Herpetologist Highlight

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Herpetologist Highlight

Name: Fredric Janzen

Age: 56

Website / Twitter Handle / Instagram: www.public.iastate.edu/fjanzen

Where do you work? Iowa State University

Position: Professor

How did you get there? I guess it depends on where you want to start and how quickly you get bored with the story! But, basically, I grew up in Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin, spending a lot of time outdoors in the woods, fields, swamps, and ballfields. Then I went to college, where I changed my major multiple times before settling on biology. In scrambling to complete a degree in the remaining ~2 years, I took a class that utterly changed my career perspective. It was in the Sonoran Desert during that field course that I had the following epiphany: you mean, you can get paid to do this? So – skipping a bunch of details and events – off I went to Colorado State for M.S. studies in Zoology, Chicago for a Ph.D. in Evolution and Ecology, and UC-Davis for a postdoc in Population Biology, before landing at ISU in 1994 as an Assistant Professor of Zoology & Genetics. I’ve been here ever since!

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