May 11, 2020
Frogs have hopped around this planet for 200 million years. In comparison, anatomically modern humans have only been around for 200 thousand years. But the last half century has seen a tragic loss in amphibian biodiversity around the world. It seems especially striking that a group of animals that predate the dinosaurs have been devastated by modern human activities. With us today to discuss the history of discoveries in the area of amphibian declines is David Wake. David graduated from Pacific Lutheran College in 1958, and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California in 1960 and 1964. He then taught at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1969. At Berkeley, David served as curator of herpetology and Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. He also served as President of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, and the American Society of Zoologists. In 1998, David was elected into the National Academy of Sciences.