Griffith University’s Associate Professor Jean-Marc Hero has been appointed to the prestigious position of Secretary General for the World Congress of Herpetology (WCH).

The Congress was formed in 1982 to promote international interest and collaboration between individuals, societies and other organisations dedicated to the study and protection of amphibians and reptiles.

Associate Professor Hero said he was honoured to lead the only international scientific organisation in the world dedicated to this field.

“The Congress serves a vital role in sustaining links with local, national and regional herpetological societies in all parts of the globe,” Associate Professor Hero said.

“It also serves as a voice for international issues, such as conservation and helps promote public awareness and respect for all amphibians and reptiles,” he said.

At a time when, around the world, many of these animals are under threat from continued fragmentation and loss of habitat, climate change and disease, Associate Professor Hero believes it’s very important to bring these issues to the attention of the next generation of scholars.

“I am particularly passionate about encouraging the participation of young herpetologists, especially those from less developed countries, in Congress meetings and other activities,” he said.

Associate Professor Hero is Deputy Director of Griffiths Environmental Futures Centre, a past president and continuing Member of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, and a Board Member of SAVE THE FROGS!

The World Congress of Herpetology is held in August/September every four years at a different international location. The next World Congress of Herpetology will be held in Hangzhou, China in August 2016.