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Joseph Mendelson

curator, herpetology, Zoo Atlanta

Dr. Mendelson has been studying Neotropical amphibians and reptiles for almost 20 years, concentrating on Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. Most of his work has involved systematics and taxonomy including the discovery and description of about 50 new species of amphibians. Other studies have included phylogenetic studies, field ecology, and conservation. 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 and understand the root causes of their declines, and to conceive and implement pro-active conservation programs. This professional transition included transferring from an academic appointment to a position at a zoo. The results of his work have been published in journals such as Science, Molecular Ecology, and Journal of Herpetology.