Dr. John Carr is the holder of the Kitty DeGree Professorship in Biology and serves as professor of biology and as associate curator in the Museum of Natural History.
His classes focus on human and comparative anatomy, as well as organism-centered classes such as herpetology and field biology.
Between 1989 and 1994 he worked as a staff biologist at Conservation International in Washington, D.C, including work with the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) in the tropical Andean region of South America.
His general research interests include anatomy, systematics and ecology of freshwater and terrestrial turtles in the south-central United States and northwestern South America.
A current area of research interest is in the distribution and ecology of the herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain and West Gulf Coastal Plain in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. Carr enjoys the opportunity to work with graduate students on these topics, resulting in the successful completion of 16 master’s theses, including ecological studies of softshell, map and alligator snapping turtles.
In addition, he’s currently working on the evolutionary relationships and taxonomy of a New World, tropical group of freshwater and terrestrial turtles (genus Rhinoclemmys)—an outgrowth of his graduate studies.
Since 2005, he has been making nearly annual visits to Colombia to work with colleagues on the ecology of Rhinoclemmys nasuta on a Pacific coastal island. He serves as a research associate with the Animal Ecology Research Group (Grupo de Investigación en Ecología Animal) in the Department of Biology at the Universidad del Valle, in Cali, Colombia.
In 2007, Carr was invited to coauthor a field guide published in Spanish, entitled The Turtles and Crocodilians of the Tropical Andean Countries (Las Tortugas y Cocodrilianos de los Paises Andino del Trópico).
He contributed to this book as a capacity-building training tool and aid for upcoming biologists in the region stretching from Venezuela to Bolivia.
Scholarly publications by Carr number more than 40, in journals such as the Journal of Morphology, Journal of Experimental Zoology, Chelonian Conservation and Biology, Zootaxa, Copeia, Conservation Biology, and Herpetologica. He and his students have made more than 80 oral and poster presentations on their research in the past 10 years.
John Carr first traveled to study turtles as a graduate student. Since then, scholarly activities have taken him to Mexico, Australia, England, France, Guinea, South Africa and South America.
He has traveled 14 times to Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. He has long been a member of the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the oldest and largest global environmental network.
He also currently serves on the Editorial Review Board of Chelonian Conservation and Biology, the scientific journal of the specialist group.
About the Endowment:
The Kitty DeGree Professorship in Biology endowment was established to encourage and reward excellence in teaching, learning and research at ULM.