Herpetology Department


Herpetologist attends conference and visits museums in USA

11 January 2017

Dr Michael Bates (second from left) attended the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in New Orleans in July, where he presented a paper titled “A Review of the Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus Species Complex (Sauria: Gerrhosauridae) in sub-Saharan Africa”. Others in the photo from left: Luis Ceríaco (Portugal), Aaron Bauer, Stuart Nielsen, Darrel Frost and Edward Stanley (all USA-based).



Dr Bates examining snakes in the Bauer Lab at the University of Villanova, Pennsylvania. He also spent a few days examining snakes and lizards at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Rod Douglas retired

21 August 2012

Rod Douglas embarked on a museum career in 1984. While at the Museum he obtained the following qualifications: Southern African Museums Technical Certificate in Biology (1988, with distinction); MSc in Environmental Biology with a thesis titled "Investigations into the ecology of the herpetofauna of Florisbad Research Station, Orange Free State, South Africa" (1993, University of Natal, Durban); Interdisciplinary PhD in Geology and Geography with a thesis titled “A new perspective on the geohydrological and surface processes controlling the depositional environment at the Florisbad archaeozoological site” (2009, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein).

Apart from his research Rod was also responsible for the maintenance of the live displays in the Museum, which are a great attraction.

Rod retired at the end of May 2012.


Visit to european Museums

8 December 2011


Dr Michael Bates of the Herpetology Department visited the natural history museums in London, Paris and Berlin during September and October 2011 as part of an ongoing research project on the taxonomy of egg-eating snakes of the genus Dasypeltis.  He examined hundreds of preserved snakes, including type specimens (specimens used for original descriptions) of various species.  More than 20 external features were examined on most specimens, and selected specimens were also photographed.  The results of this study will be published in several parts.

Dr Michael Bates
Dr Michael Bates at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, Germany