C l a u d e    G a s c o n

I initially came down about 10 years ago in 1987 to start some field work for my Ph.D., working primarily with frogs and tadpoles, trying to understand where frogs breed, looking at what aquatic or terrestrial habitat frogs need to be able to breed successfully and to establish healthy populations in natural forests. That type of basic natural history information is extremely important for us to understand the natural situation, and then to be able to compare that with any modified situation, such as cutting down large areas of forests and what happens to the frogs. If their breeding requirements or their feeding requirements are not met in this modified landscape, then we can expect and predict that they will be negatively affected.

(Claude got started on his career through an exercise in research and imagination directly paralleling one suggested for students in the LFRF Teacher’s Guide.)

There was one biology teacher in university in my first ecology course who asked us to do a paper that essentially asked us to become any animal or any plant that we decided to choose and describe in a written essay how we, as that animal or plant, would live, what we needed to survive, where we lived and under what conditions, etc. And after a couple of days of thinking, I chose to be a frog and put myself in the skin of a frog and started to look in books and do some research. I wrote a paper that got me really interested in frogs, and that led to more interest, and the more I read the more I got interested, and I eventually had a chance to start some graduate work with frogs in Canada, and then had a great opportunity to come here and continue my research with frogs.

Claude’s Interviews Frogs    1     2     3     4