|Russell Alan Mittermeier|
November 8, 1949 |
Bronx, New York, United States
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College
|Known for||Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Conservation|
Russell Alan Mittermeier (born November 8, 1949) is a primatologist and herpetologist. He has written several books for both popular and scientist audiences, and has authored some 300 scientific papers.
Mittermeier was born in New York City. He received his B.A.(summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Dartmouth college and Ph.D. from Harvard University in biological anthropology for a thesis entitled,“Distribution, Synecology, and Conservation of Suriname Monkeys”in 1977.
He has conducted fieldwork for over 30 years on three continents and in more than 20 countries in mainly tropical locations, notably Brazil, Suriname and Madagascar. Mittermeier's fieldwork has been focused on primates, protected areas, and other conservation issues and he is considered an expert on such topics as biological diversity and its value to humanity, ecosystem conservation, tropical biology and species conservation.
Mittermeier has been particularly interested in the discovery and description of species new to science. He has described a total of 12 new species (three turtles, three lemurs, and six Amazonian monkeys) and has seven species named in his honor (three frogs, a lizard, two lemurs, and an ant).
Mittermeier was the president of Conservation International from 1989 to 2014. In addition to his work at CI, Mittermeier has served as Chairman of the IUCN-World Conservation Union Species Survival Commission's Primate Specialist Group since 1977, and as the Chairman of the World Bank's Task Force of Biological Diversity in 1988 and 1989. He also serves as President of the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation and an Adjunct Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Prior to coming to Conservation International, he was Vice President for Science at the World Wildlife Fund.
Awards and honors
Mittermeier has received many awards, including:
- San Diego Zoo Gold Medal, 1988
- The Order of the Golden Ark from His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (1995)
- The Grand Order of the Southern Cross from the President of Brazil (1997)
- The Grand Sash and Order of the Yellow Star from the President of Suriname (1998)
- In 1998, he was also selected as one of Time magazine's "EcoHeroes for the Planet".
- The second annual Aldo Leopold Award from the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM), 2004.
- The twelfth annual Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Award from the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
Among the many books coauthored by Russell Mittermeier, Hotspots, Wilderness Areas, and Transboundary Conservation stand out. Mittermeier is also editor in chief of the book series Handbook of the Mammals of the World.
- Mittermeier, Russell A., & Cheney, Dorothy L. (1987), "Conservation of Primates and Their Habitats", in Smuts, B.B., Cheney, D.L., Seyfarth, R.M., Wrangham, R.W., Struhsaker, T.T. (eds), Primate Societies, Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, pp. 477–490., ISBN 0-226-76715-9
- Conservation International Staff Bios Russell Mittermeier
- American Society of Mammalogists Honors CI President Russell Mittermeier with Aldo Leopold Award, July 29, 2004. Conservation International Press Release
- New Lemur Species Named For CI President Conservation International Press Release, June 21, 2006.