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Alan Peters

As the curator of herpetology, Alan Peters oversees animal programs, exhibits and staff of the Reptile Discovery Center. His primary focus is identifying, managing and encouraging the work of the Homo sapiens within the department. RDC exhibits nearly 100 species with over 400 specimens, and participates in collaborations within the Smithsonian as well as with other zoos and universities.

With nearly half of RDC’s collection consisting of critically endangered or vulnerable species, Peters, RDC staff and associates are fully engaged in animal management, research and education focused on species requiring conservation. The team also concentrates on applying conservation knowledge to regional wildlife, for example by studying and exhibiting salamanders with the primary objective of mitigating extinctions.

Peters’ ultimate goal is two-pronged: to help his team be the best they can be and to inspire people to inquire about, discover and respect the world they inhabit. He hopes that RDC’s work will  encourage people to think critically about how they use the planet’s precious resources and motivate them to help conserve ecosystems around the world.

Notable Publications:

  • D. Marcellini and A.M. Peters. Preliminary observations on endogenous heat production after feeding in Python molorusJournal of Herpetology, 1982: Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 92-95.
  • M. Moini, A. O’Halloran, A.M. Peters, et al. Understanding irregular shell formation of Nautilus in aquaria: Chemical composition and structural analysisZoo Biology, 2014: 33: 285-294.
  • A. Peters and P. Hawkes. Arachnophobia or Arachnophilia: Exhibition and culture of Nephila madagascariensisProceedings of First Annual Conference of Invertebrates in Captivity, pp. 115-122.