Blogger Bios

Dr. David Steen


I am a wildlife ecologist (find me on Twitter). Most of my research describes how humans affect wildlife populations, assemblages, and habitats (purposely and otherwise). However, I also like to participate in studies that generate new natural history information for species we don’t know much about. I maintain my blog, Living Alongside Wildlife, because I feel public education and outreach about wildlife ecology and conservation is important and hopefully helps foster an appreciation for and an understanding of wildlife and natural landscapes.I received my degrees from the University of New Hampshire (B.S., 2001), SUNY-ESF (M.S., 2003), and Auburn University (Ph.D., 2011) and recently completed a postdoc at Virginia Tech. I have conducted wildlife research throughout the eastern United States.

Bree Putman


I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology with San Diego State University and UC Davis. As a young girl, I was obsessed with dinosaurs, but unable to buy one as a pet (which was very upsetting for me at the time), I settled for a leopard gecko instead. I fell in love with Mary (my gecko) and instantly became a reptile fanatic. Since then, I have fostered a passion for snakes, creatures that are extremely beautiful, but highly misunderstood. I conducted an undergraduate research thesis examining the spatial ecology of northern Pacific rattlesnakes in central California at Cal Poly SLO (B.S., 2009). I entered graduate school hoping to learn more about rattlesnake ecology. However, I became fascinated with the antipredator behaviors of rattlesnakes’ prey, and so my current research attempts to explain the benefits of ground squirrel tail flagging toward snakes. I mainly blog about my field research in the ground squirrel/rattlesnake system – focusing on how thousands of years of predator-prey interactions can lead to unique adaptations in both parties (co-evolution). Blog: Strike, Rattle, & Roll   Twitter: @breeput

Mark D. Scherz

Mark D. Scherz
I am currently studying for a Master’s in Evolution, Ecology and Systematics at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. I have been doing field research in Madagascar on an irregular basis since I was fifteen. I am interested in the systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, evolution, diversity, bioacoustics, and conservation of the herpetofauna of Madagascar and the surrounding islands. I am a member of the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group for Madagascar. I am currently working on describing numerous microhylid frog species from the north east of the island, as well as other related research projects. Most of my research blogging is concentrated on tumblr: an audience of young, eager, and impressionable people who are generally overlooked in efforts to spread educational messages. I have several ongoing projects there, including the #NovaTaxa project, documenting the process of my species descriptions; and the #TaxonFiles project, making individual species profiles for all of the described herpetofaunal diversity of Madagascar. Blog: Twitter: @MarkScherz

Melissa Amarello

I am the Social Media and Outreach Coordinator for Social Snakes, a group I co-founded in 2010 to unravel the mystery of snakes to foster compassion and promote snake conservation. We conduct research on natural history and behavior of snakes following the Compassionate Conservation Guiding Principles and disseminate our findings using creative media through our website, social media, peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and events. I received my B.S. in Wildlife, Watershed, and Rangeland Resources at the University of Arizona and my M.S. in Biology at Arizona State University, where I studied rattlesnake social behavior. I blog at, and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Andrew Durso

Andrew Durso with Hellbender

I am a PhD student at Utah State University, where I study the behavior, physiology, and ecology of lizards and snakes. The many fascinating aspects of snake natural history have led me to research this topic, which is quite narrow compared to my interest in snake ecology as a whole. Additionally, my work brings me into frequent contact with the serious need for snake conservation, which really requires holistic conservation of ecosystem structure and function, on which human society depends. I believe that we can only accomplish this goal through education, and that is partly why I decided to publish my blog, Life is Short but Snakes are Long. The title is a quote by David Quammen, one of the best science writers around, and the Mudsnake in the logo is from Duméril, Bibron, & Duméril’s nine-volume early 19th century opus, Erpétologie Générale. You can follow me on Twitter @am_durso.

Dr. Heidi K. Smith-Parker

I’m a postdoctoral research scientist in Mike Ryan’s lab at the University of Texas at Austin, where I work on the genetic control of larynx development in the túngara frog—a model system for studies of sexual selection and mate choice. I obtained a PhD from Columbia University on the molecular regulation of simple behaviors in nematode worms, and my current interests lie in applying powerful molecular techniques used in model organisms to dissect aspects of amphibian morphology and behavior at a cellular and molecular level. My fascination with the natural world, and herpetology in particular, began growing up in the fragmented farmland of rural Illinois. Follow me on twitter @HeidiKayDeidi and check out my blog at

Bryan Hughes

I’m an avid herper and herp photographer in Arizona, field volunteer, and a regular speaker at regional parks and reptile-related events in Arizona. My blog,, is a photography-focused journal of snakes I find around the country. I am also the owner/operator of a Rattlesnake Solutions, a snake relocation and education business in Arizona, and relocate 600-800 snakes each year. This proximity to the interaction between growing desert cities and the rattlesnake encounters that come with it has given me a new passion for education. I am currently working on a mapping system that uses encounter hotline data to predict rattlesnake movement and thoroughly document the affects of urban encroachment on rattlesnake diversity in the Phoenix area.  @rattlesnakeguy | Rattlesnake Solutions on Facebook

Dr. Jodi Rowley


I am an amphibian biologist with a focus on amphibian diversity, ecology and conservation, and a passion for communicating biodiversity conservation. Based at the Australian Museum, Sydney, my research integrates ecological, behavioural, bioacoustic, molecular and morphological data to uncover and document amphibian biodiversity, understand its drivers, and inform conservation decisions. I am also interested in how interspecific differences in behaviour relate to vulnerability to extinction due to threats such as disease, habitat modification and over-harvesting. My research involves expeditions in search of amphibians in often remote, forested mountains in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. Check out my website and follow me on Twitter @jodirowley 

More coming soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s