San Francisco, CA
Often found hip-deep in Madagascar mud, Dr. Brian Fisher is a modern day explorer who has devoted his life to the study and conservation of ants and biodiversity around the world. His research sends him through the last remote rainforests and deserts of Madagascar and Africa in search of ants. Although his subjects may be small in stature, they make a huge impact on their ecosystems. And what they lack in size, they more than make up for in numbers.
By documenting the species diversity and distribution of this “invisible majority,” Dr. Fisher is helping to establish conservation priorities for Madagascar, identifying areas that should be set aside to protect the highest number of species. Along the way, he has discovered 100’s of new species of ants. He has published over 75 peer reviewed articles including the “Ants of North America” with Stefan Cover. Every year, Dr. Fisher trains dozens of international graduate students in the taxonomy and natural history of ants, providing them with skills to use ants as an important indicator of biodiversity across the globe. He is currently Associate Curator of Entomology at the California Academy of Sciences and adjunct professor of biology at both the University of California at Berkeley and at San Francisco State University. He has appeared in a number of BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic films and has been profiled in Newsweek and Discover magazine.
Ants are the glue that hold forests together. But Madagascar’s hotspots of biodiversity are vanishing, and along with them unknown species. An estimated 40% of the island’s species have already perished through human encroachment.