James Juvik, Ph.D.

Jim serves as the Turtle Conservancy’s Senior Conservation Scientist. He was born and raised in California and has been hooked on turtles since infancy. Juvik joined a small traveling circus out of high-school as an acrobat and animal trainer, with the promise that for a summer of hard work his pay would be a large unwanted Galapagos Tortoise.

In 1971, after graduating from the University of California, James received a fellowship to study in East Africa where, teaming up with French herpetologist Charles Blanc, he launched an expedition to Northwestern Madagascar where he confirmed the then uncertain survival of the of the Ploughshare Tortoise in the wild. Following completion of graduate work (Ph.D) in climatology and biogeography at the University of Hawai’i, Jim took up a professorship in the Islands, but diverted for several years to design and build the Panaewa Rain Forest Zoo in Hilo. He has published extensively on tropical cloud forests, island biogeography and tortoise conservation.