Darwin Day 2013

Monday, March 25

Dr. Leslie Rissler is Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles at the University of Alabama. She earned her doctorate at the University of Virginia, and carried out postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Her research, which integrates ecology, evolution, biogeography, and conservation, focuses on factors that influence species' ranges. This research helps us understand the processes that influence spatial patterns of biodiversity, and helps us predict how these patterns will be affected by climate change. Her research on amphibian distributions in Alabama was featured in the April 2009 issue of Bioscience ("Sweet Home Alabama: Hot Spot for Phylogeography." Vol. 59, pp. 280-4).

In addition to her research, Dr. Rissler is heavily involved in outreach. The CAARE program (Conserving Alabama’s Amphibians and Reptiles through Education) for elementary, middle, and high schools calls attention to biodiversity and conservation in Alabama. For several years, she has chaired the Evolution Working Group, organizing the ALLELE (Alabama Lectures on Life's Evolution) lecture series that is geared toward educating the general public on the importance of evolution in science and society; click here to learn more about the program. Dr. Rissler is currently serving as a program director in the Division of Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Processes cluster, at the National Science Foundation."

For more information on Dr. Rissler and her research, visit her home page.