Dr. Karen Lips is a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State focused on making science more accessible to the public. She is also a Professor of Biology and Director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Lips will visit Argentina on April 17-21 to celebrate Earth Week and share with the Argentine scientific and government community her expertise on how global change – wildlife disease, climate change, land use – affects biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles in Latin America and the United States.
Dr. Karen Lips is Professor of Biology and Director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Lips received a B.S. in Zoology from the University of South Florida, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Miami. She is a field ecologist who studies how global change – wildlife disease, climate change, land use – affects biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles in Latin America and the US, especially the Appalachian Mountains. A primary focus of her research is determining the ecological and environmental factors that influence amphibian species’ response to disease, and how that information might be used in conservation and recovery plans. She is also interested in how the loss of biodiversity affects communities and ecosystems, and how human activities such as trade and exotic species contribute to the spread of disease and loss of biodiversity. Dr. Lips is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and at the US Museum of Natural History. Dr. Lips has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on amphibian ecology, host-pathogen ecology, and tropical biology. She co-organized RANA, an NSF–funded international network of researchers working on amphibian disease ecology throughout Latin America, and has offered many training courses in amphibian ecology and biodiversity sampling. She was named a Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow in 2015, an AAAS Fellow in 2011, and a Leopold Leadership Fellow in 2005. She was awarded the President’s Award of the Chicago Zoological Society in 1997, a Bay and Paul Biodiversity Leadership Award in 1998, and the Sabin Amphibian Conservation Award in 2012. In 2015 she received the inaugural University of Maryland Impact Communicator Award. Dr. Lips is interested in increasing engagement on environmental issues, promoting scientific leadership, and fostering international scientific collaborations.