Oral Presentations & Symposia Schedule (Available when schedule is complete)

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Canadian Herpetological Society Symposium

Effects of Climate Change on Northern Populations of Reptiles and Amphibians

Date & Time:  Friday, July 13 – TBD              Location:  TBD

This theme encompasses range expansions and contractions that may be ascribed to climate change, eco-physiology and adaptations of populations to different climate regimens (of particular interest where range expansion is precluded by geographic and anthropogenic factors), shifts in phenology, potential effects on food sources, expansion of disease, and the climate-driven explosion of invasive species affecting local herpetofaunal populations.  Although northern range expansion is a likely outcome for organisms that do well at the periphery of their ranges, others may be negatively affected as warming often comes with different precipitation regimes that could obviate the reasons that some relict or disjunct populations persist at southern latitudes.  This theme will also be used as a pretext to talk about critical habitats (hibernation, reproduction), ecological interactions (competition, predation), habitat protection, migration corridors, international collaboration for habitat protection (policy), and more philosophical questions about whether or not to take conservation action.  For example, climate niche simulations predict that species range distributions will shrink in the south and expand in the north for some amphibian and reptile species.  If we want “zero net loss”, should we create/maintain in Canada the habitat area predicted to be lost in the USA?  The topic of international collaboration fits with the resolutions signed by government in Quebec, the Atlantic Provinces, and the New England states (winter 2017) to promote connectivity within and among states/provinces in a conservation and climate change context.  This symposium will be of interest to our US and European colleagues who work on animals in northern climates.

Chair: Jackie Litzgus


SSAR symposium

SSAR Symposium on fish and herp colors

Date & Time:  Sunday, July 15 – TBD              Location:  TBD

Colors and patterns are the most obvious morphological characters of fish, amphibians, and reptiles. However, their formation and functions are surprisingly poorly understood. This symposium will bring together people who study the diversity of colors and patterns, their evolution and developmental biology, and their function in fish and herps: how are colors and patterns formed in embryos and how are they genetically determined? How can we classify them for taxonomic, ecoological, or behavioral studies? What role does pattern recognition and color vision play in these animals?


John Steffen
Peter Uetz


ASIH Brodie Symposium

If Salamanders Could Speak: Tales of the Remarkable Career of Edmund D. Brodie Jr.

Date & Time: Saturday, July 14 – TBD              Location:  TBD

This symposium will honor the career of herpetologist, ecologist, and evolutionary biologist, Dr. Edmund “Butch” D. Brodie, Jr.  Butch has made substantial contributions to these fields over the course of a half-century, and we will celebrate these accomplishments with the society, the professionals, and the students that he holds most dear.  In fact, it is only fitting that ASIH hold this symposium 50 years to the date that Butch’s first paper on toxic Pacific newts was published in Copeia in 1968.

Butch’s research has encompassed an amazing array of topics, and included diverse organismal systems from across the globe; ranging from foundational work on the herpetofauna of the Pacific Northwest, to determining the complex roles of skin toxins in amphibians, to descriptions of new salamanders in the neotropics, to understanding mimicry and other antipredator behaviors, to describing patterns of convergent molecular evolution, to understanding the drivers of landscape patterns of coevolution in snakes and newts.  His efforts on these and other topics have resulted in over 215 (and still counting) peer-reviewed articles and seven books, many of which are now considered landmark studies and used as celebrated examples or case studies in Biology textbooks.

Beyond his publication record (which includes more than 110 coauthors), Butch is a respected and beloved mentor.  He has advised 50 graduate students in both MS and PhD programs.  This symposium will highlight the broad impact that his work and, by extension, the work of his academic legacy, has had on the scientific community.  Presentations from former students and collaborators will commemorate the breadth of Butch’s contributions from scholarship to mentorship.  In addition, we will hold a social gathering following the talks to continue the celebration of Butch’s remarkable career.

Symposium Chair:

Chris R. Feldman: 775-784-4053,, Dept. of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV


Amber N. Stokes: 661-654-2886,, Dept. Of Biology, California State University, Bakersfield, CA
Joseph R. Mendelson: 404-624-5655,, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

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