Board of Directors
Allison Alberts, PhD
Dr. Allison Alberts is a conservation science leader with more than 30 years experience working globally to save endangered species. In 2020, she retired from San Diego Zoo Global, where she served as Chief Conservation and Research Officer. Allison is co-founder of the IUCN Iguana Specialist Group and serves on the IUCN Conservation Planning Specialist Group, Conservation Translocation Specialist Group, and Snake and Lizard Red List Authority. She serves on the boards of the Turtle Survival Alliance, Center for Plant Conservation, Conservation Biology Institute, and International Iguana Foundation. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund. Allison has extensive experience in the implementation and management of reintroduction and recovery programs, as well as species conservation action planning. As a reptile and amphibian specialist, she has worked with endangered iguanas in Costa Rica, Cuba, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Fiji, as well as komodo dragons, sea turtles, desert tortoises, and native California plants, frogs, lizards, and snakes. In 2015, she was honored with the Athena Pinnacle Award for excellence in recognition, promotion, and mentorship of women in STEM. Allison is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and obtained her in PhD in Biology from UC San Diego. She is an adjunct professor at San Diego State University, and has authored over 130 scientific articles and three books. What excites her most about the Turtle Survival Alliance is the focus on direct conservation action, the deep emphasis on partnership, and the attention given to species at high risk of extinction.
Heather Barrett is Deputy Director for the BFREE Biological Field Station and Privately Protected Area located in southern Belize. She received an M.A. from the University of Florida and then spent several years exploring possible career choices: from representing artisans in the Bahamas to teaching aspiring public health professionals in New Orleans to farming biodynamic foods in northern California. She found BFREE while traveling through Belize en route to Guatemala. Within a year of her first visit, she was hired to help lead the organization. As one of BFREE’s primary administrators, Heather has been deeply involved with the TSA and BFREE collaboration to save the critically endangered Hicatee turtle, Dermatemys mawii. She manages all of BFREE’s educational programs and much of her energy is dedicated to empowering future conservation leaders through work training, outreach and professional development opportunities. With the help of an amazing team, she designed and launched a countrywide campaign in 2017 to #savethehicatee which continues to gain traction each October during Hicatee Awareness Month. Heather believes wholeheartedly in the power of the human potential and strives to connect individuals to opportunities that will allow them to flourish.
Andy Daneault has a long-standing interest with reptiles and amphibians and has worked with them professionally in zoologically managed settings for over 20 years. Andy is currently Animal Operations Manager/Curator of Ectotherms at Disney’s Animal King-dom where he focuses his efforts on managing the living collection, staff, and conservation initiatives. He also serves as a steering committee member for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Chelonian Taxon Advisory Group, and is the Species Survival Plan (SSP) co-ordinator for African Pancake tortoises and Co-chair for the Radiated Tortoise SSP. In addition, Andy participates with several non`governmental and governmental organizations dealing with a wide range of conservation projects for various species.
Susie Ellis, PhD
For 13 years, Dr. Susie Ellis was the Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation, a small, spirited non-profit organization that funds and operates rhino conservation and protection programs in Africa and Asia. She has now retired and serves as a strategic advisor. Prior to joining the IRF, she was a Vice President at Conservation International in Washington DC, where she oversaw programs in terrestrial and marine biodiversity conservation in Indonesia and the Philippines. She also served as Senior Program Officer for the IUCN/SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group for more than 10 years. She has extensive experience within the zoo community as well, having worked at SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Minnesota Zoo. Dr. Ellis has worked on projects in more than 40 countries during the course of her career, with species ranging from penguins to pandas and rhinos. She has authored more than 100 scientific, technical, and popular publications. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Fossil Rim Wildlife Conservation Center, Natural Selection Conservation Trust, Save the Rhino Inc., the Turtle Survival Alliance, as a member of the IUCN/ SSC African Rhino, Asian Rhino, Conservation Planning, and Penguin Specialist Groups, and serves on the Advisory Board for the Conservation Centers for Species Survival.
The Fort Worth Zoo’s Executive Director, Michael Fouraker, has been with the Zoo since 1993 and has more than 40 years of animal, conservation, and zoo management expertise. He has focused his career on building partnerships that support global conservation initiatives. Michael’s field experience includes work in Africa, India, South America, North America and throughout the Caribbean. An advocate of sustainability and active wildlife management, Michael is a founder and board officer of the International Elephant Foundation board president of the International Iguana Foundation and Caribbean Wildlife Alliance, and a board member of the International Rhino Foundation. These organizations have contributed tens of millions of dollars in support of these rare species and their habitat. Michael has served on various committees for the World Conservation Union (IUCN), as a board member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the American Zoo Association and the scientific advisory board for UNESCO.
Tim Gregory, PhD
TIM GREGORY retired in 2007 after 24 years in the biopharmaceutical industry. His primary area of research was vaccine development for the prevention of HIV infection and AIDS, and he has more than 75 peer reviewed publications to his name. He was progressively promoted to positions of increased responsibility, to Staff Scientist and Senior Director of Process Sciences at one of the nation’s leading biotechnology companies, Genentech, Inc. Since 2007, Tim has been an entrepreneur in the biopharmaceutical industry and was an initial investor and active advisor in StemCentrx, Inc., focusing on development of oncology drugs designed to eliminate cancer stem cells.
But Tim has two true passions in life: chelonians and plants. He has botanical expertise in multiple plant groups with special emphasis in the cycads, having described five species from Mexico. He is an advisor on cycad taxonomy and horticulture to the U.C. Botanical Garden (UCBG) and is a founding member of the Directors Advisory Board for UCBG and Chairman 2011-2015. He is a principal Scientific Advisor on botanical research at The Huntington Library and Botanical Garden, San Marino, CA. Tim loves Mexico and since 2004 has participated in numerous botanical exploration trips there. He has been a member of the IUCN Cycad Specialist Group since 2000 and is Chairman of the Conservation Committee. Tim currently serves on the BOD of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America and is Chairman of their Conservation Committee. Most importantly, Tim has loved turtles since age eight.
Brian D Horne, PhD
After completing his PhD at Ohio University on the developmental biology of Neotropical freshwater turtles in Meso-America, Dr. Horne was a postdoctoral fellow at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research investigating endangered freshwater turtles and tortoises in South and Southeast Asia. As a lifelong turtle biologist, Dr. Horne has conducted field research on six of the seven continents and has lived in Mexico and India. As a past co-chair of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, he twice co-authored the report on the Top 25 Most Endangered Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises (2011 and 2018). He was also the editor for the book “Conservation of Asian Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles: Setting Priorities for Next Ten Years” in 2012. In addition, Dr. Horne has widely published on topics ranging from parasitology to endocrinology and has wildlife photographs appearing in numerous books, magazines, and on-line resources. Dr. Horne currently serves as the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) coordinator for freshwater turtle and tortoise conservation and oversees their recovery projects for the world’s most endangered chelonians.
Rick Hudson, President
Rick Hudson earned a degree Biology from the University of Richmond in 1977 and has been employed by the Fort Worth Zoo for the past 38 years. He was a Curator in the Fort Worth Zoo's renown Department of Herpetology for twenty years, before moving to the zoo's Conservation & Science Department in 2000 as Conservation Biologist. In 2001, Rick organized an IUCN Asian Turtle Workshop - Developing Conservation Strategies through Captive Management - that led to the formation of the TSA as an IUCN partnership network for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises.
His professional memberships include the following IUCN Specialist Groups: Conservation Breeding, Crocodile, Reintroduction, Iguana and Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle, for which he serves as Co-Chair. He is also well known for his work with endangered iguanas, and played a leading role in the organization of the IUCN Iguana Specialist Group and the International Iguana Foundation, for which he serves as Executive Director.
In 2007 his turtle conservation work was recognized when five zoos working through the TSA received the AZA International Conservation Award for Strategic Partnership for Asian Turtle Conservation. He was twice nominated for the one of the world’s most prestigious conservation awards - the Indianapolis Prize, and in in 2012 was the recipient of the Behler Turtle Conservation Award which honors excellence, outstanding contributions, and leadership in the international chelonian conservation community.
John Iverson, PhD
John B. Iverson holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Florida and is Biology Research Professor at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Because of his interests in the natural history, ecology, and evolution of iguanas and turtles, he is currently on the steering committees (and founding member) of the IUCN/SSC Iguana Specialist Group, and the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. He has been involved with the Turtle Survival Alliance since its inception in 2001, and serves on the Board of the Turtle Conservation Fund. He has been active in several herp societies, serving as editor and president of the Herpetologists League. He has maintained long-term field research sites since 1980 for rock iguanas in the Exumas in the Bahamas, and for turtles at the Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge in western Nebraska. His hobby is restoring a 76 acre woodlot/cornfield (now in a Conservation Easement) to a mature hardwood forest.
Cristina A. Jones
Cristina’s lifelong interest in reptiles was cultivated during the numerous hiking and camping trips throughout Arizona, where her parents showed her that nature is wondrous and worthy of study. Her passion for turtles was ignited when she encountered her first Sonoran desert tortoise on a hike at age four, and thus began her fascination with natural history and conservation of desert reptiles. Cristina earned her B.S. in wildlife science and M.S. in wildlife ecology at the University of Arizona. For her M.S. thesis research, she evaluated the prevalence of Mycoplasma agassizii in wild and captive Sonoran desert tortoises in Arizona. In 2006, she accepted the position of Turtles Project Coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department in Phoenix. As the lead of seven inter-agency/inter-organizational working groups, she collaborates with turtle biologists, law enforcement officers, and citizen scientists within Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), Desert Tortoise Council, and the TSA to identify, coordinate, and conduct priority research and implement conservation actions for turtles in Arizona, the southwest US, and more recently across North America. Cristina is a co-chair and a founding member of Southwest PARC, serves as a Board Member at Large for the Desert Tortoise Council, and serves on the TSA Field Conservation Committee and Development Committee, as well program co-chair for the annual Symposium. Her professional goal is to maintain a position in turtle conservation and management which utilizes her knowledge, leadership, organizational skills, and enthusiasm to encourage and promote innovative ideas to assure the survival of viable populations of native turtle species throughout their range.
Patricia Koval, Chair
Patricia A. Koval is a corporate director and lawyer based in Toronto, Canada. She recently retired as a Senior Partner of Torys LLP, where she practised as a corporate, securities and governance lawyer. As well, Pat was an Adjunct Professor at University of Toronto Law School, and she currently serves on its Environmental Finance Advisory Council. Pat has a long history of volunteering in the conservation sector where, among other things, she is a Past Chair of the Board of World Wildlife Fund Canada, the current board Chair of The Living City Foundation and Turtle Survival Alliance, and serves on the boards of Rainforest Trust, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Canada, and the Chelonian Research Institute and on the Advisory Council of Wildlife Conservation Society. Pat is also a member of the Board of Directors of Trans Mountain Corporation, of the Independent Electricity System Operator (Ontario), and of several real estate and construction companies in the Tridel Group; she is the Chair of the Board of Directors of The Canada-India Business Council and of The Canadian Performance Reporting Board of CPA Canada, and a member of the GTA Executive of the Institute of Corporate Directors. In 2019 Pat was appointed by the Government of Ontario to its Advisory Panel on Climate Change. She is the author and co-author of a legal textbook and a number of studies on liability and disclosure related to climate change. Pat graduated from the joint MBA/J.D. program at Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada.
Palmer “Satch” Krantz retired from Columbia, South Carolina’s Riverbanks Zoo in 2017. He served as the Zoo’s president & CEO for 41 years. At the time of his retirement Riverbanks was South Carolina’s largest attraction, drawing 1.3 million visitors a year. Throughout his career he was very active in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He is the only person to have twice served as the Association’s board chair. He is also one of only three Americans to have served as chair of the AZA board and chair of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Satch currently resides on Kiawah Island.
Dwight Lawson, PhD, Vice President
Dwight Lawson holds a Ph.D. in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington and is the Executive Director/CEO at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. Before joining the Oklahoma City Zoo, Dwight was at Zoo Atlanta for 14 years, last serving as Director. Previously, Dr. Lawson worked as an Associate Research Scientist for The Wildlife Conservation Society where he directed a community-based wildlife conservation project in southwestern Cameroon, Africa.
Dwight helped found the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) and is heavily involved in the organization's animal management programs and the development of the Turtle Survival Center.
KIM GRAY is currently San Diego Zoo Global’s Curator of Herpetology & Ichthyology where she manages one of the world’s largest and most diverse living herpetological collections. Kim has over 27 years’ experience working at Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facilities. Kim has managed and helped establish head-start programs for green sea turtles and tailed frogs in Canada, Fiji iguanas in Fiji, West African Slender-snouted crocodiles in Cote d’Ivoire, and Mountain yellow-legged frogs and Western Pond Turtles in California. Kim is an accomplished scientific illustrator and has published drawings, book chapters, and papers, all relating to reptile and amphibian taxonomy, husbandry standards, and field monitoring techniques. She manages the Fijian Banded Iguana SSP and conservation fund and is actively involved in crocodilian conservation initiatives as well, serving in leadership roles for both the Gharial and the West African Slender-snouted Crocodile and in the IUCN’s Iguana and Crocodile Specialist Groups. Kim’s primary focus continues to be on the managed care of herpetological collections with emphasis on head-start and assurance colony capacity building with the ultimate goal of recovery of endangered and threatened species.
Lonnie has spent a lifetime working with turtles, tortoises, and crocodilians, starting as a junior high school volunteer at the Dallas Zoo, where he would later become a full-time keeper from 1984-94. From there, he then moved to the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida to manage the rhinos and part of the African hoof-stock collection. Following White Oak, Lonnie joined Disney’s Animal Kingdom a year before their opening as a Zoological Manager. Lonnie was part of Animal Kingdom’s opening team and was instrumental in animal transport, husbandry, and training for the Primate and Ituri Forest departments, as well as was part of the Kilimanjaro Safari management team for 17 years. After departing Animal Kingdom, he was briefly Curator of Living Collections at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens before moving to New York’s Prospect Park Zoo as the Assistant Director of Facilities and General Curator. Prospect Park Zoo is one of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) 5 zoological and aquarium facilities in New York. Lonnie is involved in WCS field programs in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and India, as well as serves on the Steering Committee of the AZA Crocodile Advisory Group, and as Co-Chair for the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group for East and Southeast Asia. Lonnie has been involved with the TSA since its inception in 2001 and has served as the Conference Chair for every TSA/IUCN-TFTSG Annual Symposium. He has participated on several TSA missions to Southeast Asia and India, helping to design and build breeding facilities, as well as assist in the triage of large groups of confiscated tortoises and turtles at the Yadanabon Zoo in Myanmar.
John is an Adjunct Scientist at the New York Botanical Garden and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of Natural History. He is the former Chairman of the Beneficia Foundation and now serves on the Board of Directors of Bat Conservation International, Rainforest Trust, (where he is also Chair Emeritus), Global Wildlife Conservation, and the Turtle Survival Alliance. John belongs to a wide variety of scientific and environmental organizations and has special interests in conservation and birding, having pursued these activities worldwide from the Antarctic and Africa to Borneo and South America. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and a member of the Explorers Club. He has a B.S. in biology from Muhlenberg College and pursued Ph.D. studies in ecology at Rutgers University. John has authored and co-authored many scientific papers, publications, and books dealing with tropical vegetation, tropical tree identification, and the taxonomy of the Cashew – Poison Ivy family.
Anders Rhodin, MD
Dr. Anders G.J. Rhodin, M.D., born in Sweden and living in the US since the late 1950s, is Founder and Director of Chelonian Research Foundation (CRF), a private nonprofit organization focused on the production, publication, and support of research and conservation efforts for turtles and tortoises. He is former Chair and current Executive Vice Chair of the IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG), Chairman of the Board at Turtle Conservancy (TC), and has been a Board Member of the TSA since its founding. He is also Co-Chair of the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF), a partnership-based strategizing and funding consortium of the TFTSG, CRF, TSA, TC, and several other turtle-focused organizations supporting global turtle conservation efforts. Additionally, he is the Founding Editor of Chelonian Conservation and Biology and Chelonian Research Monographs, two peer-reviewed professional scientific turtle journals co-published by CRF and TC in association with the TFTSG. He is also an active but semi-retired orthopedic surgeon providing part-time emergency trauma services in Massachusetts.
Walter C. Sedgwick has a long-standing interest in conservation and has served on the Boards of a diverse range of conservation NGO's, including the National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy - Florida, Bat Conservation International, Island Conservation, the Pacific Forest Trust and the Wildlife Conservation Society, where he is Chair of the Program Committee. Because of his interests in turtles, he helped to found the Turtle Conservation Fund in 2002.
Walter has been a driving force behind the TSA's strategic fund-raising efforts for many years, helping to get programs in India and Myanmar off the ground, and most recently championing the effort to bring the pair of Rafetus in China together for breeding.
Frank Slavens retired in 2001 as Curator of Reptiles from the Woodland Park Zoo (WPS) in Seattle WA where he worked for 30 years. While at the WPS, Frank produced numerous editions of his book Reptiles and Amphibians in Captivity, a series of annually produced inventories of the world's reptiles and amphibians in captive collections. Each volume represented almost 500 collections, both public and private, with contact phone numbers and addresses. Sections on longevity and breeding were invaluable tools for those interested in the captive breeding of reptiles and amphibians. In 1990 he started the Western Pond Turtle Head-start & Recovery program at WPZ in cooperation with the Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife. The program eventually expanded to include the Oregon Zoo. The main turtle site is in the Columbia River Gorge area along the Washington/Oregon border. After retiring from the zoo, Frank and his wife Kate moved down to the Gorge to continue their work with pond turtles. Frank and Kate have generously supported the TSA in recent years.
Andrew Walde, Chief Operating Officer, Treasurer
Andrew Walde was an active Board Member of the TSA until 2017 when he resigned his Director’s position to become the TSA’s Chief Operating Officer. Andrew now coordinates most of the TSA’s day-to-day business, as well as leads the field programs in India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, and North America. He was formerly a Research Biologist with Walde Research & Environmental Consulting based in Atascadero, California. He obtained a B.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and a M.Sc. from McGill University (1998) in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He is on the Executive Committee of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, as well as the Turtle Conservation Fund. He also serves as the Co-Chair for the Annual Symposium on Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles. He is an Editor on the updated Turtles in Trouble, The World’s 25+ Most Endangered Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles and serves as an Editor for Herpetological Conservation and Biology. While passionate about chelonian ecology and conservation, he is interested in all aspects of natural history, having worked throughout North America on projects involving restoration ecology, avian research and impact studies; as well as numerous surveys in entomology, ornithology, and herpetology.
Jan Holloway, Secretary
Jan Holloway is originally from Pulaski, a small town in upstate New York near Lake Ontario, and has been a lover of all animals since a very young age. Her true passion was horses though, which led her to earning her AAS in Equine Studies from Cazenovia College, NY before continuing her education, earning her BA in English, Creative Writing. After graduating in 1988, she moved to South Carolina to take a position as the Breeding Manager at a large Saddlebred horse farm outside of Columbia, SC. She later explored other career fields including Sales/Marketing and Print Media and Publishing. Most recently, before accepting her position as Administrative Coordinator at the Turtle Survival Alliance in December 2017, she was the Activity Coordinator at another local non-profit agency for nearly five years. She has always been a reptile enthusiast, and bearded dragons, aquatic turtles, and non-venomous snakes have been among her most recent pets.