Banquet Speaker

Dr. Joseph R. Mendelson III

Joseph Mendelson Banquet Speaker BPV4 2022 .jpg

Dr. Joseph R. Mendelson III, Ph.D., has been studying herpetology for more than 30 years, concentrating mostly on taxa from Mexico, Central America, and the southwestern U.S. Most of his work has involved evolutionary studies and taxonomy―including the description of more than 40 new species. He received a B.S. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a M.S. from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. In addition to field-based work, he also pursues lab projects at the Zoo and on campus involving behavior, biomechanics, and traditional descriptive morphology. Significant recent efforts have included a series of papers studying snake locomotion in the context of both functional anatomy and the physics of granular media (e.g., sand) focused on such iconic sand-specialist species as the sidewinder and the shovel-nosed snake. Joe also is very active in basic research and development conservation programs and policies related to global amphibian extinctions. Joe is Director of Research at Zoo Atlanta and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Georgia Tech University, where he teaches regularly. He also is Past-President of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Joe has published more than 125 technical papers in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, Biology Letters, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Journal of Herpetology.  

Talk title:

Sidewinders vs. Robots: How a Herpetologist Learned to Love Physics