The Future Leaders of Amphibian Conservation program is an award to a number of early-career conservationists from around the world that have been identified by the Amphibian Survival Alliance as the next generation of amphibian conservationists. So far we have awarded 19 Future Leaders from 12 countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Australia and United States). You can learn more about some of the Future Leaders of Amphibian Conservation here.

Dr. Muhammad Rais (PMAS- AAUR; [email protected]) is an ASA Future Leader of Amphibian Conservation from Pakistan. Below you can find some of his most recent achievements:

– Oral presentation and moderation of a technical session at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 21-23, July, 2021, Phoenix, Arizona, USA: The Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (in-person) was organized by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Herpetologists’ League USA, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and American Elasmobranch Society from 21st to 23rd July, 2021, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Dr. Muhammad Rais, Assistant Professor at the Wildlife Management department, delivered an oral presentation and moderated a technical session on Amphibian Ecology and Conservation. The visit was partially funded by the Amphibian Survival Alliance under the FLAC program.

– Publication of a book chapter: Dr. Rais and collaborators have recently published the book chapter “Softshell Freshwater Turtles in Peril: Research Gaps and Conservation Planning” in Imperiled: Encyclopedia of Conservation ( Four species of softshell freshwater turtles are known from Pakistan: Chitra indica (Endangered), Nilssonia gangetica (Vulnerable), Nilssonia hurum (Vulnerable) and Lissemys punctata (Least Concern). The research gaps identified in the available published studies include the lack of systematic surveys, studies on distribution modeling, knowledge about the covariates influencing occurrence and distribution, lack of reliable population estimates and virtually no genetic work.

– Webinar on principles of species conservation planning and remote conservation during a pandemic situation:The Herpetology Lab, Department of Wildlife Management, and Virtual University Lahore jointly organized a webinar on “Principles of Species Conservation Planning and Remote Conservation During a Pandemic Situation” on Thursday, 3rd June, 2021 at  2 PM Pakistan Standard Time (10 am UK). The webinar aimed to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on wildlife species conservation planning and education. The expert talks highlighted how students and early career researchers of Wildlife/ Ecology/ Environmental Sciences/ Animal Sciences and conservation planners/managers could continue their research and education and to carry out desktop or remote research during a pandemic.

– Memorandum of Understanding between PMAS AAUR and Zoological Research Museum Alexander König, Germany: The Herpetology Lab, Department of Wildlife Management, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zoological Research Museum Alexander König, Germany. The collaboration with the museum will be lead by Dr. Sylvia Hofmann who has been working on taxonomy, phylogeny and evolutionary biology of Himalayan amphibian fauna. She visited PMAS-AAUR in September, 2020, and expressed her interest in developing official collaboration on the following areas: joint research activities, short term training programs for post-graduate/doctoral students of PMAS-AAUR /connecting PMAS-AAUR with other organizations in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe) under IRSIP, capacity-building, evaluating/reviewing projects and organization of scientific events.

Photo by: JMIH Organizers