Department of Biological Sciences
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
Presentation Title: “Suture Zones and Cryptic Biodiversity in Alabama”
Leslie J. Rissler is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and curator of herpetology at The University of Alabama. She received her PhD from the University of Virginia and was a NSF Bioinformatics postdoctoral fellow at the University of California–Berkeley in the Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.
Rissler is chair of the Evolution Working Group at The University of Alabama; this interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff promotes the importance and reality of evolution to the public through various activities including the ALLELE series (Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution), now in its eighth year. She is also co-director of the evolutionary studies minor in the College of Arts and Sciences, one of only four such minors in the country.
Rissler recently served as a program director at the National Science Foundation (2011-2013) in the Directorate of Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology. Her research integrates ecology and evolution with a focus on amphibian biodiversity, biogeography, systematics, and conservation genetics. She teaches courses in evolution, conservation biology, and field zoology. One recent and much publicized discovery by Rissler and colleagues was a new frog species in New York, New York.