brad shaffer

H. Bradley Shaffer

Director, UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science

Distinguished Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Personal Website


1982 – PhD – University of Chicago – Evolutionary Biology
1976 – BS – University of California, Berkeley – Zoology

Research Interests

Evolutionary biology, ecology and conservation biology of amphibians and reptiles. Recent research projects include comparative phylogeography of amphibians and reptiles in California and the central U.S., systematics of freshwater turtles and tortoises in Australia, California, and the rest of the globe, and conservation genetics of endangered California amphibians and reptiles. Recently, we have focused a great deal of ecological and genetical work on the California tiger salamander, an endangered species native to central California grassland habitat.



The 2023 UCLA La Kretz Center Public Lecture

It was an honor to have guest lecturer Dr. Jennifer Norris at the 2023 UCLA La Kretz Center Public Lecture to speak about her work leading California’s 30×30 Initiative and…

ucla la kretz 2021 annual lecture

UCLA La Kretz 2021 Annual Lecture

This event celebrates ten years of conservation research, featuring 3 minute lightening talks by each of our 13 past, current, and future La Kretz postdoctoral fellows. The presentations are followed…

western pond turtle at-risk species assessment

Western Pond Turtle at-risk species assessment

The western pond turtle is California’s only native freshwater turtle. The turtle’s numbers have been declining due to urbanization, limited water availability, and competition or predation from invasive species —…

science to safeguard species

Science to safeguard species

UC Natural Reserve System research has laid the foundation for conserving species across the state. A prime example: UCLA professor Brad Shaffer’s work on California tiger salamanders was instrumental in…

ucla grand challenges | sustainable la

UCLA Grand Challenges | Sustainable LA

The UCLA Grand Challenges (GC) is a multi-year initiative that identifies, incentivizes, and finds solutions for the toughest environmental problems addressing our city, and by extension, our world. La Kretz…

desert tortoise conservation

Desert tortoise conservation

At the La Kretz Center, scientists are working toward a win-win between green energy and endangered species conservation in the Mojave Desert.

See all projects

Recent Publications

Divergent sensory and immune gene evolution in sea turtles with contrasting demographic and life histories

B.P. Bentley, T. Carrasco-Valenzuela, E.K.S. Ramos, H. Pawar, L.S. Arantes, A. Alexander, S.M. Banerjee, P. Masterson, M. Kuhlwilm, M. Pippel, J. Mountcastle, B. Haase, M. Uliano-Silva, G. Formenti, K. Howe, W. Chow, A. Tracey, Y. Sims, S. Pelan, J. Wood, K. Yetsko, J.R. Perrault, K. Stewart, S.R. Benson, Y. Levy, E.V. Todd, H.B. Shaffer, P. Scott, B.T. Henen, R.W. Murphy, D.W. Mohr, A.F. Scott, D.J. Duffy, N.J. Gemmell, A. Suh, S. Winkler, F. Thibaud-Nissen, M.F. Nery, T. Marques-Bonet, A. Antunes, Y. Tikochinski, P.H. Dutton, O. Fedrigo, E.W. Myers, E.D. Jarvis, C.J. Mazzoni, L.M. Komoroske

Published Work | 2023 | PNAS, Volume 120, Issue 7


Historical museum collections and contemporary population studies implicate roads and introduced predatory bullfrogs in the decline of western pond turtles

Nicholson EG, Manzo S, Devereux Z, Morgan TP, Fisher RN, Brown C, Dagit R, Scott PA, Shaffer HB

Published Work | 2020 | PeerJ 8:e9248

download pdf permalink