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The Global Amphibian Crisis: The Scope and Scale of the Problem and Response
LUNCH 11:30 a.m. LECTURE 12:00 p.m.

During 2008, “Amphibian Ark” is leading zoos, botanical gardens, and aquariums in a globally-coordinated public awareness campaign “The Year of the Frog” (2008 is a leap year!). The current amphibian extinction crisis represents the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity. To celebrate this year and to help raise awareness of the current status of these animals, The Joint Science Department and the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum is pleased to offer a seminar by Dr. Joe Mendelson. Dr. Mendelson is Curator of Herpetology, Zoo Atlanta, and adjunct associate professor of biology, Utah State University.

Dr. Mendelson has been studying Neotropical amphibians and reptiles for 20 years, concentrating on those in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. Most of his work has involved systematics and taxonomy - including the discovery and description of about 35 new species of amphibians. Other research has included phylogenetic studies, field ecology, and conservation. The results of his work have been published in journals such as Science, Public Library of Science, Molecular Ecology, and Journal of Herpetology and featured in media outlets such as National Public Radio, National Geographic, Nature, New York Times, and CNN.

In recent years, as the scope and extent of global amphibian extinctions have come to light, Dr. Mendelson has redirected much of his energy into conservation programs to help save amphibians and understand the root causes of their declines, and to conceive and implement pro-active conservation programs. His professional transition included transferring from an academic appointment to a research and conservation position at a zoo.