Dr Gerardo Garcia

Ph.D.

Curator of Lower Vertebrates & Invertebrates

My focus work is in the vast taxonomic groups of reptiles, amphibians, fishes and invertebrates, and managing the collection in the zoo ensuring the highest standards of husbandry & wellbeing. I'm experienced in prioritising and developing conservation and research projects since I started working at the Barcelona Zoo in 1992 where I was involved in the early years of the Recovery Programme for the Mallorcan midwife toad. 

Since then I’ve been directly involved with zoo breeding programs of threatened endemic species in several countries linking ex situ with in situ conservation, research and training initiatives (Jersey, Mauritius, Madagascar, Bolivia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Venezuela, Montserrat, Spain, Bermuda).

I completed my DPhil at the Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent on the “Ecology, human impact, and conservation of the Madagascan side-necked turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) at Ankarafantsika National Park”.

I am actively involved in the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) as chair of the Amphibian Taxon Advisory Group (ATAG) and vice-chair for the Reptile TAG, plus coordinator of the EEP Studbooks of the mountain chicken frog and Komodo dragon. My major goal is to bring effective in situ conservation and research for these programs connecting with the core of the zoological institutions. 

I have been Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates for Chester Zoo since 2012 and was previously Head of the Herpetology Department at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust from 2003 after working in other zoos in Spain and France.

Key publications

Hudson, M. A. R. P. Young, J. D’Urban Jackson, P. Orozco-terWengel, L. Martin, A. James, M. Sulton, G. Garcia, R. A. Griffiths, R. Thomas, C. Magin, M. W. Bruford, A. A. Cunningham (2016). Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation. Sci. Rep. 6, 30772; doi: 10.1038/srep30772.

Hudson MA, Young R, Javier Lopez J, Martin Ll, Fenton C, McCrea R, Griffiths RA, Adams S-L, Gray G, Garcia G, Cunningham AC (2016). In-situ itraconazole treatment improves survival rate during an amphibian chytridiomycosis epidemic. Biological Conservation, Volume 195: 37-45.

Guarino, F., García, G. and Andreone, F. (2014). Huge but moderately long-lived: age structure in the mountain chicken, Leptodactylus fallax, from Montserrat, West Indies. The Herpetological Journal. Vol.24: 167-173.

Garner, TW., García, G., Carroll, B. and Fisher, MC. (2009) Using itraconazole to clear Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection, and subsequent depigmentation of Alytes muletensis tadpoles. Diseases of aquatic organisms, Volume 83, Issue 3, 257-60.

Walker, S., Bosch, J., James, T., Litvintseva, A., Oliver, J., Piña, S., García, G., Abadie G., Cunningham, A., Hole, S., Griffiths, R. and Fisher, M. (2008) Invasive pathogens threaten species recovery programs. Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 18, R853-R854, 23.

Tzika, A., Koenig, S., Miller, R., García, G., Remy, C. and Milinkovitch (2008) Population structure of an endemic vulnerable species, the Jamaican boa (Epicrates subflavus) Molecular Ecology 17 (2), 533–544 (12).

García, G., Cunningham, A., Horton, D., Garner, T., Hyatt, A., Hengstberger, S., Lopez, J., Ogrodowczyk, A., Fenton, C. and Fa, J. (2007) Mountain chickens Leptodactylus fallax and sympatric amphibians appear to be disease free on Montserrat. Oryx 41: 3 pp 398-401.

García, G. and Goodman, S. (2003) Hunting of protected animals in the National Park Ankarafantsika, north-western Madagascar. Oryx 37:1 115 - 118.

In addition to knowledge about the organism and its habitat, risk assessment is an integral part of conservation planning and implementation. One must often pose the question, when data are not sufficiently conclusive to support an intervention on behalf of turtles, what are the risks of acting with incomplete data versus the risks of inaction?

- Michael W. Klemens, 2000

Partners and Collaborators

  • DICE Kent University, Canterbury
  • Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester
  • University of Salford, Manchester
  • Facultat de Ciències Biològiques, Universitat de València

Projects I'm involved in

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