Dr. Vitt is a reptile ecologist who received his Ph.D. from Arizona Sate University in 1976. He was a Professor at UCLA for 8 years and Professor and Curator at the Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma for 21 years. He currently maintains Emeritus status. He has had extensive field experience in American deserts and New World tropics, especially Brazil. He has published more than 250 research articles and 8 books. Awards include appointment as a George Lynn Cross Research Professor at the University of Oklahoma, membership in the Brazilian Academy of Scientists, Distinguished Alumnus (Western Washington University), Distinguished Herpetologist (Herpetologist League), and two book awards. Dr. Caldwell is an amphibian biologist who received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1974. She was a Professor of Biology and Curator at the Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma for 21 years, where she received recognition for outstanding research. She is now Professor Emeritus and Curator Emeritus. Dr. Caldwell conducted field research in tropical forests in Brazil and other South American countries that resulted in publication of numerous scientific articles. She served as President of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and as editor of several scientific journals. She participated is various projects with the goal of encouraging young people, especially girls, to choose careers in science.
In this fourth edition of their herpetology textbook, Vitt and Caldwell have broken the subject down into six main parts comprised of 22 chapters. The first three parts cover evolutionary history, reproductive schemes, and physiology... Part four covers behavioral topics such as foraging, defense strategies, and communication, while part five is devoted to ecology, conservation and geographical distribution of species. Part six breaks down the classification system used for amphibians and reptiles covering all major subgroups such as frogs, salamanders, snakes, etc... --Reference & Research Book News, December 2013 Many of the new insights into the understanding of reptile and amphibian biology have been updated in this edition resulting in its increased size and making it a great value... This book will be an excellent addition to the library of anyone interested in herpetology. --Journal of American Veterinary Medicine Association, December 15, 2013 Is this the best herpetology textbook available? Yes. Will I use it in my one semester course for upper-level undergraduates? Yes, this book will challenge them and would certainly also be suitable for a graduate course. Is it worth having students buy the new (4th) edition over the 3rd? Yes, updates to the content and to the references cited and enhancement of illustrations are worth it. --Phyllomedusa, December 2013