Justin Bernstein is a PhD Candidate at Rutgers University-Newark (Newark, NJ, USA,) studying the evolutionary biology of snakes. He has had a life-long passion for reptiles and has been studying herpetology since 2014, where he got his M.S. in Biology at Villanova University. He has studied the systematics of lizards and snakes in the Pacific and Southeast Asian regions and has traveled to a variety of locations to better understand their ecology and diversity. This has led Justin to travel in the United States and to Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guyana, China, and the Philippines for field-related research and exploration. Currently, Justin’s focus of research is studying the diversity and evolution of homalopsid snakes (‘mud snakes’) in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus in the Philippines. A large part of his work is collecting data from the field and utilizing resources in the collections of natural history museums to study the genetics and morphology of populations to discover undescribed diversity, identify new species, understand how snakes have dispersed to new regions through history, and learn how they have adapt to their environments. He aims to help Save The Snakes with conservation-related activity, especially in Southeast Asia, by understanding their evolutionary biology and natural history in light of the protection of populations.

You can learn more about Justin’s work by visiting his website.