In Profile: Walking on the Wild Side of Academic Life with NRM’s Gad Perry
There aren’t many classrooms where a professor might show up toting a snake around in his neck. But Texas Tech conservation biologist Gad Perry doesn’t claim to run a traditional classroom. Typically, Perry comes to class in cargo shorts, a short-sleeved shirt and sandals year-round. He claims to never have worn a tie in his life.
While not completely conventional, this particular associate professor with Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management brings a bulky knowledge base and long list of experiences to his classes and research. “I’ve been chasing animals since I was six,” Perry said. “I knew I wanted to be a field biologist that early.”
Perry said his father introduced him to many types of wildlife at a young age. Originally from Israel, Perry came to the United States to get his doctoral degree at the University of Texas. While there, he met his wife, Kate LeVering.
Conservation biology isn’t a job for someone looking for money or perks, Perry stressed. “It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you like thinking and want to make a difference, it’s not a bad field to be in.”
Perry’s research focuses on the conservation of endangered species, the management of invasive species and the biology of reptiles. “My research centers on ecology in the broadest sense, with a large emphasis on conservation issues and the increasingly profound impacts of humans on the environment, including urban ecosystems,” he said.
Perry is currently co-editor of the Journal of Herpetology, an international journal ranked among the top 100 journals in biology and medicine in the past 100 years. In the past he had authored a textbook and numerous scientific articles, and is a member of several professional associations, including the Society for Conservation Biology, Texas Academy of Science, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, and Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
Written by Kelsey Fletcher
CONTACT: Gad Perry, Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2842 or firstname.lastname@example.org