Michael Rankin Distinguished Canadian Herpetologist Award Recipients

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Year Recipient Comments
2005 Dr. Francis Cook

Canadian Museum of Nature



2006 Dr. Jim Bogart

University of Guelph



2007 Dr. Ron Brooks

University of Guelph



2012 Dr. Richard Wassersug

University of British Columbia



2013 Dr. David Green

McGill University



2014 Dr. Anthony Russell

University of Calgary



Dr. Tony Russell retired in 2013 after a 40-year academic career in which he contributed greatly to the study of amphibians and reptiles in Canada. His research topics have included gecko morphology and biomechanics, dinosaur morphology and systematic, and the ecology of amphibians and reptiles, resulting in a publication list currently in excess of 350 contributions. Tony has been president of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, the International Society of Vertebrate Morphologists, and of the University of Calgary chapter of Sigma Xi, and is an active member of many other professional societies. Forty graduate students have completed their degrees under his supervision, and he has served on the editorial boards of four journals and acted as a referee for 35. Dr. Russell has been an active member of the herpetological community in Alberta. He has been involved in the production of amphibian and reptile species status reports for the provincial government and is a member of the Northern Leopard Frog Advisory Group. With Aaron Bauer, Tony produced an excellent field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of Alberta.
2015 Dr. Patrick Gregory

University of Victoria



Dr. Gregory has been a faculty member in Biology at U Vic, BC since 1974, including a term as Department Chair, and he has been carrying out herpetological research for over forty years. During this time, he has been awarded over 100 grants and contracts to support herp research, totaling well over $1.5 million. He has supervised or co-supervised 26 graduate students and 17 undergrad thesis students and has been on the graduate committees of 60 students. Throughout his career, Dr. Gregory has donated his time to countless herpetological organizations and committees in various executive roles, including President of several societies. His impressive research career and long-time contribution to the herpetological research community clearly set him aside as someone who has made an outstanding contribution to Canadian herpetological research.
2016 Michael Oldham


Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Mike Oldham was presented with the Michael Rankin Distinguished Canadian Herpetologist Award in recognition of his life-time achievement in the study of amphibians and reptiles in Canada. Mike has been keenly interested in many facets of natural history, particularly herpetology since the early 1970s. Mike has contributed to the province's herpetological knowledge for over 20 years as the Botanist and Herpetologist with Ontario's Natural Heritage Information Centre, which tracks the status of the province's flora and fauna. Mike was co-founder of the first Ontario Herpetofaunal Atlas which started in 1985 and continued until the early 1990s. Mike has authored or co-authored multiple publications on Ontario herpetofauna and is an astute field biologist with extensive first hand and wide geographic field experience with all of Ontario's reptile and amphibian species. He has contributed many thousands of observational records into both the original atlas and the current Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas that is coordinated by Ontario Nature. Mike shares his knowledge willingly and has directly and indirectly mentored and inspired countless researchers and conservation professionals. He has been a member of a wide range of amphibian and reptile recovery teams, committees and advisory groups, including a member of the COSEWIC Amphibians and Reptiles Specialist Subcommittee and the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO). Mike has authored many amphibian and reptile status reports and has contributed to the status assessments of most Canadian amphibian and reptile species.