Personalities- Dr. Warren Booth

Apr 14, 2013
The Reptile Report
by Robyn

The Reptile Report - Personalities- A Media Resource

Dr. Booth was awarded his Bachelor’s degree with honors from the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, in Genetics in 2000. He then followed this with a Ph.D in Population and Evolutionary Genetics from the same Institution in 2005. He remained at Queen’s University for a further 6 months as part of a short post-doctoral project then relocated to North Carolina to take up a post-doctoral research associate position at the North Carolina State University in 2006. He remained there until August 2012 when he relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma upon accepting the position of Assistant Professor of Molecular Ecology within the Department of Biological Sciences at The University of Tulsa.

Within his laboratory Dr. Booth directs a number of projects involving insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, addressed through the development and application of high resolution DNA markers. A major focus of his research relates to the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies in reptiles, namely parthenogenesis and long-term sperm storage, with particular focus on both the ecological implications of each and the underlying mechanism driving them. Additionally, at present he has research projects addressing the population genetic structure, breeding systems, social structure, and invasion dynamics of North American pitvipers, Gila Monsters, Boa constrictors, and Burmese Pythons.

Dr. Booth’s research on parthenogenesis in Boids and various North American snakes, including Cottonmouths, Copperheads, and Gartersnakes has received worldwide media attention, from the likes of the BBC, New Scientist, National Geographic, American Scientific, Nature, Science Magazine, MBC, CBS, ABC, NPR and CBC-Canada. Specifically Dr. Booth has documented the first case of facultative parthenogenesis (virgin birth) in Boa constrictors, the longest genetically confirmed record of sperm storage in a vertebrate species (5.5 years in Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes), and the first and to date only record of facultative parthenogenesis in wild vertebrate populations (Cottonmouths and Copperheads).

Outside of the lab Dr. Booth maintains and breeds a variety of Boa constrictor localities and morphs, and is particularly passionate about Sonoran desert boas (including their morphs such as the type II anerythristic that he developed and brought to the general public in 2002, leopards, and hypomelanistics), Costa Rican T+’s, and the various Nicaraguan morphs.

Dr. Booth sits on the board of directors for the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK), and has done since its inception in 2006. He is also a scientific advisor for the Copperhead Institute (www.copperheadinstitute.org).

Dr. Booth is available to contribute in these areas:

  • television/video- yes
  • radio- yes
  • photography- no
  • video production- no
  • consulting- yes
  • interviews- yes
  • referrals- yes
  • quotes- yes
  • writing- yes
  • hosting- yes
  • organization- yes
  • breeding/husbandry info- yes
  • natural habitat info- yes
  • research- yes

Dr. Booth can be reached at warren-booth@utulsa.edu.

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