Philippe de Vosjoli


Besides launching Herpeton 2019 with Allen Repashy, Philippe is one of the founders of the Vivarium magazine and the original publisher of the Advanced Vivarium line of  books. That landmark series launched the trend for providing quality reptile and amphibian information. He is the author of more than 50 articles and 40 herpetoculture books, one children's book, and two near-future science fiction books.  

With Bob Mailloux, Philippe was responsible for the first captive breeding of many frog species, including Chacoan horned frogs, Fantasy horned frogs, Chilean wide mouth frogs, and Joazeiro horned frogs. With Frank Fast, he discovered most of the island forms of giant geckos and the lesser New Caledonian live-bearing gecko, placing an emphasis of establishing them for herpetoculture. Philippe currenlty works with species he feels should be propagated before they become unavailable. 


Mixed Species Vivariums: The art of constructing microcosms

Quetzal Dwyer


 Herpetoculture Costa Rica  Style

A brief history of Parque Reptilandia, presenting 20 plus years of outdoor herpetoculture in Costa Rica.  An overview of the large-scale vivarium designs at Reptilandia and of the many successes, failures and interesting observations that have taken place since the onset of the project will be discussed. The talk will touch on the husbandry and propagation of a range of species, including Boelen’s pythons, bushmasters, caiman lizards, galliwasps (Diploglossus), palm vipers (Botriechiis) , crocodile tegus (Crocodilurus) and many more.


Herpetoculture Costa Rica Style: Parque Reptilandia, presenting 20+ years of outdoor herpetoculture in Costa Rica  

Michael Ready


Mike has been specializing in the husbandry of amphibians for more than 25 years. Focusing on arboreal species, his milestones include the first US breeding of the blue-sided leaf frog (Agalychnis annae) and the first known captive reproduction of Wallace’s flying frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus). This  led to his discovery of its distinct juvenile form ontogenetic color change. His dedication to amphibian preservation in the wild and captivity and to the advancement of herpetoculture as a tool for education, research, and conservation is limitless.   

Presently, Mike works as a photographer and writer covering natural history, science, and conservation subjects, and continues to his work with amphibians as a consultant pushing for husbandry innovations in the private sector.


Phyllomedusine Frogs: Their Modern Herpetoculture and Status in Captivity


Allen Repashy


 Allen is a lifelong enthusiast with a passion for lizards. As the first commercial breeder of crested geckos, he's attributed to introducing them to the hobby and maintained the world's largest breeding colony for more than 10 years.  

As a result of breeding and keeping geckos, dragons, and frogs, Allen started developing feeds and supplements to improve the survival and fecundity of the species he was working with due to the lack of quality available products and feeds. Most notable are the famous crested gecko diets, supplements and gel foods that bear his name. Allen also worked with Craig Sheppard, (owner, "Phoenix Worm" brand), to develop the black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as a feeder insect. BSFL are now a mainstream feeder and the dried, pressed larvae meal has become a significant addition to reptile nutrition. Repashy was the first company to use BSFL meal and has led the way using this innovative ingredient in prepared commercial diets.  


The Genus Egernia: An overview and husbandry of these interesting livebearers

Nick Mutton


Nick has worked extensively with 33 separate python taxa for more than 20 years; including many of the world’s rarest. Australasian pythons have been a primary focus with a special emphasis on the carpet python complex. Since 2006, Nick has been a full-time python breeder. He currently maintains one of the country’s most extensive collections of Indo-Australian pythons. Nick is also co-author of two books: The Complete Carpet Python and The Complete Childrens Python as well as multiple published articles on herpetological topics. 

Scott Stahl DVM


To accommodate the demand for exotic animal veterinary care and quality veterinary curricula in the D.C., metropolitan area, Dr. Stahl founded Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services (SEAVS) in Vienna, VA, in 2003. In 2009, he moved SEAVS to a new, state-of-the-art facility.  

As an active academic contributor to the field, Dr. Stahl has written over 150 scientific and popular papers and articles, as well as chapters in various textbooks. He is a renowned lecturer who frequently speaks at both national and international conferences and events. His professional areas of interest and research include endoscopy, endoscopic surgical techniques, ultrasound, and reproductive medicine and surgery.    

 Dr Stahl will  be covering: Reptile Theriogenology (Reproductive) "hot topics" to include things like new techniques for sex identification, dystocia management, artificial insemination, etc. 

Rob Nixon


Rob Nixon has had a life-long interest in natural history. Since 1996, he has worked as a biologist, living in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. His interests and experience conducting field studies on a variety of organisms throughout the southwestern United States and Mexico have given him familiarity with the remarkable flora, fauna, and cultures indigenous to these regions and their relationships with the environment. 


Husbandry and of Propagation of the Borneo Earless Monitor: The successful captive reproduction and husbandry of the enigmatic Lanthanotus borneensis

Dmitri Tkachev


Speaker, Herpetoculturist, Journalist. Owner and founder of  BION Terrarium Center, a unique reptile import-export operation located in Kyiv, Ukraine. BION's captive breeding operation propagates rare species to provide healthy, captive-bred specimens to foster responsible herpetoculture for the more than 50 countries they serve.

Jeffrey Lemm


Jeff is a zoo-based herpetologist involved in reptile and amphibian conservation research for the past 27 years who has kept and bred reptiles and amphibians for more than 35 years (and fieldherping since he was a child).   A keen photographer, Jeff has traveled the globe extensively in search of reptiles and amphibians. Jeff has published over 100 scientific and popular articles in herpetology as well as two books: Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the San Diego Region (2006) and Cyclura: Natural History, Husbandry, and Conservation of West Indian Rock Iguanas (2011). His latest venture is leading fieldherping and natural history tours to Cuba.  

Local Fauna: The Reptiles & Amphibians of San Diego

Brett Baldwin


Brett Baldwin- San Diego Zoo


Animal Care Manager, Herpetology and Ichthyology

Brett has worked in the San Diego Zoo for over 22 years. Before coming to San Diego he worked for 9 years at the Abilene Zoological Gardens as Lead Keeper of Herps, Birds and Fish. He has worked with several species of crocodilians and monitors and over a hundred species of elapids and viperid snakes.

 Captive Husbandry and Reproduction of the Ethiopian Mountain Viper, Bitis parviocula  

Andrew Gilpin



Andrew's interest in reptiles and amphibians goes back as far as he can remember. He started keeping reptiles in elementary school which developed into captive breeding projects in high school and beyond. Andrew and his wife Sarah have focused mainly on keeping and breeding Madagascan leaf tailed geckos as well as many New Caledonian gecko species. Their interest in photography and observing wildlife in it's natural habitat have sent them on travels throughout the world. Andrew has photographs published in several books and wildlife magazines and enjoys sharing photography tips and tricks with anyone interested in learning.
Andrew and Sarah have been working with Isle of Pines ( PI ) M. chahoua since 2005 and have been working on perfecting their captive husbandry and breeding requirements ever since. With the wide variety of colors and patterns that can be found, cryptic camouflage, fully prehensile tail, and inquisitive personalities, it's easy to see why the mossy prehensile tailed gecko is one of their favorite species to work with.

Captive care and breeding of the Mossy Prehensile-Tailed Gecko:  From natural history to captive breeding, health, animal behavior, trying to determine incubation temperature sex dependency ( TSD ), and the trials and errors of keeping the species,  Andrew goes through what 14+ years of keeping and breeding chahoua has been all about.

Abstract: A brief overview of the taxonomy, natural history and social behaviors of New Caledonian mossy geckos, followed by detailed information on captive care and breeding, including health and temperature-dependent sex determination. The author will share over fourteen years of experience, trials, and errors with the Isle of Pines species. 

Petr Necas


Petr spent 30 years travelling the world to honor his great passion for chameleons. He has studied and photographed wild and captive populations in Europe, Africa, Madagascar, the Arabian penninsula, India and the USA and authored dozens of scientific articles and several herpetological books. His book titled; Chameleons, the nature’s hidden jewels is considered a basal work of chameleonology and is published in 5 languages. His book Stump-tailed Chameleons: Miniature Dragons of the Rainforest, the Genera Brookesia and Rhampholeon is the only book soley focused on leaf chameleons ever published. He is of the people that introduced Chamaeleo calyptratus to herpetoculture and almost the entire US population originated from Petr.

Alec Feldman


As a life-long hobbyist, Alec has always had an eye for the rare and obscure. From his work with rare Lacertids and Chamaeleolis, to dwarf monitors and Phyrnocephalus, Alec will bring his unique perspective and help us better appreciate what it takes to maintain some of Cuba's rarest creatures.


Anoles of Cuba: The care and breeding of  the species formerly known as Chamaeleolis

Jay Sommers


 Jay has been breeding reptiles and amphibians for nearly 30 years specializing in rare and obscure species.  He is responsible for the establishment of countless species and multiple new mutations in the hobby, including leucistic ribbed newts, blue (axanthic) giant day geckos, and many new morphs of axolotls. He and his family own THEAXOLOTL.NET, commercially breeding axolotls and other caudates. Jay has focused full-time for nearly 20 years on animals that are difficult to breed in captivity.  

Coming soon

Jim Sherman


 Jim has been fascinated by herps since early childhood. He studied Herpetology and vertebrate zoology at San Diego State University and co-discovered the sandstone night lizard with Lee Grismer. He was one of the founding members of the San Diego Herpetological Society.  His interest in plants has led him to the jungles of Thailand, the deserts of Sonora, Mexico, Australia and Israel in search of rare Ficus and other plants. He operates a plant nursery near San Diego, California where he grows a variety of caudiciform and vivarium plants in partnership with Philippe de Vosjoli.   coming soon

Matthias Lemm


Matthias is a young herpetology enthusiast and award-winning photographer from San Diego, California. He has assisted his father, Jeff Lemm, with fieldwork since he was five and has been practicing fieldherping and reptile husbandry for the last 10 years. He has sought reptiles and amphibian species throughout the United States, Australia, and Costa Rica.  Matthias published his first scientific paper at age 10 and was the first Junior Herpetology Award winner at the International Herpetological Symposium in 2015 in San Antonia, Texas. He is currently balancing of creating several publications with his busy school, herping, fishing and surfing schedules.

Herping with Legends: Mentorship in the field

Jordan Russell



Jordan, the owner of California Breeders Union has kept reptiles, amphibians and birds since he was in grade school. As a former commercial bird breeder and retail store owner, and former direct importer, he is responsible for the installation of the farming system for Corucia zebrata in 2015, and founder of RAACA. Jordan currently works with type bred Gargoyle Geckos, Kinixys Tortoises, African Hornbills and is the U.S. distributor for Canadian Coldblood Reptiles and Don Patterson Reptiles.    

Abstract: This talk will focus on exploring the methods we can individually and collectively operate as herpetoculturists in a changing political and cultural landscape. From interacting with state and local governments through an umbrella program under USARK, to networking for fundraising at a local level to be ready for any legislative action.  

Robert Fisher


 Since childhood, Robert has been around the pet trade, as his father was one of the first discus fish breeders in Chicago, and then his father owned pet stores, where Robert hung out after school.  Later he worked in the trade in southern California through high school and college.  He received his Ph.D from UC Davis and has been a Research Scientist with the US Geological Survey for over 20 years, primarily focused on understanding the impacts of urbanization on the biodiversity (primarily herpetofauna) in southern California, in addition to working to recover critically endangered species there.  He is an expert on the tropical Pacific herpetofauna, having named two new iguana species and four geckos, in addition to over a dozen skink parasites.  He has published over 200 scientific articles on his research, and these cover topics a broad as mountain lions, golden eagles, invasive ants, and many IUCN Red List accounts on reptiles. 

  Social responsibility and the herpetoculture trade; considerations from Fijian iguanas and albino kingsnakes in the Canary Islands 

Taylor Roush



Taylor Roush has worked in the reptile industry in retail and shipping for 5 years and has been keeping and breeding reptiles and invertebrates for over ten years. She is currently involved in a variety of reptile projects, including maintaining a snake research colony. Her interest in keeping and breeding a variety of invertebrates, such as isopods, specialty roaches, rare spiders, scorpions, and giant millipedes has led her to research how they can also benefit the reptile and amphibian hobby.


Principles and Applications of Bioactive Substrates; 

There is often misunderstanding of the principles of bioactive substrates as used in the maintenance of amphibians and reptiles. This talk will explain the basic principles that underlie the use of bioactive substrates including the importance of bioactive bacteria, fungi, and invertebrates. When done correctly, vivariums with bioactive substrates benefit all of the occupants and facilitate maintenance through the creation of a mini-ecology.

Evgeny Ryboltovsky


 Evgeny Ryboltovsky has worked with amphibians since 1993. He has participated in many expeditions to Southeast Asia, Central Asia, South America, New Guinea, and the Caucasus. He was the first to develop and present methods for keeping and breeding rare frog species from Southeast Asia. He is responsible for more than twenty of the world's first captive-breedings of rare frogs, including several species now well established in the herpetocultural hobby, such as members of the genus Theloderma (mossy frogs). 

Emmanuel van Heygen


 Emmanuel holds a business and marketing degree from the European University in Antwerp (Belgium), but managed to combine his passion for reptiles and amphibians with his business background. He has been an avid herper and reptile enthusiast since the early 80’s. Ever since Emmanuel purchased his first pair of Day Geckos (Phelsuma cepediana) from Herman Oostveen’s store in Holland in 1984 he was hooked. His bedroom at his parent's house was soon filled with over 100 terrariums boasting one of the premier collections of day geckos in Europe. He has bred over 100 species of reptiles and amphibians, but his main specialty is still geckos and chameleons.

In later years Emmanuel’s passion for herps took him into their native habitats. Emmanuel was a true pioneer and ventured as one of the first to places like the Comoro Islands, Mayotte, Madagascar, Seychelles, Kenya, Réunion Island and Mauritius in search of day geckos. In recent years he also did research in Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania, Cameroon and Sri Lanka, but it are the yearly Madagascar expeditions that he enjoys most. This because there is still so much to discover! His numerous reptile expeditions truly gave him an understanding of reptiles and how they live and thrive in their native environments.

During these expeditions Emmanuel discovered 4 new species of reptiles, previously unknown to science. Two of these are named after him; the Day Gecko species Phelsuma vanheygeni and the chameleon species Kinyongia vanheygeni. Emmanuel also published many articles in various scientific journals reporting on his discoveries and experiences. These field studies are much of the basis for his philosophy on reptile keeping and inspired him in his developments within Exo Terra.

Emmanuel remains an authority on Day Geckos and the herpetofauna of the Indian Ocean islands, especially Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands.   

Phil Goss


President USARK

 Phil is a longtime herper, having been active in the hobby and industry for over 15 years. Phil currently owns Goss Reptiles (www.GossReptiles.com) and has worked in all aspects of the industry including pet shops, large scale breeder, pet distributors and industry manufacturer. Phil's love for all animals (but mostly reptiles) and his industry knowledge make him a perfect candidate for this position. Phil is a graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Education. USARK welcomes Phil Goss to the organization and looks forward to working with him as we move forward in 2013, protecting your rights to keep and breed reptiles. 

Russ Gurley


 Russ Gurley was a founding member of the American Federation of Herpetoculturists in the 1980s and served as a creative force behind The Vivarium magazine for several years. He has produced many books and articles relating to the captive care of reptiles, including geckos, snakes, and more recently aquatic turtles and tortoises. These articles have appeared in magazines and journals such as HERP NATION, Reptilia, MANOURIA, The Batagur, and on various websites.

Russ’s first turtle-related book, The African Spurred Tortoise, Geochelone sulcata, in Captivity, was published in 2002. He has authored a number of other popular books including A Color Guide to Tarantulas of the World I, A Color Guide to Tarantulas of the World II, Tarantulas and Scorpions in Captivity, Keeping and Breeding Freshwater Turtles, Baby Turtles, SULCATAS: Spurred Tortoises in Captivity, and he currently has a number of other books in progress.

Russ formed the Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group in 1996 to promote the captive breeding of rare turtles and tortoises and to spread the most recent information relating to the keeping and breeding of captive reptiles through articles, books, conferences and workshops, and through the TTPG website. Russ and the TTPG members host the TTPG Conference on Captive Care and Breeding of Turtles and Tortoises each year in Arizona.

Russ has a BFA from Oklahoma State University in illustration/painting and is involved in the art scene in his free time and he is the owner of FORGOTTEN TRIBES SKULLS (www.forgottentimesskulls.com and www.tribalskulls.com). He maintains a large collection of turtles and tortoises and is involved in a variety of unusual lizard and tarantula projects. 

Will Espenshade



Will's early Herp. experiences were visiting the displays at Steinhart Aquarium in Golden Gate park, at 4 or 5 years old, then later as a preteen he took their 'herpetology' class taught by Ken Lucas.  Will has had a several collections, surpluses for one reason or another, now as Kapidolo Farms, All Tortoise - All the Time.  In between Will has published a few chelonian book review in Herp Review, worked at the Fresno zoo under Sean McKeown, and later at the Philly zoo under Kevin Wright.  His undergrad degree is in production agriculture, his graduate degree is Biology which focused on tortoise ecology for south African species.  he's currently working for a small biopharmaceutical here in San Diego as part of a team generating large molecule cancer therapies.  All his spare time is spent with tortoises and understanding their needs in captivity as informed by their natural history.


 “Feeding Tortoises at Kapidolo Farms: The Pleasure of Self-supported Secondary Research”

Andrea Fidgett


 Great nutrition is key to ensuring the health and well-being of wildlife, both free-ranging animals and those in human care. As Director of Nutritional Services at San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG), Dr Andrea Fidgett leads the department who formulate and deliver feeding plans for 7500+ animals at the Zoo and Safari Park, providing scientific-based diets and leading the fight against extinction through nutritional research. Through our day-to-day activities we work closely with Veterinary Services, Disease Investigations, Collection Husbandry and Science staff, Institute for Conservation Research colleagues, and San Diego Zoo Global conservation partners. Originally from the UK, Andrea’s route to becoming a comparative wildlife nutritionist started by studying Zoology, followed by a Masters in Animal Nutrition and a PhD in Avian Ecology. Prior to joining SDZG in 2016 she worked at Chester Zoo, as the first full-time zoo nutritionist in the UK and over the course of 15 years, served the wider zoological community as a nutrition advisor to breeding programs and committees, elevating the importance of nutrition in zoo animal health and husbandry. 

 Does it matter if you’re dull? The emerging role of carotenoids in amphibian nutrition, health and reproduction. 

Justin G Julander


 Justin Julander has been keeping and breeding reptiles for the past 30 years. He started Australian Addiction Reptiles in 1997, with a focus on Australian reptiles. He has co-authored 3 books, "The Complete Carpet Python", "The Complete Children's Python" and "Green Tree Pythons: Natural History and Captive Management" and is currently working on a fourth book covering the knob-tail geckos. Justin's day job consists of working as a Research Associate Professor of Virology at Utah State University. His research focus is on preclinical evaluation of therapies and vaccines for the treatment of human viral disease and is the author of 60+ publications and book chapters. A current side project is to identify antiviral compounds with efficacy against the newly discovered python nidoviruses. Justin and his wife Heidi and their 5 children reside in Smithfield, UT. 

The dwarf pythons of the genus Antaresia.

John Tashjian



Born: 10 July 1921 – Fresno, CA 

Grad: Fremont High School – Oakland, CA 1939

WWII Vet – Retired from reserves 1963

Grad: UC Berkeley 1949

Ret: Oakland Fire Dept1974

Photographed herps in zoos, private collections, etc 1956 to present

Presented power point programs & quizzes to IHS and herpsocieties