Book names reptile expert among the world’s best
A life-long fascination with reptiles has ensured a Lincoln academic’s inclusion in a book featuring the most distinguished and internationally renowned reptile experts in the world.
Dr Daniel Pincheira-Donoso, from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln, UK, has been recognised in A Life for Reptiles and Amphibians published in August 2013.
Dr Pincheira-Donoso said: “I was always interested in animals, including reptiles, their diversity, interactions, functions and structures. My fascination with reptiles was particularly strengthened from reading the herpetology books left by my grandfather, Roberto Donoso-Barros. He is regarded as one of the greatest zoologists in Latin American history. One of his most renowned books, the Reptiles of Chile, was particularly important to me.”
The reptile scientist’s research primarily focusses on selection theory and evolutionary ecology, with a strong focus on the use of Liolaemus lizards as a model. With more than 230 species it is one of the most diverse vertebrates in the world.
Dr Pincheira-Donoso explained: “In my opinion the Liolaemus genus has the potential to become one of the most interesting living lizard groups to investigate an extraordinarily broad and diverse array of important questions in biology.”
The academic was lead author of a recent paper which predicted climate change could lead to dozens of lizard species becoming extinct within the next 50 years.
The study, in scientific journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, suggested that lizards that had evolved to reproduce viviparously (live birth of offspring from eggs retained inside the mother), could in fact lead to the species’ downfall due to global warming as they will remain restricted to colder climates.
A Life for Reptiles and Amphibians, published by Chimaira, is composed of 55 interviews with herpetologists (scientists who study amphibians and reptiles) from all continents. The interviews explore the lives of the participants, their jobs, their research and how their enthusiasm for this specific branch of zoology was born.
In his interview, Dr Pincheira-Donoso also discussed the increased conservation priorities undertaken in Chile to protect areas where unusual, unique or vulnerable species of reptiles and amphibians may be found.
On being chosen for the publication, he said: “To be featured alongside some extremely prominent experts in this field is a great honour.”