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Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Phyllomedusa vaillantii
Phyllomedusa vaillantii Ecuador, Pastaza Province. Photographed by William W. Lamar
bar Rayna Bell
    Rayna Bell
    Research Zoologist

  • Phone: (202) 633-6194
  • Fax: (202) 633-0182
  • E-mail:

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 162
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    10th and Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0162


Related Links

Complete List of Rayna's Publications and Downloadable PDFs
Bell Lab Website


B.S. (Integrative Biology), University of California at Berkeley, 2007.
Ph.D. (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Cornell University, 2014.

Research Interests

Research Interests and Responsibilities: Ecology and evolution of amphibians and reptiles with an emphasis on island biogeography, hybrid zones, and coloration phenotypes.

Recent Publications

Zamudio, Kelly R., Bell, Rayna C. and Mason, Nicholas A. 2016. Phenotypes in phylogeography: Species’ traits, environmental variation, and vertebrate diversification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(29): 8041-8048. doi:10.1073/pnas.1602237113

Zamudio, Kelly R., Bell, Rayna C., Nali, Renato C., Haddad, Cé and Prado, Cynthia P. A. 2016. Polyandry, Predation, and the Evolution of Frog Reproductive Modes. The American Naturalist, 188: S41-S61. doi:10.1086/687547

Bell, Rayna C. and Scheinberg, Lauren A. 2016. Hyperolius molleri (Moller’s Reed Frog) and Phrynobatrachus dispar (Peters’ River Frog). Heterospecific amplexus. Herpetological Review, 47(1): 109

Bell, Rayna C. 2016. A New Species of Hyperolius (Amphibia: Hyperoliidae) from Príncipe Island, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe. Herpetologica, 72(4): 343-351. doi:10.1655/Herpetologica-D-16-00008.1

Bell, Rayna C., Drewes, Robert C., Channing, Alan, Gvoždík, Václav, Kielgast, Jos, Lötters, Stefan, Stuart, Bryan L. and Zamudio, Kelly R. 2015. Overseas dispersal of Hyperolius reed frogs from Central Africa to the oceanic islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. Journal of Biogeography, 42(1): 65-75. doi:10.1111/jbi.12412

Bell, Rayna C., Drewes, Robert C. and Zamudio, Kelly R. 2015. Reed frog diversification in the Gulf of Guinea: Overseas dispersal, the progression rule, and speciation. Evolution, 69(4): 904-915. doi:10.1111/evo.12623

Barej, Michael F., Rödel, Mark-Oliver, Loader, Simon P., Menegon, Michele, Gonwouo, Nono L., Penner, Johannes, Gvoždík, Václav, Günther, Rainer, Bell, Rayna C., Nagel, Peter and Schmitz, Andreas 2014. Light shines through the spindrift – Phylogeny of African torrent frogs (Amphibia, Anura, Petropedetidae). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 71: 261-273. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.11.001

Titus, Valorie R., Bell, Rayna C., Becker, C. G. and Zamudio, Kelly R. 2014. Connectivity and gene flow among Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) populations in highly modified anthropogenic landscapes. Conservation Genetics, 15(6): 1447-1462. doi:10.1007/s10592-014-0629-5

Hydeman, Marina E., Bell, Rayna C., Drewes, Robert C. and Zamudio, Kelly R. 2013. Amphibian chytrid fungus confirmed in endemic frogs and caecilians on the island of São Tomé, Africa. Herpetological Review, 44: 254-257.

Bell, Rayna C., Belmaker, Amos, Couch, Courtney S., Marchetto, Katherine M., Simonis, Joseph L., Thomas, R. Q., Sparks, Jed P., Brown, Julia M., Francisco, Kainana S. and Manuel, Mark E. 2013. Effectiveness of Erythrina gall wasp biocontrol and implications for the recovery of threatened Wiliwili trees (Fabaceae: Erythrina sandwicensis) 1. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society, 140(2): 215-224. doi:10.3159/TORREY-D-12-00069.1

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