Return to HerpNET or MVZ

Curriculum Vitae

Carol L. Spencer
Staff Curator of Herpetology
3101 Valley Life Science Building
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3160
510-643-5778
fax: 510-643-8238

atrox10@gmail.com


Crotalus atrox photo and distribution, Carol in Arizona and in Burma on elephant with Jens Vindum



Research Interests:
Biogeography, geographic variation, phylogeography, life history evolution, diet and reproduction of squamates, particularly those of western North America, and biodiversity informatics.

Current Research Projects:
Comparative phylogeography and morphology of Crotalus scutulatus and Crotalus atrox.

Education:
University of Michigan, B.S., April 1988 in Biology

San Francisco State University M.A., May 1997 in Physiology & Behav. Biology
Thesis Title: Seasonal Haul-out Patterns of Harbor Seals, Phoca vitulina richardsi, in San Francisco Bay. Advisor: Ralph J. Larson

University of Texas at Arlington Ph.D., Dec 2003 in Quantitative Biology
Dissertation Title: Geographic Variation in the Morphology, Diet and Reproduction of a Widespread Pitviper, Crotalus atrox. Advisor: Jonathan A. Campbell

Research and Curatorial Experience:
Staff Curator of Herpetology, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, 1 October 2007 - present.

HerpNET Coordinator and Co-Prinicipal Investigator (HerpNET GBIF Grant), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, August 2003 – 2008.

Graduate Research Assistant, University of Texas at Arlington, Collection of Vertebrates, January – July 2003.

Curatorial Assistant, Department of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA (1997-1998).

Curatorial Assistant, Department of Herpetology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA (1995-1998).

Curatorial Assistant, Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA (1995-1996).

Research Associate, San Francisco Bay Harbor Seal Project, Earth Island Institute, San Francisco, CA (1995-1997).

Graduate Research Assistant, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA (1991-1993).


Teaching Experience:
Coordinator and Instructor, 14 Georeferencing and Biodiversity Informatics Workshops for GBIF, DanBIF, HerpNET and ORNIS, 2003-2009.
I trained 282 participants (museum curators, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students) from 161 institutions and 40 different countries
in MaNIS/HerpNET/ORNIS guidelines, GIS, Google Earth and other online resources, and BioGeomancer automated georeferencing techniques.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, Fall 1998- Fall 2002.
Taught Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Lab, Vertebrate Natural History Lab, General Biology for Majors and Non-Majors Laboratories, and Coordinated Laboratories for General Biology, 13 semesters total.

Instructor, Summer Science Institute for High School Students, UTA College of Science, 2001.

Instructor, Junior Academy, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, Summer, 1996-1998.

Marine Ecology Instructor, Marine Science Institute, Redwood City, CA 1992-1993.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, Fall 1991- Fall 1992.
Coordinated and Taught Introductory Biology for Non-Majors Laboratory.


Peer-reviewed Publications:
Constable H, Guralnick R, Wieczorek J, Spencer C, Peterson AT, The VertNet Steering Committee. 2010. VertNet: A New Model for Biodiversity Data Sharing. PLoS Biol 8(2): e1000309. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000309

Leaché, A.D., M.S. Koo, C.L. Spencer, T.J. Papenfuss, R.N. Fisher, J.A. McGuire. 2009. Quantifying ecological, morphological, and genetic variation to delimit species in the coast horned lizard species complex (Phrynosoma). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(30):12418-12423.

Spencer, C.L. 2008. Geographic variation in western diamondbacked-rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) morphology. Pp 55-78 in The Biology of Rattlesnakes. Hayes, W.K., K.R. Beaman, M.D. Cardwell, and S.P. Bush, Eds. Loma Linda University Press, Loma Linda, California. PDF.

Castoe, T.A., C.L. Spencer and C.L. Parkinson. 2007. Phylogeographic structure and historical demography of the western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox): a perspective on North American desert biogeography. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42: 193-212. PDF

Beaman, K.R. and C.L. Spencer. Crotalus tortugensis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Larry David Wilson, ed. pp 798.1-798.5. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Lawrence, KS. October 30, 2004. PDF

Bonett, R., K.J. Irwin, C. Spencer, and L.K. Irwin. 2001. Rana palustris. Geographic distribution. Herpetological Review 32 (3): 190.

Spencer, C.L., M.S. Koo, and J.B. Slowinski. 1999. Micrurus browni. Diet. Herpetological Review 30(3): 169.

Spencer, C.L., M.M. Tierney, M.S. Koo, and J.V. Vindum. 1998. New county records from Sierra and Nevada Counties, Tahoe National Forest, California. Herpetological Review 29(3): 182-183.

Long, D.L., and C.L. Spencer. 1995. Cowsharks (Hexanchidae) as predators on the harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi) in San Francisco Bay, California. Chondros 6(2): 9. PDF

Popular Articles:
Beaman, Kent R. and Carol L. Spencer. 2005. The Tortuga Island Rattlesnake ( Crotalus tortugensis). The Iguana.

Spencer, Carol. 2001. Road cruising and snake wrangling: Investigating biogeographic patterns in the western diamondback rattlesnake. SWRS News No. 16: 3-4.

Manuscripts In Review:

Spencer, C.L. The herpetofauna of China Camp (Marin County, California) and Rush Ranch Preserve (Solano County, California). Book chapter.

Manuscripts In Preparation:
Spencer, C.L. Geographic variation in the diet of the western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). Target Journal: Herpetologica.

Spencer, C.L. Geographic variation in the reproduction of the western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). Target Journal: Journal of Herpetology.

Spencer, C.L., R. Shine, and J.S. Keogh. Geographic variation in the life history and morphology of Australo-Papuan death adders (Elapidae: Acanthophis). Target Journal: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Spencer, C.L. and A.D. Kopec. Photographic identification and seasonal haul-out patterns of Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi) in San Francisco Bay. Target Journal: Canadian Journal of Zoology.

Westphal, M.F. and C.L. Spencer. Forty years of change in a Chihuahuan desert snake community. Target Journal: Copeia.

Spencer, C.L. Diurnal amphibian and reptile species diversity in "Sun" coffee, riparian and forest habitat in the Atlantic versant of Guatemala. Target Journal: Biotropica.

Grants and Fellowships:
2007:
"REU Supplement to HerpNET: DBI 0132303, Training Students in Biodiversity Informatics at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology", $4,901.

2006
Awarded by GBIF - Global Biodiversity Information Facility: "A Distributed Database of Georeferenced Localities for the World's Amphibians", David Wake, Carol Spencer, and Craig Moritz. 2006-2007. $464,061.

2002
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Grant-In-Herpetology for Laboratory Research, 2002. $500.

2001
Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant, American Museum of Natural History, 2001. $760.
Texas Herpetological Society Grant, 2001, $500.

2000
California Academy of Sciences Department of Herpetology Stearns Grant-in-Aid, 2000, $600.
Carnegie Museum Herpetological Collections’ Grant, Fall 2000, $400.
Southwestern Research Station Student Research Grant, American Museum of Natural History, 2000, $500.
Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society Grant, Spring 2000, $750.

1999
University of Texas at Arlington Hermanns’ Graduate Fellowship, 1998-1999, $3600.
Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society Grant, Spring 1999, $500.

1995
Independent Student Travel Funding Grant (SFSU) 1994-1995, $350.

1991
Department of Biology Student Grant (SFSU), 1990-1991, $600.

Awards:
Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 2002-2003
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Student Travel Award, 2002
Department of Biology Award for Outstanding Oral Presentation, Graduate Student Research Symposium, University of Texas at Arlington, 2000
UTA Academic Excellence Award, 1999-2000
Texas Society of Microscopy Student Speaker Award, Fall 1999
Society for Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Student Travel Award, 1998
Student Recognition Award for Sociopolitical Involvement, University of Michigan, 1988

Presentations Given:
2006
Joint Meeting of the ASIH/SSAR/Herpetologists' League,"Contributions of Joe Slowinski to the Fields of Phylogenetics and Herpetology." and "HerpNET: A New and Improved One-Stop Shop for Amphibian and Reptile Collection's Data."

2005
Joint Meeting of the ASIH/SSAR/Herpetologists' League,"Use of HerpNET data for ecological niche modeling research with implications for conservation biology and phylogenetics." and "HerpNET: An online distributed database amphibian and reptile museum collections for use in biodiversity and phylogenetic research."

World Herpetology Congress, Stellenbosch, South Africa,"HerpNET: An online distributed database amphibian and reptile museum collections for use in biodiversity and phylogenetic research."

“Herp Group”, University of California, Berkeley,“Molecular Phylogenetics Using Nuclear and Mitochondrial Evidence and Morphometric Geometrics of the Phrynosoma coronatum group."

Biology of the Rattlesnakes Symposium, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA. " Geographic variation in the morphology of Crotalus atrox: Evidence for a widespread species."

2004
Evolution Meetings, co-authored with Todd Castoe and Chris Parkinson, "Historical Biogeography and Demography of Crotalus atrox: Implications for North American Deserts."

Joint Meeting of the ASIH/SSAR/Herpetologists' League,"Geographic Variation in the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake: Evidence for a Widespread Generalist." and "HerpNet: An Integrated On-Line Biodiversity Database of Herpetological Collections."

Musem of Vertebrate Zoology Museum Lunch, 3 March, UC Berkeley,"Geographic Variation in Crotalus atrox: Evidence for a Widespread Generalist."

2002
ASIH/SSAR/Herpetologists' League Joint Meeting,“Geographic Variation in the Diet of a Widespread Pitviper, Crotalus atrox."

Frontiers in Science, 1 Mar, “Snakes, Cows and Climate: Changes in a Chihuahuan Desert Snake Community Over 40 Years.” Sponsored by the College of Science, University of Texas at Arlington (Invited Talk).

2001
Southwestern Research Station, “Geographic variation in the life history and morphology of temperate and tropical death adders (Acanthophis: Elapidae).”

Evolution Meetings, co-authored with Richard Shine and J.S. Keogh, “Geographic variation in the life history and morphology of temperate and tropical death adders (Acanthophis: Elapidae).”

2000
Southwestern Research Station, “Evolution of Microdermatoglyphics in the Horned Lizards, Genus Phrynosoma.”

Evolution Meetings, “Evolution of Microdermatoglyphics in the Horned Lizards, Genus Phrynosoma.”

UTA BioLunch, “Geographic Variation and Character Displacement in the Morphology, Diet and Reproduction of a Wide-Spread Pitviper, Crotalus atrox.”

UTA Graduate Student Conference, “Evolution of Microscopic Scale Characters in Horned Lizards.”

1999
Texas Microscopy Meetings, “Microscopic Scale Characters and Their Implications for Phylogenetics of the Horned Lizards, Genus Phrynosoma”.

UTA Graduate Student Conference, “Diet and Reproduction in the Death Adders (Acanthophis) of Papua New Guinea and Australia.”

1998
ASIH/SSAR/Herpetologists League Joint Meeting, “Lack of Convergence with Vipers: Diet and Reproduction in the Genus Acanthophis from Papua New Guinea.”

“Herp Group”, University of California, Berkeley, “Diet and Reproduction in Death Adders (Acanthophis) from Papua New Guinea.”

1995
Marine Mammalogy Conference, “Photographic Identification vs. Tags: Questions about the Methodology of Marking”.

1993
Marine Mammalogy Conference,“Population Dynamics and Photographic Identification of Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi) in San Francisco Bay.”

Society Memberships:
Bay Area Automated Mapping Association (BAAMA)
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Herpetologists’ League
Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Society of Systematic Biologists
Society for the Study of Evolution
Texas Herpetological Society

Service Activities and Appointments:
Assistant Editor of Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 2009
Senior Associate of AmphibiaWeb, 2003-2009
Chair of the Symposium "Celebrating the Life of Joe Slowinski", ASIH/HL/SSAR Joint Meetings, New Orleans, LA, 2006.
Judge, Storer Committee, ASIH/HL/SSAR Joint Meetings, New Orleans, LA, 2006
Chair of Storer Committee, ASIH/HL/SSAR Joint Meetings, Tampa, FL, 2005.
Board of Directors, San Francisco Preservation Society, 2004-2006, 2009
Vice-President,Graduate Student Senate, UTA, 2003
Member, Student Fee Oversight Committee, UTA, 2002-2003
Chairperson, Graduate Student Affairs Committee, UTA, 2002-2003
Senator for the College of Science, Graduate Student Senate, UTA, 2001-2003
Treasurer: Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society, UTA Chapter, 2001-2003
President: Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society, UTA Chapter, 2000-2001
Secretary: Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society, UTA Chapter 1999-2000

Other Scholastic/Research-related Activities:
Served on the editorial board of Contemporary Herpetology, an on-line journal, 1998-2001, and acted as a reviewer for Herpetological Review, 1998-present, the SSAR Grants-In-Herpetology (2006), the Journal of Arkansas Academy of Science, and the "Biology of Rattlesnakes" book, in press.

Collected reptiles and amphibians for various museums (CAS, UTA, MVZ) in the U.S. (Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas), Burma and Guatemala, 1995-2005.

Trained volunteers, field assistants, and forestry employees in herpetological field surveying and preservation techniques in Burma, Guatemala, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, 1998-2005

Acted as a judge in high school science fairs and tutored science in the vicinity of Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. 1998-2003

Co-organized fund-raisers to finance competitive research grants for Department of Biology graduate students at University of Texas at Arlington, 1999-2003

Solicited funding, scheduled seminars, and provided transportation and accommodations for outside researchers to speak for the departmental seminar series (UTA), 1999-2003

Personal Information: Photo of my three dogs!
More

Updated 26 Mar 2009 CLS