Professor Emeritus

Jay Savage is Emeritus Professor of Biology, the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at San Diego State University. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Stanford University and was for many years on the faculty at the University of Southern California before moving to the University of Miami. His research has concentrated on the evolutionary and historic determinants of the distribution of vertebrates (especially amphibians and reptiles), their ecologic role in tropical forests, and biogeographic theory.

In 1963, Jay was instrumental in founding the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and served as OTS’ president from 1974-1980. He was a member of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (1982-2000) and served on the Steering Committee of Systematics Agenda 2000. Jay also has served as President of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and the Society of Systematic Biologists. He chaired the National Academy of Sciences Committee that prepared the book: Ecological Aspects of Development in the humid Tropics (1982). He is a Research Associate of the American Museum of Natural History and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

His publications include over 195 papers and three books, including a widely used textbook, Evolution, that has been translated into five languages, and Introduction to the Herpetofauna of Costa Rica (1986), with Jaime Villa. He served as the major professor for 39 Ph.D. and 25 MS students. In 1998 Jay was inducted, as an honorary member, into the Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Costa Rica in recognition of his contributions to the scientific development of Costa Rica and his role in establishing OTS. He received the Henry S. Fitch Award for Excellence in Herpetology from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in 2000. He was awarded the Archie F. Carr, Jr. Medal for outstanding contributions to knowledge and an understanding of our natural heritage from the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida in 2001. His latest scholarly contribution, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: a Herpetofauna Between Two Continents Between Two Seas, was published in August 2002.

Dr. Savage's most recent publication is a comprehensive handbook on the 385 species of Costa Rican amphibians and reptiles. The book includes keys, diagnostic descriptions, ecological data and a biogeographic analysis of the herpetofauna. The well-known nature photographers Michael and Patricia Fogden provide the book with full color illustrations.

Download a copy of Dr. Savage's most recent Curriculum Vitae

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