EDGE Community

Dr Justin Gerlach
Locations:
Seychelles
Roles:
  • Scientific advisor
[General description section]
Justin was born in the Seychelles and growing up in a tropical environment stimulated his interest in nature and conservation. He studied Zoology at Oxford University, completing a doctorate there in 1994 on the ecology of carnivorous snails (he has always like the obscure). His original interest in tropical snails has extended to cover all aspects of tropical island ecology, evolution and conservation. Justin is particularly interested in how the evolution of the fauna and flora of islands influences their ecology and to what extent they are able to adapt to environmental change caused by human actions.Recently his research interests have focused on the investigation of the conservation needs of the Seychelles islands, providing the hard scientific data which he believes needs to underlie conservation planning. Species of particular interest include the Seychelles giant tortoises, sheath-tailed bat, sooglossids frogs, caecilians and the tiger chameleon.
Organisation
Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles
Position within organisation
Scientific co-ordinator
Projects
Relevant species

Fewer than one hundred of these bats are thought to survive today.

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Tadpoles develop on the parents back until they have metamorphosed into froglets capable of independent living.

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The Seychelles palm frog was described as a new species in 2002 and is only found within a tiny range on Silhouette Island.

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Thomasset‘s frog is the largest and rarest species in the Seychelles frog family.

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This species is among the smallest frogs in the world, with adults measuring just 11 mm in length.

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Research interests
Taxonomy, ecology and island biogeography
Relevant publications
2006:
Terrestrial and freshwater Mollusca of the Seychelles islands
Lepidoptera of the Seychelles islands
The Vertebrates of Seychelles - a field guide
Silhouette - Nature's Island
2004:
Giant Tortoises of the Indian Ocean

Gerlach J & Taylor, M. Habitat as a critical factor in the decline of the Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat Coleura seychellensis. Acta Chiopt. 8; 129-139

Gerlach, J. (ed.) 2007 Terrestial and Freshwater Vertebrates of Seychelles. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden.

Gerlach, J. 2004 The bats of Silhouette island, Seychelles. Phelsuma 12

Gerlach, J. & Willi, J. 2002 A new species of Sooglossus frog (Sooglossidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 23(4); 445-498.

Gerlach, J. (ed.) 2007 Terrestial and Freshwater Vertebrates of Seychelles. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden.

Gerlach, J. 2007 Distribution and status of the Seychelles frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Sooglossidae). Herpetol. Journ. 17; 115-122.

Meijden, A. van der, Boistel, R., Gerlach, J., Ohler, A., Vences, M. & Meyer, A. 2007 Molecular phylogenetic evidence for paraphyly of the genus Sooglossus, with the description of a new genus of Seychellean frogs. Bio. J. Linn. Soc. 91; 347-359
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