the World's Most Endangered Lizards." In addition to rock iguanas, Jeff's professional research interests include monitor lizards and native Southern California herpetofauna. Jeff also enjoys photographing wildlife and has traveled extensively throughout the world in search of his subjects.


Roger Repp
-Cohabitation of Species

of Tucson, Arizona, will present "Burrow Buddies --- or Not? (What's up with That?)". This program deals with desert herp species that den communally. Roger spent his formative years in the Chicago suburbs. He came out of his mother's womb a herpetologist, but the formation of the Chicago Herpetological Society was the catalyst for a lifelong passion for our crawly friends. By profession, he is Instrument Shop Supervisor for the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. By avocation, he is a rabid field herpetologist who has averaged 800 field hours per year in Arizona since 1989.


Erica Mede
-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Poop!


Erica Mede
-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Poop!


Bryan Suson
-Biodiversity in Ecuador

a freelance ecologist from Libertyville, Illinois, will speak on "Ecuador: Biodiversity in the New World Tropics." Bryan was gracious enough to respond affirmatively to a last-minute invitation when our previously scheduled speaker canceled. He has spent many months in Ecuador and has many spectacular photographs to share with us.


-Show and Tell

Please bring your favorite animal for show and tell.


Chip Cochran
-Venom Variation in Speckled Rattlesnakes

A 2012 recipient of a Chicago Herpetological Society Grant, Chip will be joining us to share his research on the venom variation of the Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake and show how the CHS helped further his research. Chip is a graduate of the University of Arizona studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is currently a graduate student at Loma Linda University studying 'intraspecific venom variation in order to continue my quest to travel the world while bothering various venomous snakes.' http://travels4toxins.wordpress.com/my-research/


Tony Gamble
-Ancient lands and sticky hands: Gecko biogeography and evolution

Tony Gamble has had a long interest in amphibians and reptiles, particularly geckos.Tony received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2008 studying the bio geography and evolution of geckos. He is now a postdoctoral researcher and has just received a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation to examine the evolution of sex determining mechanisms in geckos, a project that builds upon his dissertation research. Tony has conducted herpetological field work throughout the United States and Puerto Rico as well as Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Australia, Namibia, and South Africa.


Doug Hotle
-Native Species Recovery Program at the ABQ Bio Park.

Doug has been active as a professional herpetologist for about 30 years. Doug has worked at several AZA institutions as a keeper, senior keeper, manager, general curator and even an executive director. In addition to perfecting husbandry and propagation skills with zoos, Doug has served as a contract biologist for the state of Indiana and US department of the Navy in heading up the Timber rattlesnake conservation program where he initiated the program and served as primary investigator for seven years. Mr. Hotle routinely assists in training for individuals who come in contact with venomous snakes as a part of their occupation. Mr. Hotle has also worked as Curator of Herpetology for the Natural Toxins Research Center at Texas A&M University-Kingsville where he oversaw the husbandry at serpentarium of over 500 venomous snakes, performed daily venom extractions and conducted research on the biomedical applications of snake venoms. Doug has published for both general audiences as well as in peer-reviewed journals.
Currently Doug serves as Curator of Herpetology for the Albuquerque Biological Park as in now working in conjunction with State and Federal agencies on conservation programs for native endangered herps.


Marisa Tellez
-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly- Investigating the interaction between the American Alligator and its Parasites.

Although crocodilian parasites have been documented since 1819, there has been no in-depth study investigating the relationship they have with their parasites. It is possible that a unique relationship has evolved over 200 million years, contributing to the immunology, behavior, diet and physiology of crocodilians. As a result of increase environmental and anthropogenic disturbances in crocodilian habitat worldwide, understanding this ancient host-parasite system can provide vital information for conservation management for both crocodilians and their habitat, as well as provide further information on crocodilian’s trophic status within the ecosytem. Marisa Tellez’s research focuses on parasitism of the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in Louisiana. Besides documenting the similarities and differences of stomach and intestinal parasites in alligators in southern Louisiana, her study examines how anthropogenic and environmental alterations affect parasitism over a 3 year period. Additionally, she is examining differences of parasitic infection between Louisiana and Florida alligators.

Marisa Tellez was raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, CA. She earned a BS in zoology and BA in Cultural Anthropology from University of California, Santa Barbara (2005), and a MA from University of California, Los Angeles (2010). Marisa began her work with crocodilians at the EcoStation and LA Zoo in 2007, and has since travel to Louisiana, Florida, Mexico, Belize, and South America to pursue her interests of crocodilian parasitism. She currently has a book submitted for publication on crocodilian parasitism. Marisa is now a PhD Candidate of Biology at UCLA.


Mike Pingleton
-Herping in Mexico

Mike Pingleton has been involved with field herpetology and herpetoculture for nearly forty years. Activities in the field have taken him to many interesting places across the United States, and these "herp trips" are documented in his web journals (www.pingleton.com). Over the years Mike has raised and bred many species of lizards, snakes, frogs and turtles. Publications include magazine articles, a book on Redfoot Tortoises, and a forthcoming book on field herping.


Ari Flagle
-Boelens pythons wild and captive research

He's also presenting data from 2 year study on ultraviolet light basking behavior.


-Holiday Party

In place of the December meetitng, we are hosting a holiday party.


Dr. Sue Horton, Erica Livingston, Karen Furnweger
-The unfortunate story of an adopted Gopher Tortoise

They will be putting on a talk detailing the account of an unfortunate Gopher Tortoise that Karen rescued, the vet care it took to save it and the husbandry steps that would have prevented the case in the first place!! Weather permitting we will have an appearance of the bionic tortoise itself.

Dr. Susan Horton is a University of Illinois graduate. She is the founding owner of Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, which was established in 2000. She has been the Chief of Staff there since 2000, along with consulting veterinarian in exotic and avian medicine to the emergency hospital Animal 911. She hosts many veterinary students each year who are interested in this field. She enjoys teaching current and future veterinarians the interesting art of avian and exotic veterinary medicine, especially when it comes to reptiles. She also attends and participates in several of the yearly veterinary conferences on avian, reptilian, and exotic animal medicine. Through these venues she has continued her education in medicine, surgery, cytology, radiology, and all other aspects of avian, reptilian, and exotic animal medicine.

Dr. Horton has lectured to the Northern Illinois Parrot Society, the University of Illinois, and has been published in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, Journal of Herpetologic Medicine and Surgery, and 'Invertebrate Biology'. She is a member of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (has been since it's inception) where she is chair for the 'What's your diagnosis?' section of the journal and chair person for the Public Relations, Social Media, and Membership Committee, and she is also a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, AAZV, and AVMA. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Reptilian and Amphibian Medicine and the Exotic DVM Magazine. She is also a member of the Turtle Survival Alliance. Through this organization, she helps endangered Asian turtles by volunteering time, medicine, and her home to foster turtles. Reptile and amphibian medicine and surgery have always been her passion. She has always sought out the rare venues for education and experience in this area. She keeps Dendrobates tinctorius, Rhacodactylus ciliatus, and Ceratophrys ornata currently, though has housed many species at one time or another. The freedom to keep, enjoy and breed reptile and amphibian species is also very important to her. Recently she has been becoming involved with local reptile enthusiast groups such as the WCR. She hopes to be able to contribute more in the future. She also enjoys keeping honey bees!

A description of Chicago Exotics:

Exotic pets like rabbits, ferrets, reptiles, birds, fish, hedgehogs, and guinea pigs have special care needs and Chicago Exotics specializes in meeting those needs. We operate a full service avian and exotic animal hospital featuring Dr. Susan Horton, Dr. Katy Parr, Dr. Deanne Strat, Dr. Stephanie Moy and Dr. Dana Varble. Their extensive knowledge and expertise with exotic species combines the best of personal and clinical experience. Our location is in Skokie, Illinois. We provide service for the entire Chicago area as well as Southern Wisconsin and Western Indiana.

Our hospital has the capability of serving all sorts of animals from the smallest fish to the largest reptiles. Our warm exotic ICU features avian incubators, reptilian incubators (aquatic and not), fish and amphibian ICU tanks, avian nebulizer unit, and inline oxygen for all cages. Outside the warm room, we have comfortable cages for all the soft fuzzy and not so fuzzy mammals and marsupials. We are especially bird friendly! Our in house diagnostic capability includes full blood and chemistry work, cytology, radiology, endoscopy, ultrasound, and surgery. We offer the opportunity for unique species to receive competent and compassionate veterinary care. Cases are seen by appointment, but emergency patients are gladly accepted as the need arises.

Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital offers 24 hour critical care services in association with our emergency partners, Animal 911, located in the same building.

-Erica Livingston is a Certified Veterinary Technician working for Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. She has a strong love of reptiles and wildlife. Erica is in the process of completing the requirements for an avian and exotic specialty certification. She is involved with ARAV (Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians) and hopes to bring more technicians into the conference. Prior to her current profession, she worked with native wildlife for five years at the Grove National Historic Landmark

-Karen Furnweger has been a CHS member since 1976, but her fascination with reptiles goes farther back into the mists of time, to when she got her first turtle when she was 6. Currently, she has 17 turtles, including Thea, the bionic gopher tortoise who is the subject of November's presentation.


Dr. Joseph R. Mendelson III

Dr. Mendelson has been studying Neotropical amphibians and reptiles for 20 years, concentrating mostly on Mexico and Central America. Most of his work has involved systematics and taxonomy?including the discovery and naming of about 35 new species of amphibians. Other studies have included phylogenetic studies, ecology, and natural history.

In recent years, as the crisis of global amphibian extinctions has really come to light, Dr. Mendelson has redirected much of his energy into conservation programs to help save amphibians, to elucidate the root causes of their declines, and to conceive and implement pro-active conservation programs. This professional transition included transferring from a tenured academic appointment at a university to a research & conservation position at a zoo, with an adjunct university affiliation.


Rich Sajdak
-The Ultimate Tree Snake

Rich Sajdak is the author of 'Hunters in the Trees: A Natural History of Arboreal Snakes'. He completed a twenty year career at the Milwaukee County Zoo as Aquarium/Reptile Curator. He has done field research on Timber Rattlesnakes in Wisconsin, and on arboreal snakes in Costa Rica, Hispaniola, St. Vincent, Grenada, and Trinidad. He has published over forty professional and popular articles, and has had numerous photographs published in books and magazines.


John Palis
-Conservation status of flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi-Ambystoma cingulatum complex) on the southeastern United States Coastal Plain.

Reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi) and frosted flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma cingulatum)-two closely-related salamanders endemic to the southeastern United States-have suffered range-wide population declines that mirror the loss of the highly-endangered long-leaf pine ecosystem upon which they depend. Consulting Biologist, John Palis-who has surveyed for and studied both species of flatwoods salamanders for over two decades-will share his knowledge of the natural history of these two secretive species and provide an update on their conservation status.

John was raised in suburban Brookfield, Illinois. He earned a BS in zoology from Southern Illinois University (1979) and a MS in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University (1987). John worked at Brookfield Zoo as an animal keeper in the children's zoo in the late 1970s and in the primate department in the early 1980s. John also worked as a zoologist for the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, a Nature Conservancy heritage program. As a self-employed consulting biologist, John conducts herpetological surveys and studies in the Midwest and Southeast for a variety of clients.


-Show and Tell

June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you\'d like to say about a special critter. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed.


Cindy Steinle
-Women in Herpetology

Cindy Steinle is president of Wisconsin based Small Scale Reptile Rescue and is involved in pit bull rehabilitation. She is a site coordinator for kingsnake.com. She has served on the board of the Chicago Herpetological Society for several years. She serves in education outreach for the International Reptile Conservation Foundation. All of these activities mean she is well known through out the reptile community and frequently travels around the country for her various roles. Here's what she wrote about her presentation:
'My talk was inspired by Tracy Barker. At the height of the fight against HR669, Tracy called me to ask about statistics on kingsnake.com and we both were very surprised to learn that almost 50% of the user base was female. The reptile community as a whole is often looked as a boys' hobby. But with a little research, both Tracy and I stumbled on many women who paved the way for reptile keepers today, originally taking a back seat to their male counterparts. My talk will look at women past and present over the most recent century. I'll look at how they got their starts as well as obstacles they had to overcome. I'll also present the changes the community as a whole has had over time and the roles women now take.'


Mike Rochford
-Everglades Burmese Pythons

If you watched the Nature episode Invasion of the Giant Pythons on PBS you'll have seen Mike Rochford flying over and wading through the swamps of Florida pursuing Burmese pythons, but he's also done work on both the American alligator and the American crocodile. He's a graduate of Kansas State University and did herp surveys in Colorado and radio tracking of massasauga rattlesnakes in Missouri before going to work for the University of Florida under the direction of Dr. Frank Mazzotti and Dr. Kenneth G. Rice. He captured alligators and crocodiles to obtain morphometric data until he began to perform the majority of diet and telemetry work on the invasive python. He left Florida at the beginning of this year, but he's going to tell us of his adventures during his nearly five years catching alligators, crocodiles, and sixteen-foot Burmese pythons. He'll cover methods such as nest survey, aerial monitoring, radio-telemetry and captures.


Dan Warner and Aaron Reedy
-Why does nest temperature determine offspring sex in many reptiles? A case study with an Australian agamid lizard.

Dan is a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. He received his B.S. in animal ecology from that institution, an M.S. in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney. His work at the University of Sydney involved temperature-dependent sex determination of jacky dragons (Amphibolurus muricatus) and was partially funded by the CHS.

Aaron has started work on the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) and through an outreach program in connection with that work became involved with Golden Apple winner Aaron Reedy, a biology teacher at Kelly High School on Chicago's southwest side. Aaron's students are doing valuable research into nest-site selection behavior in brown anoles and Aaron will give us a short summary of the students' findings.


Theresa Wusterbarth
-Sexual Selection and the Mating Strategies of New World Natricine Snakes

Jerry Springer is not the only person conducting paternity test and knowing 'Who's the dad?' is not only important for humans. In her pioneering work partially funded by the CHS, Teri used DNA data to explore the relationships within populations and subfamilies of both plains (Thamnophis radix) and Butler's (Thamnophis butleri) garter snakes, and also explores morphological traits and abnormalities of individual snakes' sperm cells.

Don't let the fact that Terri Wusterbarth grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and is currently teaching human anatomy and physiology at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay cause you not to show up for her presentation at the February meeting. I doubt she'll brag about the Packers...much. She has a B.S. in biology from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, an M.S. in conservation biology from Central Michigan University, and a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University, where she no doubt gained some appreciation for the Bears. Her time at N.I.U. was spent studying natricine snake mating systems, and her talk will be on that subject.


Ray Pawley
-Mixing the Paleo-past and the Present together to create a new, one-of-a-kind Chicago Exotarium--let's do it.

Ray has the distinction of having been the only Zoologist/Curator who has managed the extensive herp collections at both Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos. Moreover, following his departure first from Lincoln Park and then from Brookfield, Ray witnessed the closure of both highly popular reptile houses. In Ray's view, these closings leave an enormous void in Chicagoland and as we know, Nature abhors a vacuum. So should we. Ray has served as a Zoo exhibits consultant from time to time at Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium and other Chicago area facilities during his tenure at Brookfield Zoo over the decades and these assignments have often provoked new ideas about creating a new, stand-alone herpetological facility in Chicago. Ray will share these ideas with you.

Nearly 40 years of managing not only herp, but, at times, mammal and bird collections at both Zoos; published over 100 articles including some peer reviewed; served on the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board for 17+ years; conducted several major animal acquisition expeditions to Mexico, Kenya and the USSR; and was a Charter board member associated with the Willowbrook Wildlife Haven in DuPage County. Ray's passion for herps is equaled only by his enthusiasm for the visitors who flock to reptile houses to see them.


Christmas Party


Jason Hood / Elections
-Peru - Trip of a Lifetime

We all know that when it comes to herping it is better to be lucky than it is to be good. In this talk Jason will go over his short trip to the Peruvian Amazon and the lucky finds made while there. There will be pictures galore including lots of spiders to make Linda squirm and that alone will give you a good reason to make it in and vote for the 2011 CHS Board. This will be a travelog of fantastic finds in the beautiful Amazon basin and some amazing views of Incan ruins high in the mountains.

Jason Hood is an amateur herper and photographer with a strong interest in the snakes of the world and an appreciation for all herps. Jason has been interested in reptiles ever since he caught his first anoles growing up in Florida. For the last 15+ years he has been very active in keeping and breeding herps in his private collection and for the last decade he has been honored to field herp with many great people all over the USA including many members of the CHS. Jason has also been an active CHS board member since coming to Chicago in late 2004.


Karen L. Eckert, Ph.D.
-Conservation in the of the Sea Turtle in the Caribbean Sea.

Dr. Karen L. Eckert received her Bachelor's Degree in Biology with Highest Honors from Principia College in 1980, and later a Certificate in Global Policy Studies (1987) and a doctorate in Zoology (1988) from the University of Georgia. Her Certificate thesis was entitled, 'Multi-lateral Conservation - A Critique of Past and Present Efforts in the Wider Caribbean Region'; her Dissertation was entitled, 'Nesting Biology of the Leatherback Sea Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea'. She has been active for nearly three decades in the fields of sea turtle research and international conservation policy. She is the Executive Director of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST, www.widecast.org) and a Research Scientist on the faculty of Duke University (North Carolina, SA).


Dr. Steve Barten and Dr. Gery Herrmann
-Ecuador Expedition: Galapagos Islands and Rain Forest.

In June, 2010, Steve and Gery traveled with a group of veterinarians to Ecuador. They spent three nights in the rain forest of eastern Ecuador, seeing the abundant local wildlife including herps, birds, monkeys and insects. The group then flew to the Galapagos Islands, where they boarded a ship, visited 10 of the islands and saw giant tortoises, land and marine iguanas, lava lizards, three of the four endemic snake species, and many birds, sea lions, insects and fish. They crossed the equator eight times. Their presentation will showcase descriptions and hundreds of photos of the native wildlife and scenery.

Steve and Gery are long time (decades) members of the CHS. Both are veterinarians with special interest in herp patients, and both have been active field herpers for many years.


George L. Heinrich (Heinrich Ecological Services)
-Florida Turtles: Conservation Challenges and Opportunities

George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida turtles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services, is based in St. Petersburg and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours. A graduate of Memphis State University, his interests include southeastern upland and brackish wetland ecosystems, conservation challenges facing Florida’s non-marine turtles, and the role of education in conserving herpetofauna. He has worked for a number of years on the conservation of gopher tortoises and has studied the ecology and conservation needs of diamondback terrapins as part of a University of North Florida research team since 1995. Recent collaborative projects have focused on two emydids, the diamondback terrapin (research on mortality in crab pots and a distributional study in the Big Bend region) and the Suwannee cooter (impacts of take for human consumption and boat strikes). His efforts to increase awareness of Florida turtle diversity and conservation challenges include natural history tours for the California Turtle and Tortoise Club and the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society. George has served twice as co-chair of the Gopher Tortoise Council and is the founding president of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust. He has received a number of awards from state and regional NGOs for his conservation work, the most recent being the Crystal Vision Award from the League of Environmental Educators in Florida.


Mike Pingleton
-Jewels in the Crown: Unique and Memorable Field Herping Experiences, And What Made Them So

Mike Pingleton has been involved with field herpetology and herpetoculture for nearly forty years. Activities in the field have taken him to many interesting places across the United States, and these ‘herp trips’ are documented in his web journals (www.pingleton.com). Over the years Mike has raised and bred many species of lizards, snakes, frogs and turtles. Publications include magazine articles, a book on Redfoot Tortoises, and a forthcoming book on field herping.


Dante Fenolio
-Life In The Dark

It features life forms that spend all or most of their time in the dark. The talk involves a little something for everyone as there are nocturnal reptiles and amphibians, cave life, termite mound inhabitants, deep sea life forms, etc.

Dante's research interests involve the ecology of animals living in challenging environments like subterranean ecosystems or forest canopies. He regularly conducts surveys of caves for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, documenting federally listed endangered species and keeping tabs on their populations. He also works with Brazilian colleagues in Central Brazil performing bioinventories of areas involved with hydroelectric power plant projects. With the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Dante helps to coordinate both local and international amphibian conservation efforts and to develop captive breeding methods for endangered species. Dante is finishing a book project right now that covers animals that spend all or most of their lives living in the dark.


Jeff Lemm
-Australian Herps

Jeff Lemm is a herpetologist at the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research where he has been employed in the Applied Animal Ecology Division for nearly 18 years. An avid field herper, Jeff has also been keeping and breeding reptiles and amphibians for over 25 years. Jeff's professional research interests include monitor lizards, rock iguanas, and native Southern California herpetofauna. Jeff also enjoys photographing wildlife in the wild and has traveled extensively throughout the world in search of his subjects.


Dr. Paul Sereno
-Prehistoric Crocodilian Research

Dr. Paul Sereno, a professor in the University of Chicago's Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and a world-famous paleontologist, will speak about crocodilians and their relatives, past and present. One of Paul's many notable discoveries was a remarkably complete skeleton of Sarcosuchus imperator, a 40-foot-long crocodyliform popularly known as SuperCroc. By studying modern crocodilians Paul has gained insights into how Sarcosuchus may have lived and grown. You don't want to miss this one!


Charles Knapp

Charles is the Director of Conservation and Research at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Upon confirming his invitation to speak he made a point to let me know that the first group he ever spoke to was the Chicago Herp Society in 1993. Charles has spent the last several years away from Chicago working on his graduate degrees. He has done a great deal of research and work in Iguanas and plans on speaking about them.


Ray Pawley
-Galapagos Tortoises

Ray is a retired curator of reptiles at Brookfield Zoo, who now makes his home near Hondo, New Mexico. Ray will speak about some of his experiences raising Galapagos tortoises at Brookfield and some questions that were left unanswered. In his own words, ''While lectures are basically informative (period), this topic is unique in that the audience will be informed AND will hear about some intriguing unanswered questions that arose while we were raising Galapagos tortoises at Brookfield Zoo. The goal of this talk is to share with the audience what we learned in hopes that some individual(s) might want to seek some answers through their own initiative.


Matt Goode
-Ecology and Conservation of the King Cobra (Ophiophagous hannah) in the Western Ghats of India

We conducted the first-ever study of wild King Cobras (Ophiopagous hannah) in the Western Ghats of India, near Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, in the district of Shimoga, state of Karnataka. We implanted snakes with radiotransmitters and followed them continuously during their diurnal activity phase. We also made numerous behavioral observations of non-telemetered King Cobras. We observed a variety of reproductive behaviors, including combat, mate guarding by males, courtship, copulation, and nest guarding by females. We also observed King Cobras chasing, capturing and consuming snake prey, and two incidences of cannibalism. We present data on activity and movement patterns, and habitat use. Both males and females moved long distances during the pre-monsoon mating period. We often observed snakes climbing and resting high up in the forest canopy. We discuss our results in the context of ongoing conservation concerns, emphasizing potential effects of habitat fragmentation, and translocation of snakes 'rescued' from human habitations. We also discuss plans for long-term conservation of King Cobras, the entire herpetofaunal community.

Since 1984, I have studied various aspects of amphibian and reptile ecology and conservation. Most of my work has dealt with snakes in general and rattlesnakes in particular, with an emphasis in the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. I try to bridge the gap between applied and basic research, using natural history, ecological, behavioral, and genetic data to address conservation and management issues. I also have a strong interest in environmental education, and many of my projects have a significant educational component. I recently ended a five-year stint as the Sr. Co-chair of the Southwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. I am a member of the Science Advisory Board of the Malpai Borderlands Group.


Kathryn Tosney
-How human selective breeding has changed Australian bearded dragons.

In America, our selective breeding of Australian bearded dragons has produced dragons in many striking colors; it has also unconsciously affected other dragon characteristics, such as size, morphology and health. For instance, the very form of dragons has changed in a way that is consistent with classic signs of domestication. This talk will briefly discuss how such changes come about, the good and bad consequences of inbreeding, and how to minimize unwanted outcomes. She will also talk about a possible physical indicator of inbreeding that may help us select the most genetically robust dragons.

Kathryn Tosney received her Ph.D. at Stanford University and did postdoctoral research at Yale University. She spent many years on the faculty at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and is a long-time member of the Michigan Society of Herpetologists. She is now Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at the University of Miami in warm and herp-rich Florida.


Mark Mitchell
-UV In Snakes And Turtles

Dr. Mitchell will be speaking on UV in snakes and turtles. He is an associate professor in veterinary clinical medicine at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and teaches classes involving zoo and wildlife medicine. He has published over 300 manuscripts, scientific abstracts, books and book chapters. He has a wide range of interests involving all types of exotic animals. He is past president of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians and currently scientific editor of that society's Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine.


Kate Jackson
-Mean and Lowly Things: Snakes, Science and Survival in the Congo

Kate Jackson earned her Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University in 2002. She is currently an assistant professor in the Biology Department of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. The title of Dr. Jackson's PowerPoint presentation is the same as the title of her recent (2008) book from Harvard University Press. She will speak about her herpetological research in the Republic of Congo, and will be available to sign books following her talk. In her own words from the prologue to the book: '...this is the story of what went into producing a brief report of a survey of amphibians and reptiles, for publication in a scientific journal; the bureaucratic frustrations, disgusting food, parasites, diseases, linguistic confusion, complicated personalities, civil war, isolation, miserable living conditions, cultural misunderstandings, fear, danger, narrow escapes and also great kindnesses. In short, all the things they didn't prepare me for in graduate school at Harvard.


Bryan Grieg Fry

Dr. Fry heads a laboratory at the Department of Biochemistry in the Bio21 Institute of the University of Melbourne that specialises in the research of animal venoms. His life in his own words - ' My name is Dr. Bryan Grieg Fry and I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people alive. I get to travel the globe catching snakes with my lovely wife Alexia! Ever since I was a small child, all I have ever wanted to do is play with venomous animals for a living. Its quite a satisfying feeling to have this childhood obsession come true. It makes my mum feel a bit better about the myriad of strange, unusual and often dangerous animals that took up residence in our household during my years at home!' His most recent accomplishment is his paper on the venom system of the Komodo Dragaon and the extinct giant Megalania has been accepted for publication in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science).


Dave Barker
-Ball Pythons-He did actually write the book on them...enough said!!

Dave Barker is a professed life-long snake-aholic. He started his professional career in high school at Mural's Pet Center in Crystal Lake, IL. His first snake friends were Roger Repp and Dale Rover, also from Crystal Lake. Roger introduced Dave to the wonders of the Chicago Herp Society, and Dave and Roger attended CHS meetings in 1969 and 1970, riding the train to downtown and taking a taxi to the Academy of Science.

After high school, Dave went to WIU, where he majored in dropping classes and extracurricular snake-hunting. In 1975 he took a job at the Dallas Zoo Department of Herpetology. At the Dallas Zoo he had the opportunity to work with many unusual and poorly known snake species. During his 10-year tenure at the Dallas Zoo, he served as the Zoo's public lecturer, and as a supervisor in the Reptile House and also in the Children's Zoo. In 1984 he left the Zoo to attend graduate school at UTA. He undertook a study of the geographic variation and natural history of the ridgenose rattlesnake, Crotalus willardi. The next four summers were spent doing field work in Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona; during the school year he taught the Comparative Anatomy labs. In 1988 he again joined a zoo, this time as Curator of Education at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX. After 18 months he returned to UTA to complete graduate school. In January 1990 he and wife Tracy started VPI, Inc., an incorporated commercial enterprise that specializes in the research and captive-propagation of pythons. They live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country and have two sons, a dog, a cat, two ferrets, and a turtle. Dave Barker has published over 100 popular articles, and several dozen scientific papers. He is co-author of A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Texas (1984, Texas Monthly Press). He and Tracy have published two volumes in the Pythons of the World monograph. The second volume was recognized as 'The Best Animal Book of 2006' by the Independent Publishers Annual Awards. They currently are working on the third volume.


James Parham
-Historical and Ongoing Changes to Turtle Diversity and Distributions

Jim's academic credits span a broad range. His undergraduate degree is in geology from the University of Rhode Island, he worked on a dissertation in paleontology at U.C. Berkeley, and he's done post doc work in genomics and bioinformatics, the latter at the Biodiversity Synthesis Center (a component of the Encyclopedia of Life) housed in the Field Museum of Natural History. He's working on research projects in the Caribbean, China, the Middle East, and the U.S. His presentation will use his travels and research to show how human activities have affected turtles throughout the world. Jim is a speaker who brings a broad range of skills and expertise to the critical problems facing many reptiles, particularly turtles.


Timothy Herman
-Found and Lost: Discovery, Extirpation, and (hopefully) Reintroduction of the Kihansi Spray Toad.

Discovered in 1996 during the construction of a hydroelectric facility in Tanzania, one of the world's only live-bearing frogs was extinct in the wild by the end of 2003. Successful captive assurance colonies at the Toledo and Bronx Zoos provide the only hope of survival for this highly endemic amphibian.

Timothy Herman grew up in Peoria Il, and received a B.S. from the University of Illinois in 2001. From 1994-1999 he volanteered at the Glen Oak Zoo under Doug Holmes. In 2001 he worked with Chris Phillips and the INHS doing field work and assisting graduate students. In December of 2001 he started at the Toledo Zoo in the herpetology department. His tenure there has taken him to Panama and Africa for various projects. Tim is also an instructor for the AZA's Amphibian Biology, Conservation, and Captive Management course hosted by the Toledo Zoo.


Dan Thompson
-Blanding's Turtle Recovery Project


Will Bird and Phil Peak
-Field Herping techniques and what you can do...

Will Bird and Phil Peak will be discussing their new book on field herping techniques. These Kentucky natives have worked hard to be able to make contributions to the knowledge base of their local herps by contributing their field notes, voucher specimens (when needed), and their blood and sweat by being some of the hardest working field herpers around. Their hard work paid off in the past by finding record sized animals for both their state and the country as well as turning up the first Pine Snake in western Kentucky in decades which will hopefully lead to more conservation efforts by the state in that region. The talk will include many neat slides and their enthusiasm which is contagious. They will share some secret tips into their success in the field.


Mark Mitchell, DVM, MS,PHD
-Reptile Reproductive Assistance Programs: from conservation to captive breeding.

Dr. Mitchell will cover semen collection in reptiles, gender determination via endoscopy, and semen storage. He is an associate professor in veterinary clinical medicine at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and teaches classes involving zoo and wildlife medicine. He has published over 300 manuscripts, scientific abstracts, books and book chapters. He has a wide range of interests involving all types of exotic animals. He is past president of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians and currently scientific editor of that society's Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine.


Micheal Lannoo
-Amphibian Deformities

Dr. Michael Lannoo is the guru of declining amphibian topics. He is a professor at the Muncie Center for Medical Education at Indiana University School of Medicine teaching neurology. His field studies have taken him from Jamaica to Antarctica. He is the leading figure in the study of amphibian declines and malformations, and lectures widely about frog malformations. He's an author, editor and is the U.S. coordinator of the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force. In 2001 he won the Field Museum's Parker Gentry Award for Conservation Biology. An engaging speaker with keen insight into the amphibian problem, Dr. Lannoo will talk about frog malformations and environmental threats. He recently published Malformed Frogs: the Collapse of Aquatic Ecosystems.


Ben Evans
-Molecular markers shed light on cryptic diversity and evolutionary processes: case studies from Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Identifying distinct evolutionary lineages and characterizing their distribution poses challenges to biodiversity conservation. This is particularly true in parts of the world that are poorly studied, and in species complexes whose morphology is highly conserved. In this seminar I will discuss herpetological research that combines fieldwork and molecular genetics to uncover previously uncharacterized diversity. In doing so, this work helps us better understand evolutionary processes that contributed to this variation and offers practical information for biodiversity conservation. We will first focus on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where geological and ecological factors have generated similar patterns of diversity among multiple species. We will then we will turn to the Itombwe Plateau in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where recent studies have uncovered a previously uncharacterized species of clawed frog that is emblematic of the high conservation value of this poorly studied area.

Ben Evans has been an Assistant Professor at McMaster University since 2004. He earned a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Tufts University in Massachusetts, a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in New York, and did postdoctoral work in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on evolution and population genetics of natural populations, and on molecular evolution and expression of duplicate genes.


Kevin Messenger

Kevin Messenger is a graduate from NC State University, receiving his B.S. in zoology in May of 2006. Three days after graduating he was on a plane to China for four months to study herps in a remote region of central China. His job was to survey the 800,000 acre forests of Shennongjia National Reserve; a location that previously had never been surveyed for herps. Not only was he going to be spending most of his time hiking the backwoods of China, but none of the reserve officials knew English very well, meaning Kevin had to have a crash course in Mandarin before going over.

His study in China entailed surveying for herps at various field stations dotted throughout the reserve, ranging from 2,000 ft to 10,000 ft. Part of his job was to introduce western techniques for finding herps, as well as provide the reserve with any sort of conservation measures he could think of along the way. Several obstacles were encountered during the trip, such as poor ID guides and a mandatory assistant that just happened to be afraid of snakes! Kevin? research in 2006 was only half of his project (a study he is ultimately planning to use towards a Master? degree); he plans to return for a one month stay later this year in July, and then wrap up his study with one more summer session, currently planned for 2009.


Bill Love
-HERP PHOTOGRAPHY: Beyond Snapshots

Everyone has a new digital camera these days, and their images of herps are all over the Internet. With so many pics for surfers to look at, how do you make yours stand out from the crowd to display that great field encounter, show off your pet, or sell your offspring? Let this new PowerPoint talk show you how to improve your photography and get your shots noticed. The kind of camera you use doesn? matter. This presentation, by veteran herp shutterbug Bill Love emphasizes the art and technique of capturing great images, not complicated, confusing gadgetry.

Bill Love's herpetological career started about age 5 in New Jersey finding box turtles in the woods near his home. During his youth, a favorite pastime was exploring the woods and ponds to watch and catch the local herps. That habit fully blossomed when he moved to Florida in his mid-teens. A few years later, he started making month-long drives across the U.S. annually to see wild herps, meet herp people, and learn about the emerging art of herpetoculture.


Bryan Suson
-Herps of Ecuador

Bryan is a 2005 graduate of Lake Forest College, receiving his B.S. in environmental Sciences, with a Minor in Communications. Bryan has had a great deal of experience traveling throughout the world in pursuit of finding and photographing what he believes to be some of the most amazing wildlife in existence. These destinations include Australia, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and various sites within the United States. Spending 3 months in Ecuador, he participated in various different projects ranging from Eleutherodactylus frog population studies, to dung beetle diversity along elevational gradients in the E. Andes.

He currently works as the Head Animal Keeper at the Wildlife Discovery Center on a part time basis. He has completed the WDC venomous certification program. His work run is mainly composed of venomous reptiles, but also includes monitors and geckos. His personal collection at home is dominated by a beautiful group of Green tree pythons (Morelia viridis), the best snake there is.


John C. Murphy
-Homalopsid Snakes and the Herpetofauna of Thailand

John is a long time educator, herpetologist, research assistant at the Field Museum, and author. His most recent book Homalopsid Snakes, Evolution in the Mud brings together important information and new knowledge about this fascinating group of snakes. John's travels have taken him to some beautiful places where he has taken photos of a huge range of herps and their environments. John will share his photos, experiences in Thailand, and knowledge of Homalopsids with us at the meeting.


Zoltan Takacs, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
-How the cobra escapes its venom

Snake venom could kill a prey or predator in minutes, nevertheless snakes themselves are resistant to their own venoms. Zoltan's talk will explore this secret from the field to the lab bench. He takes us through the highs and lows of collecting venomous snakes in remote tropical wilderness, obtaining tissue samples, and testing the molecular mechanism of resistance in cobras, sea snakes, and mongooses back at the University of Chicago.

Hungarian-born Zoltan Takacs has been fascinated by reptiles since early childhood and started to pursue venomous snakes at age 14, an addiction he never gave up. His main academic interest is the molecular basis of snake venom resistance -- why cobras, sea snakes, and mongooses are not affected by elapid neurotoxins. He obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Columbia University and currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. A wildlife photographer, scuba diver, and aircraft pilot, Zoltan's quest for snakes has taken him to over 110 countries, and his work has been featured several times on the National Geographic Channel.


Zachary Marchetti
-The Beautiful and the Deadly

Zach grew up in the small town of Camden, Maine where he spent his summers in the woods avoiding the crowds of summer tourists by fishing, hiking, camping and exploring the mountains and nearby lakes. Zach's interest in reptiles blossomed during some volunteer work in Ecuador. He was subsequently hired by Global Vision International as a full time staff member on their Ecuadorian Wildlife Conservation project.

Zach is now a keeper and lecturer for Clyde Peeling's Reptiland in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. He will accompany the Peeling Productions exhibit for Reptiles. The Beautiful and the Deadly as the keeper and public presenter. This live exhibition features turtles, crocodilians, lizards and snakes and will be hosted by the Notebaert Nature Museum through January 13th. In addition to Zach's lecture at the October meeting, CHS members are invited to a viewing of the exhibit the evening of the November meeting at 6:00pm.


Dr. Daniel D. Beck
-Biology of Bumpy Lizards, New Icons of the Value of Biodiversity

Daniel D. Beck is a professor of biology at Central Washington University in Ellensburg Washington. Growing up along the Wasatch front in Utah, Daniel D. Beck found his early calling by keeping chickens and catching snakes, for which he built special cages. After stints as a zookeeper and a cabinetmaker, Dan earned BS and MS degrees in biology from Utah State University and a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona . His research on the ecology, physiology, and behavior of helodermatid lizards and rattlesnakes spans 25 years, and has taken him throughout the deserts of the Southwestern U.S. and the Tropical Dry Forests of Mexico and Guatemala. Once, while doing fieldwork in Sonora, Mexico, a Gila Monster even crawled into Dan's sleeping bag! Considered the foremost authority on helodermatid lizards, Dan's new book Biology of Gila Monsters and Beaded Lizards was released in summer of 2005 by the University of California Press. His interest in building also persists as many friends helped Dan and his family build a straw-bale house they now inhabit in Ellensburg, Washington.


Dr. Douglas Mader
-Medical Marvels in Herp Medicine

Dr. Mader, a graduate from the University of California, Davis in 1986, is the co-owner the Marathon Veterinary Hospital, a referral hospital in the Conch Republic. Dr. Mader is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline Practice) and is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Medicine. Currently he is the consulting veterinarian for the Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital, the Monroe County Sheriff's Zoo, the Key West Aquarium and the Theater of the Sea. Dr. Mader has published numerous articles in scientific and veterinary journals and is on the review boards of several scientific journals.

You may be familiar with Dr. Mader through his monthly column in Reptiles magazine, Veterinarian Q and A and if you've ever taken a herp to the vet, you've likely benefited from his book, Reptile Medicine and Surgery, which is the standard veterinary textbook on the subject. Dr. Mader is an internationally acclaimed lecturer in high demand so we are lucky to have him as a speaker.


Jim Harrison
-The evolution of venom extraction

Jim Harrison is the director of the Kentucky Reptile Zoo and an acclaimed expert in the field of venom extraction. He has been studying venom for over 30 years and currently extracts from more than 600 animals per week. Jim has a busy schedule but makes time to give presentations about the many unique and almost unbelievable experiences he has had. His lifestyle is one that not many people could handle, or may not even want to attempt, because his life is put on the line each time he takes out a venomous snake for extraction but he provides a valuable product that can save lives.


Chris Lechowicz
-The 2006 Madagascar Tortoise Tour

Chris, herpetologist at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation in Southwest Florida and longtime CHS member, will talk about his experiences as researcher and tour co-leader on his month long trip to Madagascar. He conducted research on all 4 native tortoises and will present a powerpoint slide show depicting the research and the many amazing herps that he encountered.


Dr. Carl Gerhardt
-Vocal Communication in Frogs

Dr. Carl Gerhardt is a professor from the University of Missouri, Columbia.


James H. Harding
-Comparative Life Histories of the Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and the Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta): Implications for Conservation.

James H. Harding is recognized as the expert on Michigan's amphibians and reptiles, is a research herpetologist specializing in the conservation biology of turtles, and is an instructor at Michigan State University, a mongmany other prestigious positions. He is the author or co-author of four popular books on reptiles and amphibians (listed below), and has written many articles for academic journals, newspapers and magazines. His expertise and advice is often sought by natural resource agencies and private organizations in their management and conservation efforts to protect Michigan's reptiles and amphibians. Michigan Snakes, 2006. Michigan Turtles and Lizards, 1990. Michigan Frogs,Toads, and Salamanders, 1992. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region, 1997.


Whitney Banning
-Ecology of the Blanding's turtle at a Northeastern Illinois Prairie-Wetland Community

Whitney is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and working for the Illinois Natural History Survey. She has been involved with turtle research in the Chicagoland area for three years and recently completed her M.S. at UIUC on the ecology of Blanding's turtles at the Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve.


Dr. Robert Brodman
-Dr. Bob's Wild Herping Adventures in Africa

Dr. Bodman is professor of biology and environmental science at Saint Joseph's College, Indiana.


Marty Crump
-Amazing Frogs: Appearance, Behavior and Lifestyle

Marty is an adjunct professor of biology at Northern Arizona University.


Dan Pearson
-Keeping and Breeding the Malagasy Spider and Flat-tailed Tortoises, Pyxis arachnoides and P. planicauda

These species are listed as Vulnerable and Endangered, respectively, on the IUCN Red Data List. Both species were exported from Madagascar in large numbers during 2000 and 2001. Dan currently lives in Gainesville, FL.


Mike Redmer
-Pilgrimage to Panama Presented in PowerPoint: An Old-Fashioned CHS Travelogue, Sans Slides.

This presentation will chronicle the highlights of Mike's recent trip to Panama in May 2006. The purpose of the trip was to see and photograph some of the last Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki) remaining in the wild. Atelopus zeteki and other Central American amphibians are being driven to extinction by the spread of Chytridomycosis, a fungal infection that is apparently infective to populations living at medium to high-elevations, and it is believed that the remaining wild golden frogs will not survive more than 1-2 more years. The presentation will be loaded with color photographs covering some of the culture and natural history of this important Latin American Nation, and will discuss some of the efforts to conserve it's unique amphibians.


William Griswold, DVM
-Hiding in Plain Sight: Florida's Overlooked Herpetofauna.

Although few states can rival the diversity of reptiles and amphibians found in Florida, many of the Sunshine State's rarest, most unusual, and most unique reptiles and amphibians remain unknown to the average herpetologist. Dr. Griswold will share photographs, natural history vignettes, and personal experiences from eighteen years of field herping throughout Florida.


Thomas Eimermacher
-Swimming with Cobras

Thomas, a graduate student in biology at Southeastern Louisiana University, will give an account of an expedition he led to study Storm's water cobra, Boulengerina annulata stormsi, which inhabits Lake Tanganyika in Western Tanzania.


Alan Kardon
-Crotalus polystictus: A Long-term Mark and Recapture Study

Alan, curator of the Reptile/Amphibian/Aquarium Department at the San Antonio Zoo, will speak on Life History Traits of the Lance-headed Rattlesnake, Crotalus polystictus. Alan and his colleagues have discovered that this tropical Mexican rattlesnake differs in many interesting ways from the temperate species that are more familiar to most of us. Alan will also present photos from recent trips to the Mexican states of Durango and Zacatecas.


Dr. Paul T. Andreadis
-I Like to Watch: Insights from Observing Herps.

Paul is a visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Paul will show a field video of various herps (and other animals), with emphasis on the foraging behavior of cottonmouths. His suggestion to all is: In captivity, admire them, but admire what they do as well as how they look. In the field, catch if you must, but watch first if you can.


Bob Bavirsha
-Bob will speak to us about some of his impressive animals and will bring in some live examples.


Tom Johnson
-Tom, the author of The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri and former state herpetologist for Missouri, will speak about his 10 favorite Missouri herps.


Roger Repp
-Arizona Herpetological Potpourri: The Last 35 mm Slide Show?

Naturalist and rabid avocational field herpetologist Roger Repp will present Arizona Herpetological Potpourri: The Last 35 mm Slide Show? In this presentation, Roger will spurn the use of PowerPoint, maps and charts. He will instead use the best slides of 25 different herpetographers to demonstrate cryptic coloration, color polymorphism, color ontogeny, and natural history aspects of the herpetofauna of Arizona. Roger will take us from the sandy dune country of Arizona to the forested peaks, and include in situ shots of wild herps captured in incredible behaviors. Roger promises that there will be something for all lovers of herps in this program.


Jeff Ettling
-Operation Armenian Viper: Radio-tracking Vipers in Khosrov Reserve

Jeff, Curator of Herpetology and Aquatics at the St. Louis Zoo, will speak about populations of the Armenian viper, Montivipera raddei and how they have experienced a steady decline over the past twenty years as a result of human pressures. Data from this study will be used to prepare a conservation management plan for the species.


Dr. Philip A. Cochran
-Ecology of Wood Turtles in Northeast Wisconsin and Their Potential Role as Seed Dispersers.

Dr. Cochran is a professor of biology at Saint Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota.


Dr. Emily N. Taylor
-Why Are Male Rattlesnakes Larger than Females?

Most rattlesnake species show sexual size dimorphism, with males being larger than females. Dr. Taylor, of Arizona State University, will describe a series of experiments she conducted to determine the mechanism responsible for this dimorphism, and will discuss its evolutionary and ecological significance.


Charlie Painter
-Herpetological Miscellany from New Mexico.

Charlie has worked as staff herpetologist with NMDGF for 20 years. His main interests include conservation and natural history of southwestern amphibians and reptiles. Current projects include investigations of the status and distribution of sand dune lizards, Chiricahua leopard frogs, Jemez Mountains salamanders, and denning ecology of prairie rattlesnakes.


Rebecca Christoffel
-Learning to Live with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake.

Rebecca Christoffel, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University and who received a CHS grant for this project two years ago, will describe her public education and outreach efforts in southeast Michigan.


Nathaniel J. Dominy, Ph.D
-The Sensory Biology of Reptiles

Dr. Dominy is a professor in anthropology at UC-Santa Cruz. Although his research emphasizes the sensory ecology of primates, he has abroad interest in the sensory biology of reptiles, particularly their visual systems. The visual system of reptiles differs quite remarkably from our own because reptiles have four instead of three cone photo pigments in the retina. The substance of Dr. Dominy's talk will focus on how reptiles use vision and color in an ecological context, from foraging to sexual signaling.


Maureen Kearney
-Two Difficult Problems in Herpetology: The Origin of Worm Lizards and the Origin of Snakes.

Maureen works at the Field Museum of Natural History.


Douglas Chien
-The Wilds of Illinois: Shawnee National Forest.

The Sierra Club's Shawnee Wilderness slide show will take you on a tour of nine special areas located within the Forest: the Wilderness areas. Douglas is a conservation field representative for the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club.


Karl Switak
-Renowned author and nature photographer Karl Switak will speak and show slides on the wonders of South Africa's Kalahari Desert.

This program will include scenes from Karl's latest trip to the Kalahari, last October, on which he was accompanied by Lori King and Mike Dloogatch.


Mike Dloogatch and Ron Humbert
-State Reptile and Amphibian Selection

This meeting will be devoted to the upcoming effort to provide the state of Illinois with an official State Reptile and an official State Amphibian. Ron Humbert and Mike Dloogatch will speak about Illinois herpetofauna in general and provide detailed information about the top five candidate species in each category. Members present at the meeting will be asked to vote for their top choices.


Dr. Ryan Calsbeek
-Mate selection by females of the common side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana

Dr. Calsbeek, of the Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment, University of California at Los Angeles, will describe the surprising results of his research into mate selection by females of the common side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana.


Jack Schoenfelder
-The Use of Herps in Advertising

Jack, Chair of the Department of Business Technologies at Ivy Tech State College in Valparaiso, Indiana, and former CHS President, will present a slide program about the use of herps in advertising.


Dante Fenolio
-A Narrative of Biodiversity after 25 Years of Field Experience

Dant is a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma. He is well known as the author of numerous articles in Reptiles and Vivarium magazines.


Ron Humbert
-Turtles: Past, Present and Future

Ron Humbert, a long time CHS member will talk about the history of turtles, as well as their future.


Dr. R. Kathryn Vaughan
-The Natural History of Leptotyphlops

Dr. Vaughan will discuss the fascinating natural history and taxonomy of these tiny, burrowing, blind snakes, with particular reference to the Plains threadsnake, Leptotyphlops dulcis, of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.


Dale DeNardo
-Namibia: In Search of Geckos, Adders, and Answers

Dale DeNardo is a paradox (pair-of-docs) in that he has both a DVM and a Ph.D. He has been at Arizona State University since 1998, where he is the University Veterinarian as well as an Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences. His research examines the relationship between an animal's physiology and the environment (i.e., how an animal's physiologic state affects how it uses the environmental and, contrarily, how environmental constraints affect an animal's physiological condition). He is particularly interested in the relationship among reproduction, energy availability, temperature, and water balance. His work utilizes both laboratory and field studies, predominantly using Sonoran Desert squamates as study species. However, his studies also take him overseas.

Dale's presentation will take the audience on a tour of Namibia and its diverse assemblage of geckos and small adders, as well as discuss how he has used these animals to gain insight into how geckos have evolved to become nocturnal, even in relatively cold climates.


Geoffrey G. Sorrell
-Population Ecology of the Eyelash Viper, Bothriechis schlegelii, in Western Panama.

Geoffrey is a student at Auburn University in Alabama. His study was partially funded by a Chicago Herpetological Society grant last year.


Jessi Krebs
-Research, Conservation and Husbandry of Hellbenders and Giant Salamanders.

Jessi is the supervisor of reptiles and amphibians at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Jessi is a founding member of the Cryptobranchid Interest Group, which is supported by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. He is also involved with the Puerto Rican crested toad recovery project and several other herp-related conservation and research projects.


Dr. Susan Mineka
-Why Are So Many Human and Nonhuman Primates Afraid of Snakes?

Susan is a Professor of Psychology, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.


Dr. Robert Powell
-The Anoles of Grenada -- and Interactions with Other Reptiles.

Dr. Powell's research interests in recent years have focused primarily on Hispaniolan herpetofauna. Since 1986 he has made nearly 40 trips to the West Indies to study the life histories and community and structure of amphibians and reptiles. His emphasis has been on anoline communities on those tropical and sub-tropical islands.


Gary Fogel
-Maintaining Cordylus Species in the Home Environment

Having bred and raised a large number of Cordylid lizards indoors over the past eighteen years, this lecture presents an overview of three distinct species; Cordylus cataphractus, Cordylus warreni depressus and Cordylus giganteus, plus many various anecdotes and situations which accompany each species. If viviparous (live bearing) lizards are your cup of tea, then this talk is for you.


Jim Pether
-The Giant Lizards of Gomera

Jim has been appointed curator of the captive breeding program for the rare lacertid lizard, Gallotia bravoana, by the government of the Canary Islands . Gallotia bravoana is endemic to the island of La Gomera.


Don Wheeler
-Don, creator of The Adventures of Spot, will lecture and show slides on his book, Tales from the Golden Age of Rattlesnake Hunting.

He will have copies available of his book of the same title, and will be happy to autograph them.


Gary Casper
-Herp research in the Lake Superior Basin. Also, a question and answer session on the status of Wisconsin reptiles and amphibians.

Gary is from the Milwaukee Public Museum.


John Brueggen
-Crocodilians - Fact vs. Fiction

Jim is the Curator of Reptiles at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park


Darrell Senneke
-The Asian Turtle Crisis

Darrell is the Director of the World Chelonian Trust


Charlie Painter
-A Review of the Commercial Trade in the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox.

Are Rattlesnake Roundups as Bad as You Think - or Worse?


Pete Taylor
-An Overview of the Dwarf Caiman, Paleosuchus.

Pete is from the St. Louis Zoo Herpetarium.


Micheal Dreslik
-A Natural History of the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus).

Mike is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.


Dr. Andrew T. Holycross
-Research on rattlesnakes

Dr. Holycross is a professor at Arizona state University in Tempe, Arizona.


Karen Becker
-Holistic approaches to herp medicine


Don Wheeler
-Don, the creator of The Adventures of Spot comic will speak on his new book, Tales from the Golden Age of Rattlesnake Hunting.

He will have copies of this book available for purchase. Don will be happy to autograph your copy if you wish.


Dr. Richard King
-Movements and hibernation of the Lake Erie Water Snake: implications for the recovery of a threatened species.


Dr. Natalie Mylniczenko
-Caecilians, Medical Management and Husbandry

Natalie is a staff veterinarian at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Dr. Mylniczenko will speak about the anatomy and physiology of these aquatic and terrestrial animals. She will also discuss husbandry, diseases and general treatment of caecilians.


Rob Carmichael
-Development of the Wildlife Discovery Center.

His program will include a slide presentation about youth-oriented wilderness trips, and live herps and birds of prey from the Center's collection.


John Tashjian
-The Vipers -- An Overview of the Family Viperidae

John is a Field Associate in the Department of Herpetology at the California Academy of Sciences, and is well-known for his outstanding photography of reptiles and amphibians.


Andy Snider
-The National Amphibian Conservation Center: From Concept to Completion.

Andy will touch on some of the highlights of the past year, and update us on future plans. He will also talk about some of the reptile-oriented programs at the Detroit Zoo.


Rob Lovich
-Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern California: More Diversity than Meets the Eye!

Robert is a herpetologist who has worked in southern California for a number of years. He has academic degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Loma Linda University. His research has focused on many species of the region's herpetofauna, particularly night lizards (Xantusia henshawi), arroyo toads (Bufo californicus), and desert tortoises. His major focus is in biogeography, systematics, and evolution of the region's reptiles and amphibians. While his work is considered more of a hobby than a vocation, Robert has broad interests and is currently a wildlife biologist for the Department of Defense in San Diego. When Robert is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim of the San Diego Zoo, surfing, or working on his Pontiac GTO.


Dr. Martin Wikelski
-Evolution of body size in Galapagos Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) -- why shrink during El Nino

His topic will be about the physical changes that have occurred in Galapagos iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) subsequent to the recent El Nino. Dr. Wikelski is an Assistant Professor at Princeton University - Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.


Brian Jones
-Care and Breeding of Chuckwallas


Dr. Peter C. H. Pritchard
-The Search for the World's Largest Freshwater Turtle

His talk will be about the giant softshell turtles of Asia, and in particular the species Rafetus swinhoei. This may be the largest of the freshwater turtles of the world -- it reaches over 300 pounds -- and may also be the rarest. There are only two in western museums, one in London and one in Vienna, and both date from 100 years ago or more. Peter is trying to close in on a clear understanding of the status of the species. His goal is to obtain salvage voucher specimens as soon as possible, to identify all known museum specimens (i.e. in Vietnam and China), and to put forward some kind of plan or recommendations to give the species a future. There is only one in captivity, in the Shanghai Zoo, and one (or possibly more) live one(s) in Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi.


Ron Humbert and Mike Redmer
-They will present an overview of nature as well as exotic amphibians, starting with those found in your backyard and including some from far away as the jungles of Borneo.

Included will be a number of before and after photo pairs, showing larvae and the adult forms.


Gerry Salmon
-Herping South Carolina -- Then and Now

Gerry's presentation will be an overview of more than twenty years experience in herp collecting in South Carolina and the impact of snake hunting since publication of Carl Kauffeld's book Snakes and Snake Hunting. He is a former naturalist at Myrtle Beach State Park and has given two previous programs for CHS Bart Bruno, Gerry Salmon and Eric Richter with a Pituophis melanoleucus sayi(Bull Snake).


Terry Vandeventer
-A Review of the Herpetofauna of Mississippi and the Biogeographic Regions Influencing Its Distribution in the Magnolia State, or...Mos'ly We Jus' Shoot 'em!

Terry is a Herpetology Field Associate with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson.


Michael Redmer
-Building a Collection that Doesn't Eat: Photographing Amphibians and Reptiles.

Mike is a long-time CHS member and experienced nature photographer. He is the contributing editor of the Behind the Lens column which appears in Reptiles Magazine, and he contributed many of the photographs in A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Illinois published by the Illinois Natural History Survey in 1999.


Dr. Robert Sprackland
-Recent findings on the monitors of Indo-Australia

Dr. Robert Sprackland is the Author of Giant Lizards and Contributing Editor of Reptiles magazine.


Jake Socha
-Fun with Fearless Flyers: The biomechanics of Flying Snakes of Southeast Asia.

Jake Socha is a 5th year grad student at the University of Chicago in biomechanics and a recipient of a CHS grant award.


Bill McMahan
-Louisville Zoo's conservation program of Crocodylus rhombifer / Cuban crocodile.

Bill McMahan is the Curator of Ectotherms at the Louisville Zoo, Louisville, KY.


Al Baldogo
-Herps of Indonesia

Al Baldogo has been traveling to the islands of Indonesia since 1994. He has devoted much of his time to the study of the rare Boelens python found on New Guinea. His association with the native cultures of New Guinea have enabled him to travel where few Westerners have been allowed to go. Included in his programs are glimpses of these fascinating people as well as a diverse selection of Indonesia's other wildlife. In 1999 he was the field guide and story teller in a documentary based on the Boelens pythons filmed by Wild Things of Hollywood, CA. Al and his wife Cindy are the owners of Baldogo Reptiles in Fontanelle, Iowa. They specialize in the keeping and breeding of reticulated pythons.