Collections Manager III
Gantz Family Collections Center
Alan spends most of his time managing the collections in the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles. Visit the Division's website to learn more. When not at the museum, Alan spends his time consorting with amphibians and reptiles in nature.
Alan's projects center around the herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) of the Chicago area, particularly in the post-industrial landscape of the Calumet Region in northwest Indiana and southeastern Chicago. In cooperation with the National Park Service, U.S. EPA, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy, he studies the distribution, ecology and conservation of this herpetofauna. In spite of large scale habitat disruption and destruction, there are still sizable remnants left of the patchwork of habitats that make the region unique. The herpetofauna is especially diverse because Calumet is the transition zone between two significant North American biomes - the eastern deciduous forest and the Midwestern prairie.
Alan’s work has documented range contractions and extensions and provided insight into the habitat use of various species, species richness of important habitats, annual activity cycles, conservation issues, and management of rare species. He is involved in conservation efforts at several levels - statewide (Indiana Non-game Amphibian and Reptile Technical Advisory Committee), regionally (Chicago Wilderness) and locally (various organizations).
A downloadable guide to Calumet Region amphibians and reptiles is available. Keys to Calumet Region salamanders, turtles and frogs are available.
Recent Blog Posts
Purdue University, B.S., Biology, 1978
University of Wisconsin, M.S., Library and Information Science, 1986
Distribution and ecology of midwestern amphibians and reptiles
Management of herpetological collections
Systematics of African snakes of the genus Polemon