Curators: Past and Present in the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles
by George Zug
No one was designated as curator of the herpetological collection for roughly the first thirty years of its existence, although Charles Frederic Girard served as Baird's chief assistant from 1850-1860 and actively published on the growing collection.
In 1879, Henry Crecy Yarrow (1840-1929) was appointed Honorary Curator of the Department of Herpetology, a position which he filled on a part-time basis until his resignation in 1889.
Leonhard Stejneger (1851-1943) was the first full-time curator of the division. He came to the Smithsonian in 1881 as an ornithologist. Upon the resignation of Yarrow, Stejneger was appointed to the position of Curator of the Department of Reptiles and Batrachians. He held this position from 1889 to his death in 1943.
Doris Mable Cochran (1898-1968) joined the Division as an Aide in 1919. In 1927, she was appointed Assistant Curator and became Associate Curator in 1942 and Curator in 1956. She retired in mid-1968 and died shortly thereafter.
James A. Peters (1922-1972) came to the Smithsonian in 1964 with an appointment as Curator. He was appointed Curator-in-Charge in 1966 and retained that appointment until his untimely death in 1972.
George R. Zug (1938- ) joined the Division in late 1968 as Assistant Curator and became Curator in 1975 and retired 2007 but stayed on as emeritus.
The Museum Section (Biological Survey) of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (now part of the U.S. Geological Survey) established the position of staff herpetologist in 1971.
R.Bruce Bury (1942- ) served as the first Biological Survey staff herpetologist from 1971 to 1976. He transferred to the Fort Collins Field Station, Fort Collins, Colorado in 1976.
W. Ronald Heyer (1941- ) joined the division as Associate Curator in 1973 and became Curator in 1976 and retired 2013.
Roy W. McDiarmid (1940- ) joined the Biological Survey of the US Fish and Wildlife Service as staff herpetologist and Curator in the Division in 1978 and retired 2018 but stayed on as emeritus.
Thomas H. Fritts (1945- ) joined the Biological Survey of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (now part of the U.S. Geological Survey) as Section Chief and Curator in the Division in 1988. He transferred to Fort Collins, Colorado in 1998.
Kevin de Queiroz (1956-) joined the division as Assistant Curator in 1990, became Associate Curator in 1994, and Curator in 1999.
Rayna C. Bell (1985-) joined the division as Assistant Curator in 2015.
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