Board of Directors
Liz Willey, Ph.D. serves on the core faculty in the Conservation Biology Program of the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire. Liz has worked with over a dozen species of freshwater turtle in eastern North America.
Mike Jones, Ph.D. currently works as the Massachusetts State Herpetologist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and previously led regional turtle conservation programs for the University of Massachusetts. In his role for ATO, Mike coordinates and manages field projects in Florida, Mexico, and Arizona.
Jonathan Mays is a research biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, where he studies Barbour's map turtles, alligator snapping turtles, and Keys striped mud turtles. Previously, Jonathan was the herpetologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife where he led studies of more northerly species.
Will Selman, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Biology at Millsaps College. Will’s primary research interest are the Map/Sawback turtles and Diamondback Terrapins in the southeastern USA. His current research involves undergraduate students, and he is also planning projects at Kaxil Kiuic, the Millsaps Biocultural Preserve in Yucatán, Mexico.
Grover Brown is a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS, where he studies the ecology and evolutionary history of mud and musk turtles in the Southeastern United States. Grover has experience working with turtles in Vietnam, Costa Rica, Australia and across the Southeastern U.S.
Glenn Johnson, Ph.D. is the Chair of the Biology Department at the State University of New York in Potsdam, New York. Glenn coordinates studies of turtles throughout northern New York and has worked throughout New York and Pennsylvania.
Jessica Meck is a research biologist with ATO and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). Jess completed her Master's at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. Jess' graduate studies focused on the ecology and conservation of the Gulf Coast Box Turtle in the Florida Panhandle.
Molly Parren is a research associate with ATO working on conservation plans for Blanding’s and spotted turtles in the eastern U.S. Molly has also worked with desert tortoises in California, ornate box turtles in the Great Plains, and spiny softshell turtles in Vermont. She completed her M.S. at Humboldt State University in 2019 where she studied how drought influences mesopredator relationships with human disturbance.
Patrick Roberts works with ATO to develop conservation plans for Wood Turtles, Blanding's Turtles, and Spotted Turtles in the Northeastern USA. Patrick studied the effects of forest management practices on early-successional wildlife communities. He earned his M.S. in 2016 from the University of Massachusetts and is pursuing a Ph.D. with the U.S. Forest Service.
Chelsea Mahnk is a field biologist working for ATO in southern Arizona. She leads a collaborative radio-telemetry study of the movement patterns and biology of Arizona Mud Turtles. Chelsea has a Graduate Certificate in Wildlife & Fisheries Management and previously conducted environmental studies for the National Park Service.
Kathryn Lauer is a research associate working on a regional Spotted Turtle Conservation Plan. She earned her M.S in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England, where her thesis focused on factors that affected Spotted Turtle abundance in Massachusetts. Kat's previous experience includes working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
John Garrison is a graduate student at Antioch University New England, where he studies the conservation and ecology of Spotted and Blanding's Turtles. John is a research assistant for Susquehannock Wildlife Society, and previously worked as a field technician for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Erin Nichols is a graduate student at Antioch University New England, where she researches the ecology and conservation of Blanding's and spotted turtles in New England. Erin's previous experience involved working with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service as an American Conservation Experience (ACE) EPIC AT-RISK Fellow, gathering field data for at-risk species in the Northeast region.
Cullen Mackenzie is a graduate student at Antioch University New England, where he is interested in the effects urbanization has on herpetofauna. Currently, Cullen is focused on the long-term consequences recreational trails present on Blanding's Turtles.
Megan Ormsby is a research technician at ATO where she conducts radio-telemetry on Eastern Box Turtles. She is also a graduate student at Antioch University New England. Her thesis work focuses on road sign effectiveness and the mitigation of road mortality for vulnerable freshwater turtle populations.
Ellery Ruther is a doctoral student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studying spotted turtle population dynamics and movement on army installations. Previously, Ellery was a biologist for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute working predominately with wood turtles.
Jared Franklin was a Biological Science Aide with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Immokalee, Florida. His work includes monitoring Florida Box Turtles in the Ten Thousand Islands region of southern Florida, a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and American Turtle Observatory.
Becca Settele is a Conservation Biology Master’s student at Antioch University New England. Becca is focusing her studies on the conservation of Blanding’s Turtles in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and is interested in minimizing their presence in the illegal wildlife trade.
Board of Advisors
Tom Akre, Ph.D. is a research ecologist in the Conservation Ecology Center in Front Royal, Virginia. Tom has coordinated studies of freshwater turtles in the United States, Mexico, and Venezuela. Tom served on ATO's board of directors from 2015 to 2018 and is a senior advisor.
Phillip deMaynadier, Ph.D. is a biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Bangor, Maine, where he supervises field studies and conservation of vernal pools, invertebrates, and amphibians.
Luis Diaz Gamboa teaches herpetology at the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatán (UADY) in Merida, Yucatán. He coordinates field studies of freshwater turtles on the Yucatán Peninsula and supervises herpetological inventories in Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán. Luis is the director of the Red para la Conservación de los Anfibios y Reptiles de Yucatán (RCARY).
Lori Erb is a bog turtle program manager for the Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation and one of the co-chairs of the Northeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NEPARC).
Charles Innis, VMD, DAVBP(RA) is the lead vet for the New England Aquarium and has extensive experience with freshwater and marine turtle conservation.
John D. (JD) Kleopfer is a herpetologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) in Charles City, Virginia.
Trevor Persons conducts studies of amphibians and reptiles for the USGS Colorado Plateau Research Station and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Dr. Rodrigo Macip Ríos is an Assistant Professor at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in Puebla City, Puebla, México, where he focuses on the ecology of kinosternid turtles. His research focuses on links between biodiversity and development in eastern México.
Angelena Ross is a wildlife biologist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the St. Lawrence Valley of northern New York, where she coordinates conservation programs for spruce grouse and Blanding’s turtle.
Al Richmond, Ph.D. taught herpetology, comparative vertebrate anatomy, and marine vertebrate biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and has studied the turtles of Massachusetts for several decades.
Derek Yorks is a wildlife biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Bangor, Maine, where he supervises field studies and conservation of rare turtles, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Previously, Derek conducted studies of wildlife-road effects for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Jorge H. Valdez-Villavicencio, M.S. is the project coordinator for Conservacion del Fauna del Noroeste in Ensenada, Baja California.
Brian Zarate is a biologist with the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program in Clinton, New Jersey.