Science Direct: Dr Jodi Rowley

Dr Jodi Rowley works for the Australian Museum as an amphibian biologist, focusing on the diversity, ecology and conservation status of Southeast Asian frogs. She is one of our featured experts on Climate Change.

Dr Jodi Rowley

Dr Jodi Rowley
Photographer: David Emmett © David Emmett

Jodi conducts amphibian surveys in remote and often previously unsurveyed forests in Vietnam, Cambodia and southern China. Knowledge of the region's amphibians is lacking and thus the objective of this work is to gain a better understanding of the diversity and conservation status of amphibians in South-East Asia. Just over 730 species of amphibian are known from the region, but new species are being described continuously.

General/personal questions:

  1. What did you want to be when you grew up? Either an artist or a biologist. I didn't decide on biology until I was 17, and I only decided to focus on amphibians at 18.
  2. The idea/s that changed my life was/were... Experiences rather than ideas have shaped my life- specifically, spending months living with different cultures in Vietnam, Cambodia and China.
  3. I'm always being asked about.... Why I voluntarily spend weeks in the forest covered in leeches, in search of frogs.
  4. My worst job has been....Cleaning out dog and cat pens at a local vet.
  5. I often wonder... How much biodiversity we're going to lose that we don't even know exists
  6. I hope that... It will still be possible for future generations to be inspired by wildlife and wild places.
  7. The best thing about my job is.... Discovering. From being the first to record the call of a frog species, to finding a species of frog I've never seen before, and that might be new to science.
  8. The hardest thing about my job is... Climbing up remote mountains in Southeast Asia, covered in leeches, in search of those frogs. Tropical parasites and diseases aren't fun either.

Climate change specific questions:

  1. What climate change means for me personally is... a cascade of widespread and unpredictable changes that will affect all life on earth.
  2. Climate change affects my work by... Pushing me to document where amphibian species occur now, so that we can monitor changes in the future.
  3. My work may affect how we respond to climate change by... Helping predict which amphibian species are at greatest risk from climate change.
  4. What I would say to climate change skeptics is... It's happening right now! Biodiversity is already responding to climate changes, and unfortunately, it's just the beginning.
  5. What I would say to you about what you can do about climate change is... Think differently, live more sustainably. Consume less.
  6. What I think Australia can do is... Invest in green energy and green technology.

Dr Jodi Rowley , Curator, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Biology
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