Monday, September 10 – Armenia in Retrospect: A Decade of Conservation Efforts for the Armenian Viper, Montivipera raddei

Topic: Armenia in Retrospect: A Decade of Conservation Efforts for the Armenian Viper, Montivipera raddei

Speaker: Dr. Jeff Ettling

Date/time/location: Monday, September 10; 7:30pm; The Donut Whole (1720 E. Douglas)

Dr. Jeff Ettling made his first trip to Armenia in 2004 to start an investigation into the spatial ecology and population s of the Armenian viper, Montivipera raddei. It’s hard to believe that he has now made 20 trips to Armenia ranging in length from two weeks to two months. Dr. Ettling and his Armenia colleagues, Dr. Aram Aghasyan and his son Dr. Levon Aghasyan, had a good idea of what they were going to try to accomplish with their study, but they had no idea at the time how much impact the program would truly end up having for the conservation of the Armenian viper and for other wildlife. Dr. Ettling will provide a retrospective look at what they’ve learned about Armenian vipers and how their work has impacted the conservation of the species as well as other wildlife.


Dr. Jeff Ettling, is Executive Director of the Sedgwick County Zoo.

Jeff holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Biology from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville.  He received his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  Jeff’s dissertation was based on his work in Armenia where he is investigated the spatial ecology, genetic diversity and population structure of the Armenian Viper.

Jeff is a native of the St. Louis metro area.  His zoo career started 31 years ago.  From 1987–1991 he was a reptile keeper and head keeper in the Herpetarium at the Saint Louis Zoo.  He moved to the Sedgwick County Zoo in 1991 where he served as curator of herpetology.  Jeff returned to the Saint Louis Zoo in 1995 as associate curator of herpetology and aquatics and was promoted to curator in March 1996, a position he held for 21 years.  Jeff also served as Director of both the Center for Conservation in Western Asia and the Ron Goellner Center for Hellbender Conservation for the Saint Louis Zoo’s WildCare Institute.

He is a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Field Conservation Committee, an advisor to the AZA Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee, and serves as a member of AZA accreditation site visit teams.

Jeff also served as an adjunct assistant biology professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis where he taught both undergraduate and graduate courses and served on graduate student committees.

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