Dept of Math and
Phone: (606) 451 6799
Ph.D. at Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary
Licenciatura in Biology,
Fireman training course 1981. Cuerpo de Bomberos Universitarios de Caracas, Venezuela
High school at Liceo Francisco Espejo.
Spanish (native speaker)
Portuguese (ability to communicate).
Work and research experience
Scientific Consultant for the exhibit Vicious Fishes and Other Riches of the Miami Museum of Science 2004.
Visiting Scholar at the
Field on-Air correspondent for National Geographic Television from September 2000 to the present. Work as a presenter doing documentaries about wildlife in the tropics.
Ph. D. Research, life history, ecology, and conservation of the green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) in the Venezuelan Llanos. Included research on population dynamics, habitat use and mobility, diet, mating system and reproduction. Sponsored by Profauna (the Venezuelan Fish and Wildlife Service), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), CITES and the National Geographic Society. January 1992 - April 1999.
research, conducted graduate research in life history and conservation of
the green iguana (Iguana iguana). Included study of population dynamics
(mark and recapture), captive rearing, reproduction, and antipredator behavior.
Field research assistant,
for the conservation and management project of the green sea turtle (Chelonia
mydas) on Isla de Aves,
conducted detailed study of diet of the green iguana involving processing 360
Endangered species recovery program, assistant for the program of conservation and reintroduction of the Orinoco Crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) in the Venezuelan Llanos. Included surveys, mark and recapture, and captive breeding. Coordinated by WCS. 1989 - 1991; 1997-1998 (part time).
consultant, for the project of conservation and management of green iguanas
Field research assistant
for the study of reproductive success of hoatzins (Opisthocomus hoazin),
included censuses, surveys, nest monitoring, and banding of nestlings.
Government internships, Conducted conservation research and management of
1.- spectacled caiman (Cayman crocodilus), and
2.- capybaras (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris). Servicio Autonomo de Fauna Silvestre, Venezuela. November 1985 - April 1986.
Fire department commander,
campus branch at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1987. Fireman from 1980
to 1987. Direction of the campus branch of the fire department during the last
year of service. Other activities while commander include: creation and
organization of community outreach activities including the first public
workshop of search and rescue (SAR) in
Academic Director for the School for International Training at
the Program of Comparative Ecology in
Assistant professor of
Tropical Ecology at
Teaching assistant, for
General Biology at the
Teaching assistant, for
Comparative Animal Behavior at
Teaching assistant, Tropical
Biology: an Ecological approach. Organization for Tropical Studies,
High school Instructor, for courses in General Biology, Instituto Educational José Félix Ribas 1989.
Coordinator and instructor, for the college courses of First Aid Techniques, Department of Nutrition, UCV. 1984 - 1986.
Dept. of Education Director, campus branch of the fire department. Duties involved coordination and instruction of courses in first aid, fire safety and prevention 1983 - 1986.
Instructor, Public Industrial Safety course, Cuerpo de Bomberos Universitarios UCV. 1981 - 1983.
Awards and Honors
Best Film Award from the Animal Behavior Society 2003.
Reseacher level I in the Programa de Promoción al Inversigador from the Concejo Nacional de investigaciones Cientificas de Venezuela. 2001.
CONICIT Award for the Novel Researcher. 1997.
National Geographics Film and Research Grant. 1996.
National Geographic Research and Exploration Awards. 1994.
BID-CONICIT doctoral fellowship. 1993.
Wildlife Conservation Society Doctoral Research Grant. 1993.
Econatura Scholarship for Research and Conservation. 1992.
Joint grant of CITES & Profauna for applied wildlife research. 1992.
Wildlife Conservation International Graduate Research Grants. 1990 -1991.
Concejo National de Ciencias y Humanidades Undergraduate Grants 1989.
Wildlife Conservation International Undergraduate Research Grant. 1988.
Reproductive Biology of Amphibians
10 hours Universidade Estadual do Campinhas
Cytogenetic applied to herpetology. 10 hrs. Universidad de Los Andes, 1990.
Systematic herpetology 10hrs. Universidad de Los Andes , 1990.
Planification and Prevention for Disasters 120hrs. Cuerpo de Bomberos del Distrito Federal. 1987
Survival in Water emergencies, Grupo de Rescate Lara 96hrs. 1985.
Industrial Security Oil treatment plant EL Palito 32hrs 1984
Curricular Design for teaching effectively, Universidad José María Vargas 30hrs. 1984.
Management of Lab animals, Instituto Nacional de Higuiene Rafael Rangel. 50hrs. 1983.
Rescue and medical assitant Cuerpo de Bomberos del distritio federal 40hrs 1981.
Scuba diving (*), Centro de Actividades Sub-Acuaticas (CASA) UCV 1981
Oral Delivery, Instituto de Cooperación Educativa (INCE) 20hrs. 1980.
Meetings and Conferences (contributing).
Joint meeting of SSAR and HL Indianapolis,
Invited speaker for the Symposium on
education of the Texas Herpetological Society.
Joint meeting of ASIH, SSAR and HL.
Joint meeting of ASIH, SSAR and HL.
Snake Ecology for the 21st Century.
World meeting of Herpetology.
WD Alaska 45th Wildlife Conference of the Wildlife
International Iguana Society.
Society for the Study of Amphibians and
Animal Behavior Society.
Third Latin American Herpetological Meeting.
Society for the Study of Amphibians and
Second Latin American Herpetological Meeting.
Other presentations and Lectures
Visiting Speaker at:
Instituto Migue Lillo, Universidad de Tucuman, Argentina, September 2002.
La Sierra University, Riverside California, February 2002
Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species at
Instituto de Biología Experimental. Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas June 1997.
Visiting speaker at the Smithsonian Tropical
Animal Behaviour Society
Society for Conservation Biology
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Society the Study of Ichthyology and Herpetology
International Iguana society
Television and Films
The Untamed Mountain. Discovery Channel, January 1998.
Anaconda. Dateline NBC, September 1998.
The Land of the Anaconda, National Geographic Explorer. September 1998. TBS.
Anacondas, Nick's quest. Channel 5 Available light and Discovery. December 1998
Anaconda: The Aquatic Jungle, Discovery Channel. May 1999.
Crocodiles of the
Supersnake, National Geographic Television, Series Out There. Fall 2001
The trails of a Bare footed Biologist. National Geographic Television, Series, True Originals Summer 2002
Alive. 60 Minutes
Anakondas, Pro 7 Terra Nostra, Germany. July 2003
Vipers bad rap. National Geographic Television Series Snake Wranglers Fall 2003
The Ultimate Snake. National Geographic Ultimate Explorer Fall 2003
Jesus and the Snake in the Garden of Eden. National Geographic Television. Series Snake Wranglers
The lost Worlds of South America, National Geographic Ultimate Explorer.
Handlers, the mystery of the
-Frankie: Menace or Healer. Tropical Wildlife llc.
Essays and Opinion articles
Rivas, J. A., 2007, What is the path to Socialism Revolution or Evolution?: The Axis of Logic, v. July http://axisoflogic.com/cgi-bin/exec/view.pl?archive=157&num=24876
Rivas, J. A., 2007, Environmental
Conservation and Socialism. A Conservationist Manifesto for the
Rivas, J. A., 2007, What is wrong with Pain Killers, NPR, the Democractic Party and Conservation Biologists?: The Axis of Logic, v. October http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_25333.shtml
Rivas, J. A., 2006, Understanding the minds of the neocons: Oil wars, attacks on the Venezuelan revolution and the corruption of US democracy: Vheadlines, v. Available at http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=63506
Rivas, J. A. 2005. Comparing Ecuador and Venezuela: Similar Opposition, Very Different Governments. Venezuelanalysis April available at http://www.anacondas.org/essays/lucio.htm
Rivas, J. Muñoz, M, Burghardt, G. and J Thorbjarnarson 2007. Sexual size dimorphism and mating system of the Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus). pp: 312-325 In: R. W. Henderson, R. and Powell, G. W. (eds.), Biology of Boas, Pythons, and Related Taxa. Eagle Mountain Publishing Company, Eagle Mountain.
Rivas, J. A., M. d. C. Muñoz, J. B. Thorbjarnarson, G. M. Burghardt, W. Holmstrom, and P. Calle. 2007. Natural History of the green anacondas (Eunectes murinus) in the Venezuelan llanos. pp: 128-138-415. In: R. W. Henderson, and R. Powell, (eds.), Biology of Boas, Pythons, and Related Taxa. Eagle Mountain Publishing Company, Eagle Mountain.
Rivas, J. A. and Levin, L. 2004. Sex differential antipredator behavior in juvenile green iguanas, Iguana iguana: evidences for fraternal care. pp: 119-126. In Behavior, Diversity, and Conservation of Iguanas (Alberts, A. C., R. L. Carter, W. K. Hayes, and E. P. Martins, Eds.) University of California Press, Berkeley.
Rivas, J. A. and G. M. Burghardt (2002) Crotalomorphism: A Metaphor to Understand Anthropomorphism by Omission. pp: 9-17. In The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition (eds) Bekoff, M. A. Colin and G. M. Burghardt
Rivas, J. A. 2007. La conservación ambiental en el socialismo del siglo XXI: ensayo para un manifiesto conservacionista. Aporrea April available on line at http://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/a29018.html
Calle, P. P.. Rivas J. A. Muñoz, M. C. Thorbjarnarson, J. B. Holmstrom, W. and W. B. Karesh. 2001. Infectious Disease serologic survey in free-ranging Venezuelan anacondas (Eunectes murinus). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 32(3): 320-323 (PDF file)
Rivas, J. A. 2001. Feasibility and efficiency of transmitter force-feeding in studying the reproductive biology of large snakes. Herpetological Natural History. 8(1): 93-95. Herpetological Natural History. 8(1): 93-95.
Calle, P., Rivas, J., Muñoz M., Thorbjarnarson, J., Dierenfeld, E. Holmstrom, W. Braselton, E. and Karesh W. 1994. Health assessment of free-ranging anacondas (Eunectes murinus) in Venezuela. Jour. Zoo. Wildl. Med. 25: 53-62.
Rivas, J. 1990. Dieta de la iguana verde (Iguana iguana) en los llanos centrales de Venezuela durante la estación seca. Unpublished thesis presented to the Universidad Central de Venezuela . 96p. 1990. Caracas, Venezuela.