After a multi-year hiatus, we announce that a new Names List committee is being formed and will resume work on the list. Notable changes include clarification and transparency of guidelines to be published with each revision, term limits to be established for all positions, and a shortening of the timeline for publishing revisions (so appearing more frequently than previously). The list will not be printed in future, but pdfs of each new version will be freely available on our website. We will investigate options for upgrading and improving the online database as well as implementing a mechanism for hosting comments to future revisions. If you are interested in participating in the committee’s work please contact SSAR President Kirsten E. Nicholson (email@example.com) who will be chairing the committee temporarily to guide the relaunch and work with the committee to establish the new procedures.
Are you a student or recent graduate from an underrepresented group who is interested in herpetology and ichthyology? Would you like to attend and/or present at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in July 2022?
Check out this opportunity!
In conjunction with the symposium titled Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Ichthyology and Herpetology, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be supporting ten students or recent graduates to attend the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (JMIH) in Spokane, Washington from July 27-31, 2022. Travel from within the U.S., lodging, registration, and food will be covered. Unfortunately, international travel to the U.S. cannot be covered due to NSF restrictions.
The specific goal is to make attendance possible for students and recent graduates from underrepresented groups who do not have resources to attend the meeting through other sources. We especially encourage undergraduates, master’s students, and recently graduated students to apply. Eligible students will be selected using a raffle system and will be contacted by March 11, 2022.
Students do not need to present research at the meeting to be eligible for this funding.
In addition to receiving funding, selected applicants will participate in the JMIH mentorship program: https://ssarherps.org/2022/02/jmih-mentorship-program-2022/
Please fill out applications at: https://forms.gle/CKugu8mtam5h9XJMA
All applications must be received by 5 pm Pacific Time on March 7, 2022.
Note: Participating professional societies also offer funding to support student travel to the meeting. For more information, please check their websites:
Attending your first Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (JMIH) and want to meet fellow early career scientists and more experienced JMIH-goers? Or are you a JMIH veteran looking to encourage participation by new members? For several years, the SSAR mentorship program has helped new attendees get the most out of our annual conference and provided an impactful way for attendees of all career stages to support new members.
Signing up for the program
The JMIH registration form will have a checkbox for attendees to indicate their interest in the program. If a registrant checks the box, then their contact information will be automatically sent to the program organizers. The program organizers will send out a questionnaire to indicate their research and career interests, and they will use the responses to make mentor-mentee matches.
Folks who’d like to act as a mentor for the program can check a different box on the registration form to indicate their interest. We expect the diversity of mentors to reflect the diversity of our new meeting attendees. Therefore, individuals from all career types and stages are invited to participate, from students to postdocs to established professionals.
How the program works
Everyone in the program meets as a group near the beginning of JMIH. This meeting gives everyone the chance to get to know each other over a meal provided by the SSAR, and it provides an opportunity for program organizers to give suggestions for making the most out of the mentorship interactions.
After the initial meeting, mentor-mentee pairs can meet up when and how they choose. Interactions often include attending poster sessions together, checking in over coffee, and/or talking over a meal. Mentors can also help their mentees to meet other researchers and help grown their networks. For 2022, the Mentorship Program will run in parallel with the NSF-sponsored Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium, providing several exciting opportunities for mentee-mentor pairs.
The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and the Herpetologist League will hold Live and Silent Auctions at the annual Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Spokane, Washington July 27th – 31st, 2022. We are glad to accept any herp-related donations, including but not limited to, frameable art (photographs, paintings, and line illustrations), books, music, glassware, jewelry, clothing and gift certificates for Spokane area services/events during the meeting week. No live animals or products made from herps (e.g., books bound in snake skin). The SSAR Student Travel Committee organizes the Annual Silent Auction to raise money to fund the student travel awards to the annual JMIH. Increasing travel costs each year make it more difficult for students to attend meetings and become involved in societies. However, your continued support through donations to the silent auction helps offset these costs enabling students to attend, network, and present their research. The SSAR/HL Live Auction Committee organizes the live auction which also helps support student travel and provides additional support to both organizations. If you have any question about donating items to either auction (tax deductible for U.S. residents), please contact Dr. Vincent Farallo (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. Ideally donated items will be brought to the meeting directly. However, if transporting the item(s) is not possible, they may be shipped to a local host (Dr. Nancy Staub; email@example.com). Please e-mail Dr. Staub and Dr. Farallo before sending any items to the address below.
502 E Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258
Herpetological Review Volume 52, Number 4 (December 2021) is now available! Our cover features several scanned images of an Armadillo Lizard (Ouroborous cataphractus), produced by Ed Stanley from diffusible iodine contrast enhanced computed tomography (DICECT) scans of a preserved specimen housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History. These scans help visualize skeletal (top), cardiovascular (second from top), nervous (third from top), and digestive systems (bottom) of this specimen and are part of the Open Vertebrate (oVert) Thematic Collections Network project, an enterprise that aims to produce and share high-resolution 3D datasets for 20,000 vertebrate specimens from museums across the United States.
The issue has been posted online and is currently being printed and will mail soon. Full contents are now available online to SSAR members at https://ssarherps.org/herpetological-review-pdfs/. Natural History Notes, Geographic Distribution Notes, and Book Reviews are Open Access and are available for download at the same link. If you are not a member of SSAR, please consider joining the leading international herpetological society. Student and online-only rates available. Follow the “Join SSAR” link on the home page. Congratulations to Ed for a unique cover image!
The Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology
Presented by the Herpetology Education Committee
The Herpetology Education Committee (HEC) seeks nominations for the Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology (MTAH). The award is sponsored by the American Society of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists (ASIH), The Herpetologists’ League (HL), and the Society for the Study of Amphibians & Reptiles (SSAR). Nominees must be current members of at least one of the sponsoring societies. Current officers and committee chairs of ASIH, HL, or SSAR, and members of the HEC are not eligible for nomination.
This award recognizes superior teaching and mentoring of students in herpetology. Awardees will be active teachers and mentors, with classroom teaching within the last three years and a substantial history of teaching excellence. The award recipient will receive US $500, an official letter, and a plaque from the HEC.
Nominees should have a reputation among their peers and students for excellence in herpetological education, including, but not limited to:
- Demonstrated highly effective and innovative teaching in the classroom and/or other education settings (e.g., zoological parks, aquaria, museums, field stations, environmental centers);
- Superior mentoring of students in herpetology, as evidenced by student testimonials and placement of students in professional positions related to the field of herpetology.
The nomination packet (submitted as a single electronic PDF) must include the following documents that are clearly numbered and labeled:
- NOMINATING LETTER: A nominating letter, from a current member of ASIH, HL, or SSAR, highlighting in detail the nominee’s experience and accomplishments (limit 2 single spaced pages)
- CURRICULUM VITAE: A current CV of the nominee, including teaching experience
- COURSEWORK TAUGHT: List of relevant coursework taught (including years taught)
- RECOMMENDATION FROM STUDENTS: Letters of recommendation (at least 1, limit 2) from former or current students (graduate or undergraduate) addressing the teaching and mentoring skills of the nominee
- RECOMMENDATION FROM PEERS: Letters of recommendation (at least 1, limit 2) from professional peers who are qualified to review the merits of the nominee with respect to teaching and mentoring
Nominations must be received by the HEC Chair by 31 March 2022 for consideration.
Incomplete nomination packets (e.g., those that do not include each of the above 5 items) will not be considered. Nominations will remain active for three years, but nomination packets may be updated from the prior year by the March 31, 2022, deadline. After that, the nominee must wait six years before being eligible again.
Send electronic nomination files, including all letters, as a single PDF with the subject line “MTAH 2022 nomination” to the Chair, John Maerz, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to previous award winners!
2021: Alison Davis Rabosky
2020: Steve Mackessy
2019: Nancy Karraker
2018: Fred Janzen
2017: John C. Maerz
2016: Emily Taylor
2015: H. Bradley Shaffer
2014: Alan Richmond
2013: Craig Guyer
2012: Michael Dorcas
2011: Bob Powell
2010: J. Whitfield Gibbons
Herpetological Review Volume 52, Number 3 (September 2021). Our cover features the Southern Flat-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus sameiti), photographed by Jannico Kelk near Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. The charismatic gecko genus Uroplatus is endemic to Madagascar and surrounding islands, and all species contain extreme camouflage adaptations and have flattened tails. The journal has been printed and mailed. Full contents are now available online to SSAR members at https://ssarherps.org/herpetological-review-pdfs/. Natural History Notes, Geographic Distribution Notes, and Book Reviews are Open Access and are available for download at the same link. If you are not a member of SSAR, please consider joining the leading international herpetological society. Student and online-only rates available. Follow the “Join SSAR” link on the home page. Congratulations to Jannico for a great cover image!
Victor Hutchison Graduate Poster Award
The SSAR Graduate Student Poster Awards honor Victor Hutchison for his extensive contributions to herpetology and the development of future herpetologists. For the second year in a row, we held the 11th annual SSAR Victor Hutchison Student Poster competition in a novel virtual format. In 2021 we used a new platform of ePosters on 26 July. Nine students competed. This year we gave a total of two awards across categories, owing to the relatively small number of participants. The awardees received a check for US $250.
This year’s judges were Dominic DeSantis (Georgia College), Christopher Schalk (Stephen F. Austin State University), and Denita Weeks (Colorado Mesa University)
The 2021 winners of the Hutchison Graduate Poster Award are:
For Conservation, Management, Ecology, Natural History, Distribution and Behavior:
Rachel Alenius-Thalhauber (Texas Christian University), “Differential diets, growth rates, and survival of captive-bred hatchling Texas horned lizards (Phrynosoma cornutum) reintroduced at two locations in central Texas”
Click here to view a PDF of Rachel’s poster.
For Evolution, Genetics, Systematics, Physiology and Morphology:
Kyle Emerson (Duquesne University), “The effects of microbial environment and temperature on neurodevelopment in larval amphibians”
Click here to view a PDF of Kyle’s poster.
George B. Rabb Undergraduate Poster Award
SSAR’s George B. Rabb Undergraduate Poster Award is sponsored by Zoo Atlanta and honors our colleague George Rabb (1930-2017), former Director of the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, IL, and highly respected advocate and spokesman for wildlife conservation. 2021 marked the 3rd year of this competition, which was held, like 2020, in a novel virtual format owing to the coronavirus pandemic. This competition used the ePosters platform, and five students competed on 26 July 2021. The winner received a check for US $250.
This year’s judges were:
Allyson Fenwick, Chair (University of Central Oklahoma) and Ethan Royal (University of Arkansas)
The 2021 winner of the George B. Rabb Undergraduate Poster Award is:
Yucheol Shin (Nanjing Forestry University), “Distribution modeling of Onychodactylus koreanus predicts drastic decrease of suitable habitats in response to climate change”
Click here to view a PDF of Yucheol’s poster.
Seibert Award Winners for 2021
The 29th annual Seibert Awards were presented virtually at the SSAR Business Meeting held over Zoom on Aug 6th, 2021 following the 63rd Annual Meeting of the SSAR in Phoenix, AZ on July 21st – 28th, 2021. These awards are named in honor of Henri C. Seibert, an early and tireless supporter of SSAR (having served as an officer for over 20 years). Because of the unusual nature of the Annual Meeting (in-person and virtual), awards were not made in the usual categories (Physiology/Morphology, Evolution/Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation). Instead, in recognition of outstanding student presentations at the annual meeting, two awards were made for in-person presentations and one award was made for on-line presentations.
Winners: In-Person Competition
Justin Bernstein, “Muddy Systematics: The Diversity and Biogeography of Mud Snakes (Serpentes: Homalopsidae).” Co-Authors: John Murphy, Harold Voris, Rafe Brown, Sara Ruane.
Julia Joos, “Thermal Ecology and Activity Patterns of Adult and Juvenile Bolson Tortoises (G. flavomarginatus).” Co-Authors: Christiane Weiss, Scott Hillars, Donald B. Miles.
Winner: On-Line Competition
Richard Kim, “Developing Alternative Control Strategies for Invasive American Bullfrogs to Protect Threatened Giant Gartersnakes and Their Native Anuran Prey.” Co-Authors: Marissa Baskett, Sharon Lawler, and Brian Halstead
All awardees will receive a check for US $200 and a book from SSAR.
Did you miss the JMIH 2021 Hybrid Meeting? It isn’t too late to see the great science from Phoenix. If you would like to watch the recordings from the meeting, you can pay $10.00 now and be able to view the content until October 15, 2021. Be sure to register here to get the recordings. Registration for this closes on October 5, 2021.
If you were an attendee (virtual or in-person) and want to view the recordings, use the access link you received in an email from BAI (titled “JMIH Annual Meeting Sessions Videos”) and enter your invoice number. You do not need to pay $10.