Bradford D. Hollingsworth, Ph.D.

Curator of Herpetology  

Brad has served as the department’s curator since 2000, after serving as a postdoctoral fellow, guest curator of exhibits, expedition lead herpetologist, museum store employee, and volunteer. He received his doctorate from Loma Linda University and obtained both his M.S. and B.S. from San Diego State University. Brad’s research focuses on the evolution and biogeography of the herpetofauna of Baja California and its associated islands. Brad is also an Adjunct Professor at San Diego State University where he regularly teaches in the Biology Department.


Melissa A. Stepek, M.S.

GIS Specialist and Contract Manager

Melissa joined the museum in 2008 as the department’s NSF Collections Project Manager, and now serves as the department’s GIS Specialist and Contract Manager. She has over 18 years of experience working in natural resource management. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, and her M.S. in Biology from East Stroudsburg University with emphasis in chelonian behavioral ecology. She has worked with a variety of agencies including federal (National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service), state, non-profits, and private biological consulting firms. Her experience includes sensitive species focused surveys and monitoring, general species inventories, biological assessments, radio telemetry with reptiles of various age classes, GPS/GIS, technical writing, and database management.

Research Associates

Charles Crumly, Ph.D. (University of California Press, Berkeley) 

Lee Grismer, Ph.D. (Professor of Biology, La Sierra University)

William Presch, Ph.D. (California Desert Studies Consortium, Department of Biological Sciences, CSU Fullerton)

Tod Reeder, Ph.D. (San Diego State University)


Departmental Associates

Mr. Clark Mahrdt (Southwest Biological Associates)

Mr. Dick Schwenkmeyer (Mesa Community College, Retired)

Angelo Soto-Centeno (Florida Museum of Natural History)

Dustin Wood (United States Geological Survey)



The normal day-to-day accomplishments of the department would not be feasible without our core group of volunteers. Volunteer projects include making fieldguide webpages, digital mapping, fieldwork, and collections renovation.

The department is currently not accepting new volunteers. 

Be sure to check out other volunteer opportunities on the  Current Needs page. We offer a wide range of activites for individuals interested in natural history.