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Habitat destruction is the greatest threat to wildlife today. Wildlife and wild places cannot survive without the preservation and protection of habitat.

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Our Team

Working out of our San Francisco headquarters, our team is dedicated to inspiring, educating and conserving nature. But we know the biggest part of our team is the support we get from eco-heroes like you and the eco-kids that help to make our conservation work possible.

Norman GershenzNorman Gershenz leads the pack as director, CEO, and, co-founder of SaveNature.Org and the Insect Discovery Lab. SaveNature.Org has raised more than $4.5 million to help preserve thousands of acres of rainforest and coral reef habitat around the world.

Norm was affiliated with the San Francisco Zoo for more than 18 years as an educator, member of the animal care staff, fundraiser (he created Zoo Run), and researcher. Norm has tracked black rhinos in Zimbabwe, chased orangutans in Borneo, and stalked the elusive platypus in Australia. He has handled boas and bobcats, pandas and elephants, snow leopards and koalas, hippos and hornbills. He has worked as a field biologist and naturalist in Borneo, Malaysia, India, Nepal, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, Panama and Namibia. In 2010 Norm was awarded the prestigious Elizabeth Terwilliger Prize for Conservation. Norm is a noted gourmet insect chef and a lecturer in biology. He is an expert birder and can spot a beetle at 50 mph.

Leslie Saul-GershenzDr. Leslie Saul is the Director of Conservation and Science and co-founder of SaveNature.Org. Leslie is an evolutionary ecologist and lecturer on the conservation of biodiversity. Her research focuses on the chemical ecology of the recently discovered host location behavior of the blister beetle Meloe franciscanus and its host, the solitary bee Habropoda pallida in the Mojave Desert. Presently, Leslie is continuing her research at the University of Californa Davis. In 2016 Leslie received a $250,000 grant from the Bureau of Land Management to study the Characterization of the impact on native bees from utility scale solar development in the Mojave and Sonoran desert. The team of collaborators include Lynn Kimsey, Robbin Thorp, Neal Williams, Tom Zavortink (UC Davis), Terry Griswold,(USDA),Doug Yanega (UC Riverside), John Ascher (National University of Singapore). Leslie has been a scientific advisor for the BBC's new series "Life in the Undergrowth" with Sir David Attenborough. Her research is highlighted in the "The Other Insect Societies" from Harvard Press and a new book titled the "Insect Cuticular Hydrocarbons: Biology, biochemistry and chemical ecology" from Cambridge University Press in 2009. She has several active research projects on the evolutionary ecology of the Habropoda-Meloe complex in California and is collaborating with colleagues Jocelyn Millar at U. C. Riverside, Betsy Arnold at the University of Arizona and Robert Buchwald at U. C. Berkeley. She was the videographer and researcher documenting Eciton army ant behavior in the Amazon Basin in Ecuador, Dorylus driver ants in the rainforests of Ghana, and Polygerus slave-making ants in the U.S. for a National Geographic Magazine series on ants. Her videos can be viewed on National Geographic's website. Leslie's research is summarized in Laurence Packer's engaging new book "Keeping the Bees: Why all bees are at risk and what we can do to save them" just published in 2010. She also authored the chapter on the history of insectariums in the "Encyclopedia of Insects."

Leslie worked on the chemical ecology and pollination ecology of sexually deceptive orchids in Australia.

Dr. Leslie Saul, Director Conservation and Science
George Carpenter, Insect Husbandry Technician & Graphic Designer
Karly Ortega, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Rachel Miller, Manager of Invertebrate Husbandry & Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Tarah Haslett, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Isabel Barresi, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Lynne Lee, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Keith Frerichs, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Jonathan Ye, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Nathan Herriges, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Zoe Duerksen-Salm, Senior Conservation Associate

Scientific Advisors
Dr. Peggy Fiedler, Director, Natural Reserve System, University of California
Dr. Daniel Janzen, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Leslie Saul-Gershenz, SaveNature.Org
Dr. Steven K. Webster, Monterey Bay Aquarium, emeritus
Dr. Ron Vale, Chair, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
University of California, San Francisco

Conservation Ambassador

John Larracas SaveNature.Org is proud to announce the selection of our first Conservation Ambassador, John Larracas of Davis, California ( As Conservation Ambassador John will build and maintain long-term trusting relationships with like-minded businesses, corporations and the public to raise funds for the purchase and protection of threatened and endangered habitat for SaveNature.Org’s Adopt An Acre® and Adopt A Reef® program.

John will assist SaveNature.Org’s team to influence the brand awareness through the sale and proceeds from his photography. Additionally he will offer forward thinking on worldwide issues such as climate change, forest based medicine and habitat preservation.

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abc logoView From the Bay has featured SaveNature.Org and the Insect Discovery Lab in Insects and the World Under Your Feet!

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