Dr. John Maerz is Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor and Professor of Vertebrate Ecology in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and Adjunct Professor in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. He is an affiliated faculty with the Center for Integrative Conservation’s ICON Program and the Animal Behavior Integrative Life Sciences Group. Dr. Maerz joined the University of Georgia faculty in 2005 after 4 years as a Research Associate in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. He received his B.Sc. in Biology (Zoology) from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is Co-PI and member of the Science Advisory Committee for the Coweeta LTER; a member of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, Ecological Society of America, The Wildlife Society, and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles; and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management.
Dr. Maerz teaches numerous short courses and workshops on amphibian and reptile natural history and conservation. He serves as the faculty advisor to the Herpetological Society at the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia Ice Hockey Team.
Dr. Maerz is broadly interested in animal ecology, evolution and conservation management. Much of his research focuses on the effects of terrestrial and aquatic environmental change, particularly the effects of nonnative species invasions, land use, and climate, on the ecology of amphibians and reptiles, how variation in the abundances of animals affects terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem processes, and applying ecological and evolutionary principles to develop knowledge and tools to effectively manage wildlife.
Dr. Maerz regularly teaches undergraduate courses in Animal Behavior (in Athens, GA and in New Zealand and Australia), Herpetology, Natural Sciences Research, Sustaining Human Societies and the Natural Environment (in New Zealand and Australia), and graduate courses in Applied Animal Behavior and Developing University Teaching Skills. Dr. Maerz also supervises a large number of undergraduates in research toward their senior thesis. In 2010 he received the UGA Early Career Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, in 2011 he received UGA's Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and in 2017 was name Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor.