A Quest for African Herpetology

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Frankfurt am Main March 2018, softcover, 253 pages, 120 illustrations, most of them in colour. Edited by Jens Reissig and with a Preface by Prof. Aaron M. Bauer (Villanova University). Don Broadley is universally regarded as the “godfather” of modern African herpetology. With more than six decades of active research based in Zimbabwe, Don’s career has been at the nexus of the field since shortly after his arrival in Africa. In his autobiography, Don presents the many details that have made up his life in herpetology. His numerous field trips, their participants and the reptiles and amphibians collected are all outlined in the orderly fashion that has characterised his many technical publications. Documented too are his first contacts with herpetologists around the world. This reveals how central Don has been to research programs near and far, providing data, specimens and expertise to a tremendous number of researchers and facilitating the last half century’s growth in African herpetology. […]. In Umtali and then in Bulawayo, Don built one of the largest collections of amphibians and reptiles in Africa, with its greatest strengths in the Zambesiaca region, incorporating Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Botswana — areas where most of Don’s own field trips and those of his close associates generally took place. Today, because of Don, the collection in Bulawayo, one of the largest in Africa, it is rich in type material and the Museum’s journal Arnoldia is known to herpetologists around the world. Because of Don’s centrality to herpetology, this book is a chronicle of the discovery of the herpetofauna of southeastern Africa. Stories from many of Don’s field trips, such as his run-in with a lioness in Botswana, have become legendary. His snake bites are even more storied — from a stiletto snake bite only a few months after arriving in Rhodesia, to the 1960 puff adder bite that cost him his middle finger, to the boomslang bite that necessitated the transfusion of 13 pints of blood. All are documented in this book. […] Don was an unassuming man, yet his life was anything but uneventful and his contributions were many. And all of this was achieved against the backdrop of hardships that life in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe have brought. From the war of independence to hyperinflation, Don persevered, driven by his abiding fascination with the African herpetofauna. Whether the reader is a longtime friend of Don’s or someone for whom the name Broadley is familiar only from the literature cited of innumerable papers, this book will provide new insights into an extraordinary life in herpetology.

Chimaira Science Paperback Vol. 1

ISBN 978-3-89973-439-3

Don Broadley’s autobiography starts off by telling us a little about his childhood and his teenage years, which he spent in England in the 1930s and 1940s. Some stories about the Second World War are also mentioned, especially one of a German bomber plane which he inspected after it had been shot down. Then it moves on to the first few years after his schooling and whilst he was doing his National Service in the Royal Air Force. His early explorations in Dorset testify to his interest in the local herpetofauna. Soon after this his plan to go to Africa started to fall into place. A Quest for African Herpetology documents his scientific work since the mid-1950s, until shortly before his death in 2016.

He has corresponded with many colleagues for decades. The number of people with whom he has been in contact during this period and of which he reports in this book, lies around the 400 mark. The major role players in his development are also mentioned here. It is not just herpetologists with whom he corresponded, but also many other scientific individuals throughout the world. The Zambia expedition can be mentioned here as an example. This he did with Woody Cotterill, a mammologist and Karen Esler, a botanist. They spent many weeks on the road together and thus allow the reader explore a wide aspect of the flora and fauna of the region around the source of the Zambezi.

Many observations and notes were also made available from game wardens or passionate amateurs who were interested in herpetology. Many may thus not have been heard of by the herpetological community in the past.

However, roughly two-thirds of the names mentioned in the book are indeed herpetologist, which are based throughout the world. One could say that there were hardly any herpetologists who were active during the second half of the 20th century that did not correspond with Don Broadley. Especially those that were working on African herpetofauna. Don Broadley’s radius however extends far beyond the region which he himself had actively explored.

A Quest for African Herpetology also documents some of his premier field trips and vast collection of species throughout his life. Many of which he described himself, are talked about.

Kraig Adler, John Akester, Pere Alberch, NataliaB. Ananjeva, Jeremy Anderson, Frank Ansell, William Armitage, Graham Armstrong, George Arnold, Nicholas Arnold, James Ashe, Ronald D. Auerbach, Patrick Aust, James Bacon, Sherif Baha El Din, Luchi Balarin, David Ball, G.H. Ball, Jonathan Ball, Thomas Barbour, Michael Barter, Ronald Barton, Michael Bates, J.C. Battersby, Aaron Bauer, Julian Bayliss, Rex Bean, Sir Alfred Beit Bart, Joseph Beraducci, Hartwig Berger-Dell’Mour, Philip Berry, R.C. Bigalke, A.J. Black, Ray Black, Frank Blair, David Blake, Gillian Blake, Rose Blake, Roger Blaylock, Toy Bodbijl, Charles Bogert, Wolfgang Böhme, Ray Borrett, Roger Bour, Monique Bourgeois, Ortwin Bourquin, Richard Boycott, F.W. Braestrup, Andreas Brahm, Robert Brain, William Roy Branch, Tessa Branch, Frank Brandstätter, Tim Braybrook, H.J. Bredo, Shiela Broadley, Carl Brussow, Michael Bruton, Anthony Burdett, Marius Burger, Augusto Cabral, John Cadle, Ian Cannell, Robert L. Carroll, Gustavo Casas-Andreu, José M. Cei, Ellen Censky, Luis Ceriaco, Alan Channing, Michael Cherry, Robstein Chidavaenzi, Robert Chira, Laurent Chirio, Tom Choate, Poul Christensen, Barry Clarke, Paul Coates Palgrave, Meg Coates Palgrave, Doris Cochran, Jennifer Cochrane, E.V. Cock, Harold G. Cogger, Michel Condamin, Werner Conradie, L.W. Cooms, William Cooper, Fenton P.D. Cotterill, Ian Coulson, Amanda Crnkovic, Norman Crookes, Terry Crow, Charles CrumlyDavid Cundall, Michael Cunningham, Tony Cunningham, Ilya S. Darevsky, David Day, Ferdie de Moor, Atherton de Villiers, Schalk de Waal, James Dobie, Adriaan Donker, Bryan Donnelly, Craig Doria, Walter Douglas, Herndon Dowling, Robert C. Drewes, Diane Drummond, Ken Drummond, Louis Du Preez, Charles Dudley, Alexander Duff-Mackay, Stephen Durrant, Paul Dutton, Mark Easterbrook, David Eccles, Thomas Eimermacher, Josef Eiselt, Sharon EmersonAngela Emmrich, Dietmar Emmrich, Carl Ernst, Karen J. Esler, Vittorio Espamer, Richard Estes, David Ewbank, Craig Ferguson, Colin Findlay, Helmut Finkeldey, Reginald Fisher, Guy Fisher, Moira Fitzpatrick, Vivian FitzSimons, Francois Flanagan, Richard Forissier, Ion Fuhn, Eugene Gaffney, Carl Gans, Jacques Gauthier, Terry Geldart, Peter Ginn, Gladys Goodwin, Willy Goussard, David Gower, Roberta Graboski Mendes, Alice Grandison, Harry Greene, Allen Greer, John Greig, Eryn Griffin, Michael Griffin, Richard Griffiths, Brian Groombridge, Peter Grubb, Jean Guibé, Rainer Günther, Graham Guy, Wulf Haacke, Gerald Haagner, Donald Hahn, Adrian Hailey, Anthony Hall-Martin, David Hancock, Peter Hanney, Richard Harland, Cathy Harris, Ron HartleyJames HarveyMatthew Heinicke, Heather Heinz, Walter Hellmich, Hans-Werner Herrmann, Irene Higgs, A.C. Hoffman, Gerard Hoffnung, Marinus S. Hoogmoed, Harry Hoogstraal, Robert Hopkins, Kim Howell, William Howells, Fritz W. Huchzermeyer, Raymond Huey, Barry Hughes, Errol Hughes, Arthur C. Hulse, Clive Humphreys, Kit Hustler, Jonathan M. Hutton, Ivan Ineich, Robert Inger, C.J.P. Ionides, Fran Irish, Michael Stuart Irwin, Richard Isemonger, John Iverson, Desmond Jackson, Niels Jacobsen, Daniel Janzen, Dick Japp, Ulrich Joger, Palle Johnson, Frank Junor, Margaret Kalk, Kenneth Kardong, Christopher Kelly, Jason Kersten, Wolfgang Klausewitz, Charles J.J. Klaver, Konrad Klemmer, Nathan Kley, Arnold Kluge, Gunther Köhler, Chris Kofron, Eugen Kramer, Dirk Kreulen, Arianna Kuhn, Gottlieb Kunzi, Trip Lamb, Michael R. K. Lambert, Angelo Lambiris, Benedetto Lanza, Malcolm Largen, Raymond Laurent, R.F. Lawrence, Dwight Lawson, Walter Lawson, Jonathan Leakey, Matthew LeBreton, Cecil Leonard, Claude Leroy, J.W. Lester, Stephen Liversedge, Tim Liversedge, Simon Loader, Steve Lochetto, Cyril Locke, Gwen Locke, Victor Loehr, Catherine Loumont, Arthur– Loveridge, John Loveridge, Luca Luiselli, Joy MacKay, Charles Mackie, Thomas Madsen, V. Mahnert, Elsebe Malan, Edmund Malnate, Sara Manaças, Johan Marais, Hymen Marx, J.H. Mason, Conrad Mathee, Werner Mayer, Ernst Mayr, E.L. McCarthy, John McCoyRoy McDiarmid, Geoffrey McLachlan, Mac McMinimis, John Measey, Jan Meerman, Michele Menegon, Robert Mertens, Philip Mhlanga, John Minshull, Donald Minter, Lesley R. Minter, William Mitchell, Scott Moody, David Morgan, Le Fras Mouton, David Moyer, Doug Muller, Henry Muloongo, Peter Mundy, Bernard Mupangapanga, Leonard Mutiyeni, B.A.V. Ncube, Petr Necas, John Newby, Richard Newman, Stuart Nielsen, Ronald Nussbaum, Simeon Nyathi, Mark O’Shea, Ettore Olmo, F.A. Omara, David Onderstall, Roy Osborne, Roy Owen, Dick Paget, William Palmer, Charles Parry, Neville Passmore, Georges Pasteur, Jeremy PattersonOlivier Pauwels, Richard Peek, Jean-Luc Perret, Frances Perryer, Günther Peters, James Peters, Tony Phelps, Eric Pianka, Martin Pickersgill, U.V. Pienaar, Charles R.S. Pitman, Roland Pletts, Darrel Plowes, Marta Poggesi, John Poynton, John Pringle, R.N.H. Pugh, José Quartau, Mike Raath, Gregory Rasmussen, Jens Rasmussen, Lynn Raw, Allen Rees, Jens Reissig, Alan Resetar, Anders Rhodin, Christine Richards, Olivier Rieppel, Thane Riney, Ian Robertson, Roy Robinson, Benigno Roman, Alan Root, Walter Rose, Rolande Roux-Estéve, Tony Russell, Germano da Fonseca Sacarrão, Walter Sachsse, Edward Saiff, Hubert SaintGirons, Alan Savitsky, Anita Schadie, Bernard Schadie, Beat Schätti, Arne Schiøtz, Gerold Schipper, Warren R. Schmidt, Michael Schmolke, Winkie Schmolke, Gordon Schuett, Donald Schultz, Bernhard Schuster, Elizabeth Scott, John Seale, Cathy Sharp, Gary Sharp, Charles Shaw, J.R. Shelford, Richard Shine, Roy Short, A.H. Siemers, Alex Siemers, Alan Silberstein, Malumo Simbotwe, Brian Simon, Joseph B. Slowinski, Hobart M. Smith, Ian Smith, Reay H.N. Smithers, Laura Spawls, Stephen Spawls, John Spence, John Stakesby-Lewis, Brad Stamm, Andrew Stevens, Michael Stevens, R.H.R. Stevenson, Margaret Stewart Lemon, Peter Steyn, W.J. Steyn, Andrew Stimson, Robert Stjernstedt, Clive Stockil, Christopher Stuart, Brian Stuckenberg, Charles Sweeney, Ian R. Swingland, Julian Sylvester, Zbigniew Szyndlar, Mills Tandy, Reverend K.S.J. Tasman, Denise Taylor, Peter Taylor, Royjan Taylor, José Tello, Franz Tiedemann, Colin R. Tilbury, Kenneth Tinley, Lynne Tinley, Jean-François Trape, Scott Travers, Peter Turnbull-Kemp, Peter Uetz, Garth Underwood, Caroline Van Daele, Paul Van Daele, Eddie van Dijk, Peter van Putten, G.R. Cunningham (Chum) Van Someren, Mark Vandewalle, Paulo E. Vanzolini, Desmond Vesey-FitzGerald, Jens Vindum, John Visser, Joy Visser, Laurie Vitt, Edward O.Z. Wade, David B. Wake, Marvalee Wake, Van Wallach, Simon Wapnick, David Warrell, Sidney Warren, Barry Washington, Gillian Watson, Martin Whiting, Jürgen Wigge, Christopher Wild, Ernest Williams, Barry Wilson, Beryl Wilson, John Wilson, Simon Wilson, Vivian J. Wilson, Gaston-François de Witte, Roger Wood, John Wright, Peter Wright, Cathy Wüster, Wolfgang Wüster, Robert Yeadon, Ermi Zhao, Richard Zweifel.

Additional Information

AuthorBROADLEY, D.G
ISBN978-3-89973-439-3
LanguageEnglish

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