Amphibians.org

Metamorphosis

Inspired by amphibians and led by wildlife conservationists, Robin Moore and Gabby Wild, Metamorphosis is an Award-winning visual initiative informing people that the human-induced changes to our climate and environment not only are affecting amphibians, of which 1/3rd are at risk of extinction, but are also affecting humanity. To achieve this, Academy Award-winning makeup artist Brian Sipe transformed Wild into several unique amphibians. Moore then photographed Wild with the live amphibians she represents in order to create a composite of photographs. Each photograph and its associated caption embodies a metaphor that captures and promotes the mission of the ASG and the newly formed Amphibian Survival Alliance.

Long-terms goals:

The goals of Metamorphosis are two-fold. Firstly, in order to scale up amphibian conservation efforts globally we need to inspire people to care about our fragile friends. Let’s face it, amphibians don’t always get a good rep and are often overshadowed by the more charismatic megafauna when it comes to conservation. We believe that it is time to promote amphibians to take their place among this august group of charismatic creatures. We hope metamorphosis can aid this transformation in the mindsets of people through a celebration of the beauty, diversity and importance of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders in the cultural fabric of societies around the world. Secondly, metamorphosis aims to raise and leverage funds to support the in situ conservation of amphibians through the production of a book, calendars, exhibits and auctions.

Brian Sipe

Brian SipeEmmy® award winning makeup artist Brian Sipe has been working professionally since 1989 as a freelance artist and through his company, Gamut Studios. Several major Hollywood makeup effects companies and production studios have taken advantage of his extensive knowledge and experience as a character effects designer and project manager. The scope of his artistry can be seen in film and television projects such as Syriana, Ali, Son of the Mask, Big Momma’s House 1 and 2, VanHelsing, The Passion of the Christ, Friends, Will and Grace, Friends and many others. His groundbreaking makeup design for the FX Network’s reality television show “Black. White.” personally garnered him an Emmy Award in 2006. Brian’ work on David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, helped nab the BAFTA and Oscar for Best Makeup. Most currently, Brian was a part of the Makeup FX crews for JJ Abrams addition to the Star Trek franchise, McG’s Terminator : Salvation, Cirque du Freak, Cabin in the Woods, and the latest installment in the “Twilight Saga” – Breaking Dawn. 

Jennifer Aspinall

Emmy Award Winner and Winner of the Hollywood Make-up Artist & Hair Stylist Guild Award make-up artist, Jennifer Aspinall is currently in charge of the special make-up for NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Jennifer began her career at 12 years old working for dinner theaters in Philadelphia, PA. At 18, looking to expand her opportunities she moved moved to New York City. Jennifer’s creativity and ability to adapt has allowed her to work in many mediums within the make-up field. Starting with theatre, television commercials and print work, moving into make-up effects for horror films (including the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger”) and day time drama (“All My Children”), to six seasons at the New York City Opera and designing for Broadway (most notably “Victor/Victoria” with Julie Andrews). Jennifer’s career, and Fox TV, brought her to Los Angels, CA. in 1996. Where for forteen years she served as make up department head for Quincy Jones’ “MADtv” (for which she won the 2009 Emmy Award and seven Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards, along with 14 Emmy Award Nominations over her 14 seasons). Her experience also includes heading the departments for such television shows as “Saturday Night Live” (for which she received an Emmy nomination), “Frank TV” and “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment” as well as helping out on such films as“Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull”, “Star Trek” , “Erin Brockavich”, “Fight Club” and designing make-up and effects for films including “Basquiat” (with David Bowie, Dennis Hopper, Jeffery Wright and Gary Oldman) and “The Tic Code” (with Polly Draper and Gregory Hines) and most recently “Cinderalla Story” (prosthetics for Jennifer Coolidge).

Jennifer was recently profiled in Emmy Magazine; chosen as an “Admired & Inspired” talent who exemplifies the best in her field and can currently be seen as a guest judge on the sci fi channel’s hit series “Face Off”.

Robin Moore

Robin Moore

Scottish-born Robin Moore is an internationally acclaimed photographer and conservationist. Since his first forays into the rainforests of Cameroon at the tender age of 20 he has been committed to international conservation through traditional, and less-traditional means. He believes strongly in talking beyond the choir to reach those not currently engaged in conservation, and has found photography to be a powerful medium in which to engage and inspire people to care about our world. An Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Robin is represented by the National Geographic Image Collection and has received Awards for his images from Nature’s Best, National Geographic Traveler, American Photo and the International Conservation Photography Awards to name a few. Robin recently co-founded Frame of Mind, an initiative to empower youth around the world to connect with their natural and cultural worlds through photography and visual storytelling.

Robin currently Manages the Amphibian Program at Conservation International and is Program Officer for the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (www.amphibians.org) where he is responsible for developing, supporting and implementing conservation projects in high priority sites for amphibians around the world. The program has successfully partnered in the creation of 14 new protected areas for amphibians, safeguarding over 22,000 hectares and 55 threatened or endemic species to date. The program is looking to scale this up through partnerships under the umbrella of the Amphibian Survival Alliance.

In 2010 Robin spearheaded a campaign that generated phenomenal media coverage for amphibians. The Search for Lost Frogs sent 33 teams of researchers into 20 Countries in search of species missing to science. The initiative has resulted in 15 species rediscoveries and counting, and has engaged a diverse audience from scientists to school children, attracting 700 news articles in 21 countries and a potential viewership of over a billion. That’s one in seven people on the planet!

Robin received his PhD in Biodiversity Conservation from the University of Kent in the UK with research that focused on the impact of an introduced predatory snake on the endemic midwife toad of Mallorca, Spain. Robin discovered “shape-shifting” tadpoles that literally changed shape in response to introduced predatory snakes. The research was tied closely to an extremely successful recovery program for the species that resulted in the toad being downlisted two categories by the IUCN from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable.

With a solid foundation in science and an eye for photography and art, Robin seeks to conserve amphibians through a blend of concrete actions and visually-driven campaigns that open people’s eyes to the beauty and diversity of this under-appreciated group. 

Gabby Wild

Gabby Wild

“Gabby Wild” is considered the “new” face of animal activism. Dubbed the “guardian angel of wildlife”, she founded the 501(c)(3), The Gabby Wild Foundation, Inc. Through her organization, she travels the world to promote animal conservation through creative fundraising and awareness campaigns. Previously, Wild has conducted competitions, challenges, and travel expeditions to places like Thailand to work with elephants, Africa to study baboons, Alaska to tend Iditarod sled dogs, and Ireland to aid horses.

Wild’s most recent campaign involves a cat-walk into the fashion forest. Wearing only one sustainable outfit representing an endangered animal for an entire month for each month of 2012, she has employed high fashion to raise an eyebrow for her furry (and bald) friends. The outfits were predominantly designed and tailor-made by Lifetime’s Project Runway designers. Within the first five months of her campaign, she received over 150 media credits for her efforts, including the NY Times. Rod Manley, SVP of Communications at Giorgio Armani US, has proclaimed the campaign as, “Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!”

Gabby has been internationally recognized for her philanthropic efforts by organizations such as the Humane Society, GreenPeace, Conservation International, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resource Defense Council, Arkive, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Among the honors she has received include the “Champion of the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE of Existence Programme” and “Hero of the Revolution” by Sustainatopia. In an effort to marry her dual interest in animal conservation and fashion, she premiered in the fashion world with Luis Valenzuela at TheGreenShows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (February 10, 2012), and has been featured at EarthDayMiami and Fashion Fights Poverty in Washington D.C.

Also a fundamental scientist, Gabby has conducted molecular research since she was 15 years old commencing first on independent research studying the bacterial composition of indolent eye ulcers of canines.

Wild has yet bigger ambitions to work not only for animals but directly with animals too. She is a graduate of Cornell University (2011) with a Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Animal Science and currently attends Cornell Veterinary College in pursuit of a degree in veterinary medicine.