The Future of Herpetology: Inspiring Women and Forgotten Frogs

By Kathy Potter

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What is Herpetology?

You may know that Herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles, but did you know that research in herpetology is not just important for conservation efforts, it is also really important to people as well. Frog skin secretions are being investigated for their antibiotic properties, and glue produced by some Australian species has shown potential for use in orthopedic surgery.

Herpetology is awesome, but...

Unfortunately, women working and studying in herpetology are still affected by gender bias. Take a moment to look up women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and you will find plenty of disappointing statistics suggesting that women are seriously under-represented in all STEM fields, and that gender bias is a big part of the problem.

Have a look at this document from the Office of the Chief Scientist:

What are we going to do about it?

We have decided to take positive action by running a herpetology conference with only women speakers (but people of all genders are welcome to attend), to give women a chance to share their passion, research and experiences in this field. 

We hope that by showcasing the talent and committment of female scientists that we can in turn inspire more inclusiveness in our field.

Date: Saturday 28th September

Time: 10.00 am to 2.30 pm (this does not conflict with the AHS conference)

Location: Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club

117 Ryedale Road, West Ryde, Ryde, New South Wales

Cost: Free, but donations appreciated (any profits made by this event will be donated to the Frog and Tadpole Study Group of NSW)

Registration via Google Forms (

What can you do?

We are hoping to raise $2500 to help cover the costs of running the conference and to assist some of our speakers with their travel expenses. Please consider helping us to fund this unique event, and show support for our women in science.

What's in it for you, apart from personal satisfaction?...

There will be a range of great rewards depending on level of sponsorship including "Show us your research luv!" badges, postcards of new amphibian and reptile species described and named by female scientists, a field trip led by an experienced herpetologist (departing from Sydney, Australia) and an educational workshop with live frogs for a school of your choice in NSW, Australia.

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Team Members

Kathy Potter

Kimberly McReynolds