Roy McDiarmid, Ph.D.


Roy McDiarmid has spent most of his research career working with the systematics, behavior, ecology, and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in the Neotropics and has published more than 150 scientific papers and five books. His early work focused on the herpetofauna of dry forests in western Mexico, and he spent considerable time in that country, most recently with colleagues from Museo de Zoologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, working on new species of frogs and tadpoles of Mexican amphibians. He was introduced to wet forest habitats through the Organization for Tropical Studies program in Costa Rica in 1966 and since then has done most of his field research in the tropics. He organized and taught several courses in the OTS program in the late 60's and early 70's, and after a short time at the University of Chicago, he moved to Tampa and joined the faculty at the University of South Florida. He taught courses and directed graduate students from 1968-1978 in Florida and worked primarily on the ecology of Florida species of amphibians and reptiles. While in Florida he served as chair of a subcommittee of the Florida Committee on Rare and Endangered Plants and Animals and edited a volume on the Endangered and Threatened Amphibians and Reptiles of Florida. During this time he also began working in the South American tropics. He visited Ecuador in 1976 to help establish a program in tropical ecology for the University of South Florida and spent nearly six months in that country after coming to Washington in 1978. Since coming to the National Museum of Natural History, he has focused his research on understanding the diversity of amphibian and reptile species in tropical habitats and spent many months in the field in Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela. In the museum, Roy serves as curator of the North American portions of the collections of amphibians and reptiles and continues his research, writing, and exploration.


B.A., Zoology, University of Southern California (1961)

M.S., Biology, University of Southern California (1966)

Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Southern California (1969)