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Bradford D. Hollingsworth, Ph.D., The Laurence M. Klauber Curator of Herpetology

Brad has served as the department’s curator since 2000. Prior to this he worked as a postdoctoral fellow, guest curator of exhibits, expedition lead herpetologist, museum store employee, and volunteer. He received his doctorate from Loma Linda University and both his M.S. and B.S. from San Diego State University. Brad’s research focuses on the evolution and biogeography of the herpetofauna of Baja California and its associated islands. Brad is also an Adjunct Professor at San Diego State University. Brad can be reached at 619.255.0277 or by using our contact form under "Research".

Adam G. Clause, Ph.D., Herpetology Collections Manager

Adam began serving as the collection manager for the department in early 2023. He received his B.S. from the University of California-Davis and his doctorate from the University of Georgia, followed by a postdoctoral appointment at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Adam is passionate about conservation, ecology, biogeography, and systematics of amphibians and reptiles (particularly alligator lizards!). He is thrilled to advance those interests by facilitating the care, use, and growth of The Nat’s herpetology collection. Adam can be reached at 619.255.0313 or by using our contact form under "Research".

Jessica Barba

Herpetology Field and GIS Technician
Jessica has been with The Nat for about a decade working in various roles for the herpetology department. She started as a collections volunteer, then was a GIS (geographical information systems) intern, and now she is a field and GIS technician. She received a B.S. from San Diego State University, and an A.S. in GIS from San Diego Mesa College. Jessica enjoys being out in the field surveying for herps whenever she gets a chance, especially for horned lizards. When she is not out in the field, you can find her in the office working on various map projects for multiple departments, or in the paleontology lab prepping fossils.

Sabrina Liu

Herpetology Apprentice
Sabrina is a fourth year Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution undergraduate at the University of California-San Diego. Her main interests are evolutionary history, and how climate change adaptations affect ecological interactions. Sabrina is excited to be an apprentice at The Nat, and she is eager to learn about maintaining and expanding the herpetology collection as a valuable source of data for the scientific community.

Sierra Vasquez

Herpetology Apprentice
Sierra is a third year Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution undergraduate at the University of California-San Diego with a minor in Anthropology. She is passionate about research, conservation, and public education. Sierra hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the future and is excited to learn more about herpetology and fieldwork.

Research Associates

Patricia Galina Tessaro, Ph.D., Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas de Noroeste

Lee Grismer, Ph.D., La Sierra University

Tod Reeder, Ph.D., San Diego State University

Dean Leavitt, Ph.D., San Diego Mesa College

Departmental Associates

Anny Peralta-Garcia, Ph.D., Fauna del Noroeste

Clark Mahrdt, Southwest Biological Associates

Frank Santana, City of San Diego

Dick Schwenkmeyer, San Diego Mesa College, Retired

Jorge H. Valdez Villavicencio, Fauna del Noroeste

Dustin Wood, United States Geological Survey

Jackson D. Shedd, M.S., Herpetological Review


The day-to-day accomplishments of the Department of Herpetology are made possible by the efforts of our volunteers. Volunteer projects mostly focus on aspects of collection care and renovation, along with specimen preservation and digitization. However, the activities of our department are diverse. Depending on their skills and interests, volunteers can potentially devote themselves to a wide array of projects. Our goal is to offer a fun, productive space for a vibrant team of nature afficionados!

We are always seeking exceptional volunteers with a commitment to science, conservation, and collections. Prior experience with wildlife and particularly herpetology is a plus, but not required. Being comfortable working hands-on with dead amphibian and reptile specimens (including snakes!) is a must. Volunteers must also be detail-oriented and highly organized.

If you wish to pursue volunteer opportunities with the department, please contact Dr. Adam Clause via email: In your email, attach your CV or Resume and include one-paragraph answers to each of the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in volunteering at The Nat, and why in Herpetology specifically?
  • What do you hope to gain out of your volunteer investment with us?
  • If you are a student, what are your career/professional goals?
  • What time commitment do you envision for your volunteer hours on a weekly/monthly basis?

Be sure to also check out other volunteer opportunities on the Current Needs page. The museum offers a wide range of activities for individuals with a passion for natural history.