Announcement and Call for Nominations

The Herpetologists’ League (HL) Award for Distinguished Service to Herpetology recognizes the lifetime contributions of senior herpetologists to both the Herpetologists’ League in particular and to herpetology in general. Contributions include:

  • Research excellence in the field of herpetology.
  • Leadership in scientific organizations devoted to herpetology.
  • Promotion of the science of herpetology through organization of symposia and conferences.
  • Dedicated participation in herpetological education and outreach.
  • Encouragement and mentoring of students.
  • Activities promoting achievements of colleagues or general advancements in the field of

With this announcement, we seek nominations for the HL Award for Distinguished Service to Herpetology, to be awarded in 2022. Nominations of candidates to the society must be made by a third party (i.e., self-nominations will not be accepted). Nominations must be accompanied by at least one letter of support from the nominator(s), addressing the candidate’s suitability for the award in terms of the above criteria, as well as a current Curriculum vitae (or equivalent document providing details of the nominee’s career highlights and accomplishments, including their publication record). Nominations should be sent by email to the chair of the HL Distinguished Service to Herpetology committee (Lori Neuman-Lee: by 31 March 2023.

Nominations normally will be kept confidential; nominators therefore are asked not to inform nominees of their nomination unless necessary for obtaining the CV or other information. However, unsuccessful nominations will be kept under active consideration for a maximum of three years; after that period, nominators, if they so choose, can submit a new and updated nomination of the candidate. Although nominations are to be kept confidential, winners will be notified of their award in advance of the annual meeting to give them the opportunity to attend the meeting to receive their award; however, we encourage winners to not reveal their award to others ahead of the annual meeting.

The award winner will receive a plaque and $1500 US. A photograph and short biography of the award winner will be published in Herpetologica and posted on the HL website. HL also will cover the awardee’s registration for the meeting at which they will receive the award.


The Herpetologists’ League is pleased to announce that the 2023 recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service to Herpetology is Dr. Martha (Marty) L. Crump. Currently at the Ecology Center at Utah State University, Dr. Crump is not only an exceptional researcher, teacher, and mentor but has also dedicated over 50 years to service in the field of herpetology.

Dr. Crump was born in Madison, Wisconsin where she spent her childhood in nature and learning to love ecology. During her undergraduate education at the University of Kansas, Dr. Crump worked at the Museum of Natural History in the herpetology department. Her first trip to the tropical rainforest for research took her to the Amazon Basin in Ecuador, where she surveyed reptiles and amphibians. For her MS and PhD degrees, also at the University of Kansas, Dr. Crump continued her work in the tropics, focusing on reproduction and parental care in amphibians. Her contributions to the field of amphibian ecology are numerous and include the recognition of different modes of anuran reproduction. As a result of her tireless fieldwork, Dr. Crump was one of the first researchers to recognize the beginning of population collapses of amphibians.

Dr. Crump continued her research focusing on amphibian reproduction in the tropics as a faculty member at the University of Florida from 1976-1992. During her tenure there, she mentored six M.S. students and five Ph.D. students. She further sat on committees for more than 35 other graduate students. She has been an author on over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles. As Dr. Crump’s career continued, she focused heavily on addressing amphibian decline and became a champion for amphibian conservation. Working with multiple international groups, including two tasks forces for International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Amphibian Conservation Alliance, and the founding member of both the Research and Analysis Network for Neotropical Amphibians (RANA) and Darwin’s Frog Conservation Strategy initiative.

Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Marty Crump has extensively served in leadership positions for the Herpetologists’ League (HL), Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), and the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH). Notably, she has served as a member of the board for all three societies and a member of multiple award and nomination committees. She served as the president of SSAR from 2019-2020. One of Dr. Crump’s greatest commitments to service for the profession was her eleven-year tenure (2021-2023) as the Program Officer for the Joint Meetings of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

Dr. Marty Crump has provided extensive service not just to the field of herpetology, but also the field of science education and communication. Dr. Crump is a co-author of one of the most popular undergraduate textbooks for herpetology and has co-authored two other academic books. She is the author of ten books written for general audiences, including the memoir In Search of the Golden Frog. She has also written multiple articles for children’s magazines, including Ranger Rick and Highlights for Children.

One of the greatest contributions that the 2023 recipient has provided to the field of herpetology is her mentorship and support of women joining the field. As a trailblazing woman in herpetology, Dr. Marty Crump has inspired the next generations to pursue their dreams and conduct exceptional research. There are few women herpetologists today who have not been encouraged or inspired by Dr. Crump. Dr. Crump’s contributions to the field of herpetology have not only maintained the integrity and rigor of the profession but have enabled the field of herpetology to expand and evolve to include future generations.

Figure Legend:  Patrick T. Gregory in 2018, with a large female Barred Grass Snake (Natrix helvetica), at his long-term field site in Kent, England. Photo by Linda Gregory.  

The Herpetologists’ League is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2022 Award for Distinguished Service to Herpetology is Dr. Patrick T. Gregory, of the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada. Currently a Professor Emeritus of Biology, Pat Gregory has not only pursued a distinguished career in research, teaching, and mentorship that has spanned nearly 50 years, but he has served the herpetological community through his involvement in many major service roles.  

Pat Gregory was born in England and moved to Canada when he was seven years old.  He received his BSc from the University of Toronto and his MSc and PhD from the University of Manitoba. He was hired immediately out of graduate school by the University of Victoria, where he remained on the faculty for 45 years, serving as Chair for a number of years and officially retiring in 2018. In retirement Pat remains active in research, especially working on data he gathered in a number of extended field studies.  

As a researcher, Pat has focused particularly on the ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles of western Canada, and he is especially recognized for his work on the ecology of natricine snakes, in both North America and Europe.  He has worked extensively on their hibernation ecology, thermal relations, and interspecific interactions, including his important work on the natural history of reptiles at high latitudes and his pioneering work at the immense gartersnake hibernacula in Manitoba. Pat’s research productivity has been prodigious, with 93 peer-reviewed journal articles, eight book chapters and contributions to proceedings, 13 published book reviews, and 44 other contributions, such as reports to agencies and summaries from working groups. Pat has mentored 26 graduate students, and he has taught courses primarily in the areas of ecology and vertebrate biology.  His research has been extensively supported by extramural grants, including 15 prestigious NSERC awards and numerous grants supporting conservation-related activities.  He has given countless presentations at conferences and institutions and he has been actively engaged in outreach to promote the appreciation and conservation of snakes. His research contributions have been recognized many times, as with the Herpetologists’ League Distinguished Herpetologist Award, the Henry S. Fitch Award for Excellence in Herpetology from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH), and the Michael Rankin Distinguished Canadian Herpetologist Award from the Canadian Herpetological Society (CHS).  Similarly, Pat has been recognized for his contributions to the conservation of herpetofauna, receiving the Blue Racer Award from the Canadian Amphibian and Conservation Network and serving as Honorary Professor of Herpetological Conservation at the University of Kent (UK) for 11 years.  

This year’s Award for Distinguished Service to Herpetology especially recognizes Pat for the breadth of his service on behalf of the broader herpetological community, through his leadership and service roles in multiple professional societies and as the host of several major herpetological conferences.  Pat has provided extensive committee service, most notably to ASIH, which recognized him with the Robert K. Johnson Award for service in appreciation for his 19 years on the Board of Governors, seven years on the Long Range Planning Committee, and eight years on the Executive Committee. However, Pat has also served in major committee roles in the Herpetologists’ League (HL; including chair of the Award for Distinguished Service to Herpetology selection committee), on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), and on the International Herpetological Committee of the World Congress of Herpetology.  Most notably, Pat has served as President of several herpetological societies, including the ASIH, the Canadian Association of Herpetologists, and (as Founding Co-President) the CHS.  

In addition to those important society offices, Pat has hosted two major international conferences (and many smaller meetings).  For the first, he co-hosted the 1986 annual meeting of the ASIH at his home institution, the University of Victoria.  For the second, he hosted (as Chair of the Organizing Committee) the expansive 7th World Congress of Herpetology, held in 2012 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. That conference also included the annual meetings of the HL, SSAR, and ASIH.  In addition, Pat has organized or co-organized five symposia at national and international conferences.  

No account of Pat’s service to our discipline would be complete without noting Pat’s personal warmth, his encouragement of colleagues and students, and his engaging sense of humor. His extensive record of professional accomplishments is a testament not only to his high level of energy, but also to his enthusiasm for welcoming colleagues into his scientific and personal circle. Throughout his lengthy career, Pat Gregory has served the field of herpetology through his long and active engagement with colleagues, students, and our professional societies.  The Herpetologists’ League is privileged to confer this year’s Award for Distinguished Service to Herpetology on our colleague Patrick T. Gregory.  


  • 2021: David M. Green
  • 2020: Henry Mushinsky