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President, Research Director

Alejandro Arteaga is an Ecuadorian–Venezuelan biologist, author, conservationist, and wildlife photographer. He is the president and research director of Tropical Herping, an institution he co-founded in 2009 to preserve tropical reptiles and amphibians through tourism, photography, education, and scientific research. He obtained his biology degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. Alejandro is author of two books (Reptiles of the Galápagos and The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo) and 18 scientific articles. He has described 20 new species to science, saved 106 hectares of tropical forest in Ecuador, and his photographic work has been featured in National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. In 2015, he was awarded in the Big Picture Natural World Photography competition.

Alejandro's research is focused on systematics and biogeography of tropical amphibians and reptiles, but it also targets citizen-science projects for identifying species in the field, either visually using deep learning algorithms or genetically through real-time DNA barcoding. He is currently leading three long-term projects that straddle the line between research and conservation: Rapid-Response Discovery of Rainfrogs, Reptiles of Ecuador, and Guardians of the Pinocchio Lizard.

Furcifer pardalis
Eunectes murinus
Micrurus melanotus
Echinosaura horrida
Hyloscirtus lindae
Uroplatus phantasticus
Imantodes cenchoa
Phyllomedusa tarsius
Spilotes pullatus
Anolis proboscis
Amblyrhynchus cristatus
Centrolene heloderma
Phelsuma standingi
Pristimantis gralarias
Enyalioides oshaughnessyi
Chironius monticola
Bothriopsis pulchra
Calumma parsonii

Behind the scenes

Alejandro spends most of his time exploring tropical forests around the world, photographing amphibians and reptiles, looking for new species, or scouting locations for new herping tours. At the office, he likes to write herpetological field guides or scientific papers on systematics and biogeography.

Alejandro Arteaga holding a frog in Tambopata, Peru
Alejandro Arteaga at the AMNH
Alejandro Arteaga measuring specimens in Mindo, Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga observing a tortoise in Galápagos, Ecuador
Expedition team at Llanganates, Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga and Rita Hidalgo in Cuyabeno, Ecuador
Photography team in Limon, Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga holding a drone in Tiputini, Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga photographing a gecko in Ranomafana, Madagascar
New species described


New species described

Papers published


Scientific papers published

Hectares of rainforest saved


Hectares of rainforest saved

Books published


Books published

2 pocket field guides published


Pocket field guides published

3 photo articles


Photo articles written

1 attack by tapir


Attack by tapir

40 minutes blinded


Minutes blinded by frog's toxins

6 leeches extracted


Leeches extracted