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 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 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 is also currently working on the chemical ecology and pollination ecology of sexually deceptive orchids in Australia. http://www.lsaul.com
Leslie Saul, Director Conservation and Science
Leslie Parra, Program Director/Development Officer
Rebecca Charlton, Senior Conservation Associate/IDL Program Coordinator
Erika Garcia, Manager of Invertebrate Husbandry & Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Annemarie Dompe, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Rachel Miller, Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Carolyn Hirshon, Nature Connection Education Specialist
Danielle O'Farrell, Nature Connection & Insect Discovery Lab Education Specialist
Liane Chabansky, Invertebrate Husbandry Technician
Natalie Bartel, Nature Connection Education Specialist
Dr. Peggy Fiedler, Director, Natural Reserve System, University of California
Dr. Daniel Janzen, University of Pennsylvania
Ms. Leslie Saul, 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