Russell Mittermeier, Ph.D.

In addition to his service on the Board of Directors for the Turtle Conservancy, Russ also serves as the President of Conservation International, a position he has held since 1989. Prior to joining CI, Russ worked for the World Wildlife Fund.

Russ is a well-known primatologist and herpetologist, specializing in chelonians, specifically South American side neck turtles (Chelids). He has conducted fieldwork for over 40 years on three continents and in more than 20 countries,primarily in tropical locations, notably Brazil, Suriname and Madagascar. Russ’s fieldwork has been focused on primates, protected areas, and other conservation issues and he is considered an expert on such topics as biological diversity and its value to humanity, ecosystem conservation, tropical biology and species conservation.

He is active in the IUCN (World Conservation Union), currently serving as one of the Vice Presidents. Russ also serves on the Steering Committee of the Species Survival Commission, is Chair of the Primate Specialist Group, and serves on the governing boards of both the Tortoise and Freshwater Specialist Group and the Turtle Conservation Fund. He is the author of some 600 scientific papers and 19 books.