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Meet the Curators

Dr. Darrel R. Frost, Curator

Dr. Darrel R. Frost, Associate Dean of Science for Collections; Curator, Department of Herpetology, Division of Vertebrate Zoology; and Curator, Lizards & Snakes: Alive!


Darrel R. Frost

AMNH / Denis Finnin 

As Associate Dean of Science for Collections, Darrel R. Frost is responsible for overseeing the use and maintenance of the American Museum of Natural History's permanent collection of more than 30 million specimens and cultural artifacts. Dr. Frost's other administrative duties include overseeing the Office of the Conservator of Natural Science Collections, which supports in-house training for collection maintenance and collection conservation expertise for all in-house construction projects. He also oversees the Museum's Interdepartmental Laboratory, which includes a state-of-the-art imaging facility that provides analytical microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, science visualization, and image analysis in support of the Museum's scientific activities. Further, he is Curator-in-Charge of the Department of Herpetology in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology as well as Curator-in-Charge of the Ambrose Monell Collection for Molecular and Microbial Research, a state-of-the-art frozen tissue facility that supports genomic research within the AMNH, nationally and internationally. As a Curator in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology, Dr. Frost studies the evolutionary origin and diversification of squamates and amphibians and examines issues related to the grounds of knowledge in evolutionary biology. Dr. Frost also studies the notion of species in systematic biology and evaluates ways to effectively combine molecular and morphological data. He maintains a comprehensive online taxonomic catalog of the world's living amphibians and recently published (with 18 coauthors) the largest study of amphibian evolution ever undertaken. Among his other work on lizards, Dr. Frost has formulated a revised classification for the entire group of New World lizards called Iguania, comprising about 1,000 species in the Americas, Madagascar, Fiji, and Tonga. Dr. Frost received a B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona in 1972, an M.S. in zoology from Louisiana State University in 1978, and a Ph.D. in systematics and ecology from the University of Kansas in 1988. He joined the American Museum of Natural History in 1990 as an Assistant Curator. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and an adjunct professor at the City University of New York.

Dr. David Kizirian, Co-Curator

Dr. David Kizirian, Curatorial Associate, Department of Herpetology, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, and Co-Curator, Lizards & Snakes: Alive!

David Kizirian works with Darrel R. Frost in overseeing the use and maintenance of the herpetology collections at the American Museum of Natural History. He has published over 20 articles and has described 15 new species of squamates. He has conducted fieldwork in Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, and Vietnam. Before coming to the Museum, he worked at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and at the Florida International University. He currently holds an adjunct position in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Kizirian received his B.S. in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University in 1984; an M.S. in biology from the University of Texas, at El Paso in 1987; and a Ph.D. in systematics and ecology at the University of Kansas in 1994.

Dr. Jack Conrad, Co-Curator


Jack Conrad

AMNH / Denis Finnin

Dr. Jack Conrad, Kalbfleisch Post Doctoral Fellow, Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, Division of Paleontology, and Co-Curator, Lizards & Snakes: Alive!

Jack Conrad studies the anatomy and evolutionary relationships of modern and fossil lizards, documenting their anatomy and morphology and applying this data to phylogenetic analyses in the hopes of understanding the interrelationships of the dizzying diversity of squamates. Much of his time is focused on the gigantic cache of Cretaceous fossil lizards from the Gobi Desert. Dr. Conrad has published five scientific papers and conducted fieldwork in Montana, Wyoming, the Sahara, and the North Pole, where he was part of the group that uncovered Tiktaalik (the recently described sarcopterygian "fishapod"). He received his B.A. in biology from Drury University in 1999, and a Ph.D. in vertebrate paleontology at the University of Chicago in 2005.

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