Dr. Russell Mittermeier

Whether clasping the hand of a world leader in a firm handshake or gently cradling a mouse lemur in his palm, there is no one on Earth quite like Dr. Russ Mittermeier. When he isn’t hip deep in piranha-infested waters, he’s hammering out agreements between Conservation International and indigenous tribes or multinational corporations. Named a “hero for the planet” by TIME Magazine, Russell A. Mittermeier is regarded as a world leader in the field of biodiversity and tropical forest conservation. Trained as a primatologist and herpetologist, he has traveled widely in over 160 countries on seven continents, and has conducted field work in more than 30. Russell has an interest in the discovery and description of species new to science and has described a total of 14 new species (three turtles, four lemurs, and seven Amazonian monkeys), eight of which are named in his honor.