Michael W. Klemens is a conservation biologist working at the inter-disciplinary interface between science, land-use decision making, and public policy. He was born in Australia and educated in the United States and Europe, receiving his BSc (Education) and MSc (Zoology) from the University of Connecticut, and his PhD (Ecology) from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and several books, and has lectured extensively on the topics of land-use planning and conservation.
Dr. Klemens has spent four decades studying amphibians and reptiles and their responses to human-altered landscapes in the United States. He has also conducted studies in east Africa on the effects of wildlife trade on biodiversity and developed baseline studies of the herpetofauna of several national parks in Tanzania.
He is on the scientific staff of the Department of Herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and formerly served as Senior Conservationist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). During his 14-year tenure at WCS he founded the Metropolitan Conservation Alliance (MCA) which focused on developing innovative approaches to grass-roots local conservation in the New York City metropolitan region.
He currently divides his time between variety of different initiatives, including continued research on amphibians and reptiles, consultancies, and engagements with various agencies advancing public policies that encompass both natural resource protection and betterment of human communities. He believes that good science should undergird policy decisions, and that scientists have a moral obligation to become more involved in ensuring that science is accessible to the decision-makers at all levels of government.