Ronald Nussbaum

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Ronald Nussbaum

Professor and Curator

Office Location(s): 2019 Museums Building
Phone: 734.647.2201
Lab Phone: 734.764.0466
Fax: 734.763.4080
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Museum of Zoology
  • Fields of Study
    • Systematics, evolution, and ecology of amphibians and reptiles
  • About

    Academic background

    Ron Nussbaum received his B. S. (Biology) from the University of Idaho in 1967, M. S. (Biology) from Central Washington University in 1968, and Ph.D. (Zoology) from Oregon State University in 1972.

    Professional career: 1972-74, Research Associate (Zoology), Oregon State University; 1974-present, Professor (Biology) and Curator (Museum of Zoology), University of Michigan and Director of the Edwin S. George Reserve, University of Michigan from 1983-2006.

    Research interests

    Dr. Nussbaum is interested in the systematics, evolution, and ecology of amphibians and reptiles. He has published extensively on the the systematics of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). His field research and curatorial activities have been focussed on the Pacific Northwest (U. S. and Canada), the Seychelles Archipelago, and recently Madagascar. His work in Madagascar involves biodiversity surveys of amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals in the diminishing forests of that large island. Much of his research is related to conservation issues, and he is director of an IUCN-Species Survival project aimed at assessing the status of the amphibian fauna of Madagascar and the Seychelles Archipelago. Dr. Nussbaum has had a long and continuing interest in the evolution of partental care, parental investment, demography, and life history strategies.


    BIO 120 First Year Seminar in Biology: This seminar will cover the broad topic of evolution, including:
    - the history of evolutionary thought and the philosophy of evolution
    - micro-evolution, or small adaptive changes within lineages
    - macro-evolution, or speciation and phylogeny
    - special topics such as rates of evolution, diversity of life, and human evolution

  • Education
    • Ph.D., Zoology, Oregon State University, 1972
  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Systematics, evolution, and ecology of amphibians and reptiles
  • Graduate student
    • Jay Reed