Experts Database

 
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Contact Title Department Specialty Expeditions / Highlights
Zeray Alemseged Curator and Irvine Chair Anthropology Early human evolution Dikika Research Project in Ethiopia. Discovery of the "world's oldest baby" (Australopithecus afarensis) in 2006.
Frank Almeda Senior Curator Botany Living roof design. Tropical flowering plants. Princess flowers (Melastomataceae). Complete revision of Marin Flora. Recent expeditions to Brazil, Panama, and Madagascar.
Elizabeth Babcock Chief Officer and Dean Education and Digital Strategy Formal and informal education, education through digital media, cultural anthropology "WhyReef" and "Animal Adventures" virtual world projects for teens and tweens; international migration; Belizean voluntary associations
Bruce Bartholomew Senior Research Scientist Botany Plants of China and Modoc County, California China Natural History Project, Flora of China.
Shannon Bennett
Associate Curator Microbiology Viruses and bacteria, especially infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Studies on dengue, hantavirus, influenza, leptospirosis, mosquito vectors, parasitic roundworms.
David Blackburn Assistant Curator Herpetology Evolution and diversity of frogs on continental Africa. Nigeria, Cameroon, Malawi, Niger.
Roberta Brett Senior Science Content Specialist Education Omophron, a genus of carabid beetles. Madagascar and Yunnan, China.
Meg Burke Director Education Informal science education. Philippine coral reef diversity, conservation, and education. Feral animals, especially goats. Polar bears. Costa Rica, Philippines, Seychelles, Belize. Multiple Academy travel programs to the Galapagos and Churchill, Manitoba.
David Catania Senior Collections Manager Ichthyology Academy's fish collections China Natural History Project, Sao Tome and Principe (2009), X-Ray Ichthyology exhibit.
Nicole Chaney Aquatic Biologist Aquarium Reptiles, amphibians, insects  
Tom Daniel Curator Botany New World Acanthaceae (shrimp plants and their relatives). Native and invasive plants in San Francisco. Pollination. Desert plants. A new flora of San Francisco, and floristic catalogs of mountain ranges in Arizona and the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Sao Tome and Principe.
Charles Delbeek Senior Aquatic Biologist Aquarium Tropical fish and coral reefs, cephalopods, seadragons. Underwater photography. Live coral husbandry, aquarium life support systems. Dives in South Korea, Japan, Palau, Thailand, Marshall Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Hawaii, Philippines, Florida, and Bonaire
Jean DeMouthe Senior Collections Manager Geology Paleontology and mineralogy.  
Robert Drewes Curator Herpetology African amphibians and reptiles. 36+ expeditions to 19 African countries since 1969, including multiple expeditions to Sao Tome and Principe (2001-2010). Three books including Ecological and Environmental Physiology of Amphibians (2009).
Jack Dumbacher Associate Curator and Chair Ornithology & Mammalogy Birds - including chemical defenses and conservation. Elephant-shrews. Biogeographic study of birds in New Guinea. Investigation of toxicity source for poisonous birds. Elephant-shrews in Namibia. Spotted owls in North America.
Freeland Dunker Veterinarian Aquarium Animal medicine and surgery Diagnosis and treatment of elephants with tuberculosis
William Eschmeyer Curator Emeritus Ichthyology Taxonomic literature of fishes Genera of Fishes (1990), Catalog of Fishes (1998), Catalog of Fishes online database (current).
Brian Fisher Curator Entomology Ants - especially in Africa and Madagascar AntWeb: building the global online infrastructure for the biodiversity and identification of the world's ants. First in-depth inventory of Madagascar's ants. Influencing conservation priorities in Madagascar and the islands of the southwest Indian Ocean.
Moe Flannery Collections Manager Ornithology & Mammalogy Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Birds, especially of Southeast Asia. Myanmar 2001; China 2002-2005.
Elisabeth Fourtanier Research Scientist Invertebrate Zoology & Geology Fossil diatoms Computerized database of diatom names
Brian Freiermuth Aquatic Biologist Aquarium Reptiles and amphibians Breeding Asian horned frogs
Peter Fritsch Curator Botany Flowering plants, especially snowdrops, silverbells, persimmons, and wintergreens China Natural History Project. Plant distribution changes in Asia and the Americas as a result of Tertiary climate change.
Michael Ghiselin Senior Research Fellow Invertebrate Zoology & Geology History and philosophy of biology. Principles of systematics. Darwin. Evolutionary aspects of reproduction. Sea slugs. Molecular phylogeny of the animal kingdom.
Terry Gosliner Senior Curator Invertebrate Zoology & Geology Marine invertebrates, especially sea slugs. California and tropical marine habitats. Philippine coral reefs, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Palmyra Atoll, Malaysia, Galapagos. First comprehensive inventory of nudibranchs (sea slugs) along Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Comprehensive guide to 1,400 species of Indo-Pacific nudibranchs.
Charles Griswold Curator Arachnology Spiders Terrestrial Arthropod Inventory of Madagascar. "Tree of Life" for spiders. Planetary Biodiversity Inventory (worldwide survey) of Goblin spiders. China Natural History Project. Expeditions to Chilean, New Zealand, and Australian temperate rainforests.
Ari Harding, PE, LEED AP O+M
Director of Building Systems Operations Building management software for the Academy. Green building technology and engineering. Solar cells. Mechanical and control systems designer.  
Russell Hartman Senior Collection Manager Anthropology Native American and Oceanic cultures, esp. California and Southwest Southwestern Native American art, especially of Navajo and Pueblo Indians
Sylvia Hope Research Associate Ornithology Fossil birds. Crows, jays, and magpies. Behavior observation and song recordings of jays; paleontology digs for fossil mammals and birds in Wyoming.
Dave Kavanaugh Senior Curator Entomology Beetles, especially carabid beetles China Natural History Project; Madagascar; Madang Province, Papua New Guinea; expeditions to Hawaii, New Zealand, Siberia, Amazonian Peru, Costa Rica, and all mountainous regions of North America. Evidence for climate change based on changes in the distributions of montane beetle species.
Laurie Kormos Animal Health Manager Aquarium Fish and reptiles  
Vincent Lee Curatorial Assistant Arachnology Scorpions and pseudoscorpions Madagascar and Kenyan arachnids and insects.
Douglas Long Research Associate Ichthyology, Ornithology & Mammalogy Sharks, deep-sea fishes. Marine mammals, especially sea lions. Birds, especially New World vultures. Bioinventories of birds and mammals in Myanmar, China, South Africa, and Sao Tome; revised biogeography of central California mammals; avian conservation in New Zealand.
John McCosker Senior Scientist and Department Chair Aquatic Biology Shark behavior, eels, Galapagos Islands fish, flashlight fish, salmon, and coelacanths. Sustainable seafood choices. Galapagos Island expeditions using submersibles, 1975 Academy coelacanth expedition.
Brenda Melton Curator Aquarium Oversees the Academy's Rainforest and Swamp, living exhibits within the Kimball Natural History Museum, and programming animals.  
Rich Mooi Curator Invertebrate Zoology & Geology Echinoderms: sea urchins, sea stars, sand dollars, brittlestars, sea cucumbers, and sea lilies Marine invertebrates in Antarctica, including brooding sea urchins. San Francisco Bay benthic survey. Sea urchin and crinoid interaction in the Bahamas. Sao Tome and Principe.
Kristen Natoli Horticulturist Aquarium Plants and butterflies (the Academy's Rainforest exhibit)  
Wallace J. Nichols Research Associate Herpetology Sea turtles. Ocean conservation, ocean plastic and pollution. Tracking loggerhead turtles on their migration from Mexico to Japan; assessing turtle bycatch in Baja California; Latin America; Indonesia
Norm Penny Senior Collections Manager Entomology Academy's entomology collection. Lacewings, scorpionflies, and relatives. New species of Chrysopinae (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) from Costa Rica
Aaron Pope Manager of Sustainability Programs Public Programs Sustainability education and practices. Green building features. "Arena for Engagement" in the Altered State: Climate Change in California exhibit. San Francisco Sustainable Seafood Watch Alliance.
Bing Quock Assistant Director Planetarium General astronomy, solar system Travel program to view the century's longest total solar eclipse (China 2009)
Luiz Rocha
Assistant Curator Ichthyology Coral reef fishes. Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Polynesia, Micronesia, Caribbean, South America, Africa.
Peter Roopnarine Curator Invertebrate Zoology & Geology Models of ecosystem evolution and extinction. Relationship of climate change to extinction. Clams, mussels, and relatives. Effects of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill on shellfish and the food web; thermal spring ecology in Mexico; conodonts of Nevada; mollusks of the southeastern U.S. and Caribbean; bivalves in the Gulf of Thailand; lead curator of Altered State: Climate Change in California exhibit.
Richard Ross Aquatic Biologist Aquarium Cephalopods: nautilus, cuttlefish, squid, octopus Breeding program for dwarf cuttlefish
Jere Schweikert Curatorial Assistant Entomology General entomology Madagascar, Kenya, Kuril Islands.
Bart Shepherd Director Aquarium Coral reefs. Fish biomechanics. New Academy exhibit design. Coral propagation, lighting methods for corals in captivity. Philippines
W. Brian Simison Curator Comparative Genomics Phylogenetics, genomics, DNA sequencing, biogeography Semi-annual collecting trips to Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Mexico (Baja, La Paz, Cabo Pulmo, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta).
Debra Trock Senior Collections Manager Botany Asteraceae family, a large group that includes sunflowers, dandelions, daisies, and more Wyoming, Colorado; Flora of North America series
Darrell Ubick Curatorial Assistant Arachnology Arachnids and troglobites (cave organisms). Endemic and invasive California arachnids. Cave-dwelling arachnids in Santa Cruz and Texas; Planetary Biodiversity Inventory of spider family Oonopidae; serpentine endemic arachnids in California.
Bob Van Syoc Senior Collections Manager Invertebrate Zoology & Geology Barnacles. Benthic invertebrates of the Pacific coast. Intertidal and shallow subtidal from San Diego to Mendocino; multi-year surveys of the Channel Islands and Southeast Farallon Island. Other expeditions to Alaska, British Columbia, Baja California, Panama, South Pacific, Philippines, Borneo, Red Sea, Madagascar, Australia, Galapagos Islands, Clipperton Island, and cruises off the California coast to sample shelf and slope fauna.
Jens Vindum Senior Collections Manager Herpetology Snakes, frogs, toads, lizards, and salamanders - especially in California. China Natural History Project, Myanmar Biodiversity Project, creating Myanmar museum.
Gary Williams Curator and Chair Invertebrate Zoology & Geology Octocorals: soft corals, sea fans, and sea pens. Coral reefs of the tropical western Pacific. Philippines, Melanesia, Micronesia, Galapagos, Patagonia, sub-Antarctic, Madagascar, Palmyra, southern Africa, Gulf of Guinea.
Seth Wolters Senior Aquatic Biologist Aquarium Tropical marine fishes and invertebrates, sharks and rays Philippines, Hawaii
Ryan Wyatt Director Planetarium Science visualization, astrophysics, history of astronomy, beyond solar system Planetarium shows Fragile Planet and Life: A Cosmic Story
Robert Zuparko Curatorial Assistant Entomology Parasitic Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants)  

 
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Click here to see a more detailed Experts Database.
To get in touch with an expert, email or call one of the Academy's press contacts.