Herpetologist Highlight

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Toads are nice people

Name: Martha L. (Marty) Crump

Age: 72

Website / Twitter Handle / Instagram: None

Where do you work? Northern Arizona University and Utah State University

Position: Adjunct Professor at both NAU and USU

How did you get there?  As a kid, I was fascinated by amphibian metamorphosis.  I collected frogs, tadpoles, and efts and kept them as pets.  In eighth grade I decided to become a biologist and never looked back.  When I started as an undergraduate at the University of Kansas in 1964, I intended to become a wildlife biologist.  I was quickly told that women didn’t go into that field.  The first day of my sophomore year I wandered into the KU Museum of Natural History hoping to get a part-time job.  The curators of mammalogy, ornithology, and ichthyology all needed student typists.  That was not the reason I wanted to work in the museum!  Bill Duellman, curator of the herpetology division, wanted a student to catalogue and tie tags onto specimens.  I got the job and the rest is history.  I earned my MA at KU, in 1971; Bill Duellman was my advisor.  I carried out my thesis research in Belém, Brazil (Thesis title: “Quantitative Analysis of the Ecological Distribution of a Tropical Herpetofauna”).  I stayed on at KU and earned my PhD in 1974, again working with Bill.  I carried out my fieldwork for my dissertation in Santa Cecilia, in the upper Amazon Basin of Ecuador (Dissertation title: “Reproductive Strategies in a Tropical Anuran Community”).  I was a postdoc in the lab of Stanley Salthe at Brooklyn College, from 1974-1976.  From there I went to the University of Florida, Gainesville, where I served as Assistant through Full Professor, from 1976-1992.

After retiring from UF, I moved to Flagstaff, AZ, where I (1) gave training courses in Ecuador, Argentina, and Bolivia on amphibian biology and field survey methods for studying amphibians, (2) participated in surveys of amphibians and reptiles in Ecuador, (3) carried out fieldwork on the ecology and behavior of Darwin’s frogs in southern Chile, and (4) wrote about biology and nature for children (Ranger Rick, Highlights Magazine for Children, Boyds Mills Press, etc.) and for a general audience (various books published by the University of Chicago Press).  I moved to Logan, Utah, in 2011, where I continue to write for children and a general audience, and when I can secure funding, continue to do fieldwork on Darwin’s frogs in Chile

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