Clayton State University’s resident herpetologist, Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Joshua Parker, will be traveling to Gainesville, Fla., next month to speak at the University of Florida’s 35th
annual regional herpetology conference. The conference will be held Apr. 5 and Apr. 6 at the Paramount Plaza Hotel and Suites in Gainesville.
Parker will be speaking on his research over the past four years on his favorite species of snake, the Midget Faded Rattlesnake, which he has been studying since his Ph.D days.
“My talk is entitled `Integrating genetics and habitat modeling to inform conservation of midget faded rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus concolor
),’” he says, adding that the genetics and modeling techniques he uses can be applied to most species, not just the western rattlesnake species he works with the most.
While Parker, a resident of Stone Mountain, Ga., was in graduate school, he went out to help another graduate student collect rattlesnakes.
“I immediately fell in love with them and knew I wanted to do my Ph.D studying them,” he explains. “I am obsessed with all snakes, but especially rattlesnakes and their venomous kin. I guess you can say they have been my muse in life ever since, both personally and professionally.”