“Natural History of the Knob-tail Geckos of the Genus Nephrurus and Implications for Captive Maintenance”
Bio: Justin Julander has been keeping and breeding reptiles for the past 30 years. From chasing local lizards in the deserts of Utah as a kid to several herp trips to Australia over the past decade, he has been fascinated by nature in general and reptiles in particular. This has led to the establishment of Australian Addiction Reptiles in 1997, which focuses on (surprise) Australian reptiles. He has co-authored 3 books, “The Complete Carpet Python”, “The Complete Children’s Python”, and “Green Tree Pythons: Natural History and Captive Maintenance”, and is currently working on “The Complete Knobtail Gecko” book and hopes to have it ready for the symposium. Justin’s day job consists of working as a Research Associate Professor of Virology at Utah State University. His research focus is on discovering therapies and vaccines for the treatment or prevention of viral diseases of humans and is the author of 60+ publications and book chapters. A current side project is to discover antiviral compounds with efficacy against the newly discovered python nidoviruses. Justin and his wife Heidi and their five children reside in Smithfield, UT.
“Effective Husbandry Techniques of a Diverse Collection: A Visual Tour”
Bio: Joe has kept reptiles and amphibians since he was a child with his father. He's been keeping and breeding reptiles and amphibians for 25 years and has been specializing in breeding geckos for 17 years. He's produced over 160 species in which just over 100 of them have been geckos.
Professionally, he spent 2 years in the herp and aquatics division of the St. Louis Zoo. He's also been a research assistant for the Missouri Department of Conservation for foreignly introduced species as well as breeding data collection for Mexican gray wolves for the Wild Canid Research and Survival Center. He currently owns and operates Joe Hupp Geckos.
frank colacicco - keynote
“Outside the Box: Geckos in Their Natural Environment”
Bio: At the age of eleven, Frank Colacicco found a passion that would forever change and shape his life. This passion was reptiles, and geckos specifically. 27 years later, Frank has bred over 60 species of geckos in the terrarium, traveled extensively in search of them in the wild, and authored/co-authored more than 15 academic papers specifically regarding geckos. His most recent presentation was at the Internationale Geckotagung in Germany in 2018. The future holds more field trips, and less captive keeping as Frank focuses on his new YouTube channel which specifically targets experiencing reptiles in the wild.
“Saltuarius: Enigmatic Genus from Australia”
Bio: It all started with a strong fascination for Paleontology and many trips to the reptile house at the Brookfield Zoo that led Philip to a path of keeping and breeding reptiles and amphibians, especially lizards. For over 30 years, his focus has been geckos, especially the Carphodactylines of the South Pacific.
However, the interest did not stop there. The live-bearing species such as Tiliqua, Egernia, Phymaturus and others have been a challenge and reward as he expanded his collection. He has worked with 200 plus species of lizards throughout the years and considers it a special privilege.
Since 1994, he and his wife Shannon have owned and operated Tremper’s Lizard Ranch and has authored and assisted various herpetological authors with their research.
Shared interest with other hobbyists has led him on travels throughout Europe and the USA, including trips into the field.