Russ Mittermeier, from the USA, is an innovative, proactive and scientifically informed conservationist. A renowned primatologist and herpetologist, he has undertaken extensive field work and made major contributions to the conservation of the fauna of Madagascar, the fauna of South America (especially in Brazil and the Guianas), primates in general, and freshwater turtles worldwide.
His research has been published widely in scientific and popular articles and books. He has been the major spokesman for the Hotspots Concept for more than 20 years, and also created the concepts of Megadiversity Countries and High Biodiversity Wilderness Areas.
Russ Mittermeier has been associated with IUCN for more than four decades and has brought to the Union his strong institutional organizational skills, charismatic leadership, and scientific integrity. He has been Chair of the Species Survival Commission’s Primate Specialist Group since 1977; a member of the SSC Steering Committee since 1984; and Vice President and Regional Councillor for North America and the Caribbean since 2004. Since 1989, he has been President of Conservation International, one of IUCN’s major partner organizations, and prior to that was Vice-President for Science at WWF-US.
Mittermeier has authored more than 650 papers and 23 books, among them the trilogy, Megadiversity, Hotspots and Wilderness Areas, and has co-edited Conservation International’s Tropical Field Guide and pocket guide series for the past two decades.