Jose PadialWilliam and Ingrid Rea Assistant Curator José Padial-Fregenal

4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080
412.622.5591 (phone)
412.622.8837 (fax)

Academic Training

  • 2010–2012: Kalbfleisch Postdoctoral Fellow and Gerstner Scholar, Department of Herpetology, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.
  • 2008–2010: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University.
  • 2007–2008: Research Assistant, National Museum of Natural History, Madrid, Spain.
  • 2004–2006: PhD student, National Museum of Natural History, Madrid, Spain.
  • 2002–2004: PhD student, Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

General Research Interests

My research focuses on the systematics of amphibians and reptiles, with current geographical emphasis on the faunas of tropical America (especially the Amazon and the Andes) and the Sahara Desert. I understand systematics as a broad integrative field that inquires on all aspects of the biology of organisms under a phylogenetic framework. Particularly, I study local and broad scale patterns of species, populations, genetics, and phenotypic diversity using methods of taxonomy, phylogenetics, and population genetics, with the ultimate goal of understanding the origin of species, the evolution of their traits, and aspects of their natural history.

Species taxonomy and the study and development of scientific collections lie at the core of my research. From a practical perspective, the results of my investigations are relevant for identifying areas of high species diversity and endemism as well as for establishing conservation priorities and strategies in some of the most diverse and endangered ecosystems of the world. My interest in systematics transcends organismal biology and extends to the study of epistemological problems associated with its praxis.

Current Research Projects

  • Systematics and biogeography of New World direct-developing frogs
  • Species diversity and evolutionary history of Amazonian amphibians
  • Species diversity and evolution of Andean lizards of the genera Liolaemus and Proctoporus in the Altiplano and cloud forests of Bolivia and Peru

Selected Publications

Click here for complete CV 

Systematics of Neotropical amphibians and reptiles 

  • Padial, J.M., Chaparro, J.C., Castroviejo-Fisher, S., Guayasamín, J.M., Lehr, E., Delgado, A.J., Vaira, M., Teixeira, M., Aguayo, R. and De la Riva, I. 2012. A revision of species diversity in the Neotropical genus Oreobates (Anura: Strabomantidae), with the description of three new species from the Amazonian slopes of the Andes. American Museum Novitates, 3752: 1–55.
  • Goicoechea, N., Padial, J. M., Chaparro, J. C., Castroviejo-Fisher, S., & De la Riva, I. 2012. Molecular phylogenetics, species diversity, and biogeography of the Andean lizards of the genus Proctoporus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 65: 953–964.
  • Padial, J. M. and De la Riva, I. 2009. Integrative taxonomy reveals cryptic Amazonian species of Pristimantis (Anura). Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society, 155: 97–122.
  • Padial, J. M., Castroviejo-Fischer, S., Köhler, J., Domec, E. and De la Riva, I. 2007. Systematics of the Eleutherodactylus fraudator species group (Anura: Brachycephalidae). Herpetological Monographs 21: 214 –241.

Saharan herpetofauna

  • Gonçalves, D. V., Brito, J. C., Crochet, P. A., Geniez, P., Padial, J. M., and Harris, J. D. 2012. Phylogeny of North African Agama lizards (Reptilia: Agamidae) and the role of the Sahara desert in vertebrate speciation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 64: 582–591.
  • Geniez, P., Padial, J. M. & Crochet, P. A. 2011. Systematics of north African Agama (Reptilia: Agamidae): a new species of Agama from the central Saharan mountains. Zootaxa, 3098: 26–46.
  • Padial, J. M. 2006. Distributional and commented list of the reptiles of Mauritania (West Africa). Graellsia, 62 (2): 159–178.

Theory and methods in systematics

  • Padial, J. M., and De la Riva, I. 2010. A response to recent proposals of Integrative taxonomy. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society. 101: 747–756.
  • Padial, J. M., Miralles, A., De la Riva, I. and Vences, M. 2010. The integrative future of taxonomy. Frontiers in Zoology, 2010, 7:16.
  • Padial, J. M. and De la Riva, I. 2006. Taxonomic inflation and the stability of species lists: the perils of ostrich’s behavior. Systematic Biology, 55(5): 859–867.


  • Padial, J.M., Crochet, P-A, Geniez, P. & Brito, J.C. (2013). Amphibian conservation in Mauritania. Chapter 7 in Part 2. North Africa and Israel in Vol. 11. Conservation and Decline of Amphibians in the Eastern Hemisphere of the series Amphibian Biology. Basic and Applied Herpetology 27: (in press).
  • Embert, D., Reichle, S., Larrea-Alcázar, D., Cortez, C., Muñoz, A., Gonzales, L., Montaño, R., Aguayo, R., Domic, E., Padial, J. M., Maldonado, M., Caballero, P. & Guerrero, M. 2011. Priority areas for amphibian conservation in a neotropical megadiverse country: the need for alternative, non place based, conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation, 20: 1557–1570.