Neftali Camacho immediately started working at the Museum after graduating with a B.S. from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2002. He started in the Marine Biodiversity Processing Center working with a wide range of marine invertebrate taxa and gaining knowledge of various aspects of collection and database management. In 2005, he moved to the Sections of Ichthyology and Herpetology as part of a large mold remediation project for the skeletal collections; this work involved both fungus removal and rehousing of specimens. In Ichthyology, he also organized and rehoused the frozen tissue collection, including building a tissue collection database. In 2010 he became Collections Manager of Herpetology where in addition to routine duties of accessioning new material and filling loans, he also managed the digitization and database development of the photographic collection (ca. 8,000 entries).
Dr. Pauly started turning his lifelong interest in reptiles and amphibians into active research on these taxa while completing his B.S. at the University of California, Davis. After graduating in 1999, he continued working at UC Davis studying the conservation genetics of multiple taxa including red-legged frogs and California Tiger Salamanders, which are California natives. He then headed to the University of Texas, Austin where he earned his doctorate in 2008. His dissertation research focused on phylogenetic relationships and advertisement call evolution in Nearctic toads, especially within the Western Toad species group. Dr. Pauly then returned to UC Davis as a postdoctoral researcher studying the phylogenetics and conservation genetics of several North American and Australian turtle taxa. He joined the Museum in January, 2012 as Assistant Curator and Head of the Section of Herpetology.
Pauly's research focuses on the natural history, evolution, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. His research interests include phylogenetics, systematics, conservation genetics, the evolution of mating signals in frogs, and the impacts of urbanization on reptiles and amphibians. You can learn more about his research here.