Monthly Membership Meetings

Second Tuesday of the Month, September Through May

TIME: 7:30 P.M.

PLACE: Freeport Memorial Library

144 W. Merrick Rd.

(at S. Ocean Ave.)


DATE: Tuesday, March 10, 2015

SPEAKER: Dr. Russell L. Burke

TOPIC: The Herps of Long Island

Long Island has an unusual selection of reptiles and amphibians, quite unlike both nearby New Jersey and Connecticut. For our next monthly meeting, Russ Burke will return to SSAS for an overview of the amphibians and reptiles of Long Island and why this is a special place for many interesting animals, including such species as diamondback terrapins, eastern box turtles, hognose snakes, Italian wall lizards, and tiger salamanders.

Dr. Burke earned his M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in the Department of Biology, and then worked as a post-doc in Terry Root’s ornithology lab at UM’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment. He joined Hofstra as an assistant professor in 1996 and was promoted to professor in 2010. He typically teaches courses in ecology, evolution, behavior, conservation biology, urban habitats, and the ecology of wildlife diseases. He primarily studies the ecology, evolution, and conservation biology of turtles and lizards, and some mammals. Most of the species are either introduced or rare; thus population control (either up or down) is important. A lot of his fieldwork takes place in the urban and suburban habitats of New York City and Long Island. Currently his major research projects involve diamondback terrapins at Jamaica Bay, wood turtles in northern New Jersey, wall lizards on Long Island, and the interplay between Lyme disease, ticks, and their hosts at a variety of sites in the eastern U.S.

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