About Dr. John C. Maerz

The official stuff

I am a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor and Professor of Vertebrate Ecology in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. I am affiliated faculty with the Center for Integrative Conservation’s ICON Ph.D. Program. My research focuses on the effects of terrestrial and aquatic environmental change, particularly the effects of nonnative species invasions, land use, and climate on the ecology of amphibians and reptiles and other wildlife; how variation in the abundances of animals affects terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem processes; and applying ecological and evolutionary principles to develop knowledge and tools to effectively manage herpetofauna and other wildlife. I am a Co-PI and member of the Science Advisory Committee for the Coweeta LTER, a member of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management. I also chair the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Pre-College Scholarship Committee, and I am the faculty advisor to the University of Georgia Herpetological Society.

Click here to see a list of publications via Google Scholar.


Click here to follow me via Research Gate.

Teaching and Mentoring

Annually, I teach undergraduate courses on Animal Behavior (in Athens, GA and in New Zealand, and Australia), Herpetology, and Sustaining Human Societies and the Natural Environment (in New Zealand and Australia). I also teach a freshman odyssey seminar on the application of science to decision-marking around "wicked problems", and I teach a doctoral course in Developing University Teaching Skills. Outside the classroom, I have mentored over 80 undergraduate and 30 graduate students in research. 

I also currently chair the University of Georgia’s Curriculum Committee and Experiential Learning Subcommittee. 


In 2010, I received the UGA Early Career Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, in 2011 I received UGA's Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, in 2015 I was inducted into the University of Georgia Teaching Academy, and in 2017 I received the Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology jointly awarded by the Herpetologist’s League, the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, and the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and I was named Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. I also serve as the faculty advisor to the University of Georgia Ice Hockey Team. Go Ice Dawgs! 

For more on my research, click here.


For more on my instruction and mentoring including a course list, click here.

The good stuff

I am a husband to a potent woman, father to three wonderful sons, the oldest brother to four siblings, and the servant to three dogs. I spend as much time as I can  outdoors, traveling, watching live music, cooking, drawing, and learning to play the guitar.


I have four more bones than the average human.  More detail than that costs.


The best decision I ever made was not giving up when I did not get into graduate school the first year I applied, and the worst decision I ever made was eating calamari at a truck stop in rural western Pennsylvania.


The worst thing anyone ever called me...to my face...was unqualified.  I was.


The best thing anyone has ever called me is "dad".

© 2019 by John Maerz.

Note: This is a personal website and is not affiliated with or hosted by the University of Georgia.  The content on this site represents the personal perspective of the owner, and does not reflect the views of the University of Georgia.  The University of Georgia does not endorse the website nor is it responsbile for any content on this website.