Taylor Edwards, MSc, Ph.D.
Assistant Staff Scientist
University of Arizona Genetics Core
Taylor is a conservation geneticist whose primary research focus for over 15 years has been desert tortoises. He was instrumental in revising the taxonomy of this group into what are now three, independent species, including the newly described “Goode’s thornscrub tortoise.” Taylor lives in Tucson, AZ with his wife and daughter, their two dogs, and two adopted desert tortoises. Taylor first moved to Tucson in 1992 to work in the Department of Mammalogy and Ornithology at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. This was his first introduction to the Sonoran Desert and he’s been a passionate advocate ever since. He is currently an Assistant Staff Scientist at the University of Arizona Genetics Core where he has been involved with a variety of genetic projects from fish to plants to people, including helping to oversee the public testing for National Geographic and IBM’s “Genographic Project.” Taylor earned his Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and then both his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management from the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona.
In addition to being on the Advisory Board of the Turtle Conservancy, Taylor is past president of the Tucson Herpetological Society and currently a Scientific Advisor for the Turner Foundation for the Bolson Tortoise Captive Breeding and Repatriation Project. Taylor also works with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions as a “National Geographic Expert” and has accompanied programs to US National Parks, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.