FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:Thom Benson 423-785-3007
What’s an Ichthyologist or Herpetologist?
Why will so many of them converge on Chattanooga July 30 – Aug 3?
Chattanooga, Tenn. (July 21, 2014) – If you sing the praises of Etheostoma teddyroosevelt (a colorful freshwater fish also known as the Highland Darter), can visually identify a Graptemys ouachitensis (a Ouachita map turtle) from 1,000 yards or know more about Carcharodon carcharias (Great White Shark) than cars, you may be among more than 950 scientists coming to Chattanooga for the 2014 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
These experts will be gathering at the Chattanooga Convention Center July 30 through August 3 to present results of their research covering more than 750 topics related to various aspects of the habits, genetics and conservation of some fascinating animals. Presentations cover the latest findings from studies of Great Hammerhead Sharks, Leopard Frogs, Flying Lizards, Mosquitofish and literally hundreds of other species that swim, crawl and slither.
This year’s conference, hosted by the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI), brings these scientists to a researcher’s paradise. "The Southeast is one of the world’s great biodiversity hotspots," said Dr. Anna George, TNACI director. "Almost half of the nation’s freshwater fish diversity, some 400 species of fish, live in close proximity to Chattanooga. The region is also home to more than 150 species of amphibians and is a global hotspot for aquatic turtle species. And there’s also an abundance of snakes and lizards in our region."
Jeremy Monroe, an aquatic biologist, filmmaker and director of Freshwaters Illustrated, will drive home this point with a visually stunning keynote presentation entitled, "The Deeper South: Immersive Stories from North America’s Aquatic Biodiversity Hotspot." This collection of underwater footage helps everyone look beneath the surface to better understand and appreciate the region’s natural riches. "The rivers and streams of the Southeast host some of the most amazing communities of aquatic life we've ever documented, and yet the value of these ecosystems is under-appreciated and ever-imperiled," said Monroe. "We hope that by shining light on the beautiful biodiversity of the region, we can bring more attention to the conservation need of Southeastern waters."
Video link: "Hidden Rivers – Preview" by Freshwaters Illustrated, gives everyone a sample of what attendees will experience during the keynote presentation.
The Joint Meeting’s social will be hosted at the Tennessee Aquarium, where more than 10,000 animals representing 510 species of fishes (including sharks and rays), amphibians and reptiles are on display from around the world.
By the time the conference wraps up, the knowledge shared will help TNACI and other scientists attending this meeting to conserve aquatic organisms with the best available science.
Complete list of meetings and presentations.
Ichthyologist: a scientist who studies the diversity, distribution, habits and genetics of fishes. Ichthyologists are often involved in restoring wild populations of threatened and endangered species.
Herpetologist: a scientist who studies the diversity, distribution, habits and genetics of reptiles and amphibians. Herpetologists are often involved in restoring wild populations of threatened and endangered species.
Elasmobranch: subclass of cartilaginous fishes comprising sharks, stingrays and skates.