Real Name: Scott A. Thomson
Taxonomist Page on Wikidata: Q19842825
Bachelor of Science (University of Canberra)
Masters of Science (University of Canberra)
I have spent the last 20 odd years working as a taxonomist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Canberra where I specialised in the systematics and nomenclature of Australasian Turtles. I have described 5 species of turtle, 3 living and 2 fossil, as well as one genus.
I have recently published a complete synonymy of the Australasian Chelidae.
Most of my editing is concerned with Reptiles and Amphibians, specifically Turtles. So I guess I shall explain a little about this. My career in Zoology started when I was employed as shop keeper looking after tropical and marine fish and invertebrates. I did this whilst I began my B.Sc. in Zoology. Afterwards I worked at Notre Dame Zoo and then Western Plains Zoo in Australia.
During my involvement with the Zoo Industry I was involved in the Australian Species Management Plan (ASMP) Reptile and Amphibian TAG. Here I wrote the Management Plan for the Alligator Snapping Turtle and assisted with the management of the Galapagos Tortoises. This led to my becoming the joint International Species Co-ordinator for the Galapagos Tortoise along with a fellow from a USA Zoo.
I then was taken on to finish my degree at the University of Canberra. Here I worked in the Applied Ecology Institute as a taxonomist from 1994 till 2008. I was fortunate whilst here to describe 7 species of turtles (5 living - Chelodina burrungandjii, Chelodina canni, Elseya albagula, Elseya rhodini, Elseya flaviventralis and 2 fossil - Elseya nadibajagu and Rheodytes devisi. I also described one new genus Myuchelys and two subgenera Hanwarachelys and Chelydera. Further I developed keys to species of the Chelidae and a full synonomy. This has led to my advisory role with the IUCN and my membership of the Turtle Taxonomy Working Group of the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. I take a heavy interest in nomenclatural issues and have published a number of papers in the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, the journal of the ICZN.
From 2009 to 2014 I was living in northern USA and as of February, 2014 am now in Brazil, I am attached to the Museu de Zoologia in Sao Paulo where I am working on the living and fossil Chelid and Pelomedusid turtles of South America, Africa and Australasia. I am also now working hard on nomenclatural issues in Herpetology. I now spend about 3 months of each year in Florida where I am Curator of the Chelonian Research Institute, managing the largest and most comprehensive collection of turtles in the world.
As of 2020 I finished my work as Curator of the Chelonian Research Institute and am now an Associate Researcher at the Centro de Estudos dos Quelônios da Amazônia - CEQUA in Manaus, working on turtles of the Amazon River. Recently I have taken on the role of Secretary of the International Union of Biological Sciences Working Group for Global Species Lists. In this endeavor we are aiming to develop protocols for and aim towards a single global list of species.
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