Dr. Andrew Gluesenkamp
Being the herpetologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife means having to cover a huge geographic area encompassing a wide variety of habitats and species. With everything from wide ranging Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes on the plains and in the hills and deserts, to cryptic, blind, cave Salamanders that occupy specific springs, State Herpetologist Andrew Gluesenkamp has his hands full.
Andrew Gluesenkamp attended the University of California at Davis, where he participated in surveys of rare and threatened amphibians in the San Joaquin Valley, worked as curatorial assistant in the Zoology Museum, and conducted independent field work on reptiles and amphibians in Belize and Ecuador. He graduated with a BS in Zoology in 1993. He entered the graduate program in Zoology at the University of Texas in 1994, where he studied a wide range of topics relating to reptiles and amphibians and worked in various museum collections.
During graduate school, he also discovered caving and biospeleology. Andrew’s dissertation work focused on the relationship between development and morphology in bufonid frogs. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Zoology in 2001 and conducted postdoctoral research as a Parsons fellow at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History before returning to Texas to work as a karst specialist and cave biologist.
In Texas, Andrew worked as a biological consultant specializing in karst issues, university lecturer, and skeletal preparator for the Texas Memorial Museum. In addition, he conducted numerous grant-funded projects on rare and endangered salamanders in central Texas before becoming the State Herpetologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Most recently, Andrew has been involved in the controversial Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, which was declined Endangered Species status, and the Austin blind, the Georgetown, the Jollyville Plateau and Salado Salamanders, whose status is currently undecided.