Keynote Speakers

Tom Turner

Thomas (Tom) Turner is a Professor of Biology, Curator of Fishes in the Museum of Southwestern Biology, and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico (UNM). He began his career as a professional biologist after completing a Master of Science degree at Ohio University where he studied comparative genomics of fishes.  He completed a doctorate in Biological Sciences in 1996 at Florida International University in Miami Florida where he fell in love with freshwater and marine environments and became seriously involved in conservation science and policy. After leaving Florida, he held a post-doctoral position in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University for a little over one year, where he developed laboratory and numerical approaches to examine genetic and demographic effects of overfishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Turner began at UNM in 1998 as an assistant professor and curator, and since then his research group has investigated questions about ecological and evolutionary processes in rivers, springs, and streams in arid regions of the American Southwest. A major research focus is the development of genetic and stable isotope methodology to uncover changes in biodiversity that accompany radical transformations of land, water, and climate. To do this, he uses resources held in natural history museums, especially the Museum of Southwestern Biology to establish baseline conditions and develop predictions about the future.  Turner actively trains undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral scholars, and serves on science advisory boards for the Gila River, Rio Grande, and Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Programs.  Turner’s basic research and curatorial programs are supported by the National Science Foundation.  His applied research program is supported by the US Department of the Interior, the State of New Mexico, and non-governmental organizations like Trout Unlimited and the Nature Conservancy.  He regularly teaches Vertebrate Zoology, Ichthyology, Conservation Genetics, and Ecology and Evolution of Fishes courses, and participates in core Ecology and Evolution courses in the Department of Biology at UNM.


Karl Malcolm

Karl Malcolm is a native of rural northern Michigan. Throughout high school and college, he funded his outdoor adventures working as the first mate on a salmon boat in the Great Lakes, a fly fishing, canoeing, and hunting outfitter and guide, and through a consultancy he founded to support the development and implementation of wildlife management, research, and educational programs. Karl’s interest in nature, conservation, wildlife, and protected area management led him to study the role of nature reserves in harboring the unique biodiversity of southwestern China for his Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology, which he completed in 2011 through a joint appointment with the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. These experiences sparked an even deeper appreciation for America’s unique wealth of public lands, particularly the National Wilderness Preservation System.  Karl came to New Mexico in 2012 for his first job with the Forest Service.  He has since served in roles at the district, forest, regional, and national levels, including assignments as the Southwestern regional wilderness and wild and scenic rivers program manager, and regional wildlife ecologist.  The allure and history of Gila Country in shaping a global legacy of wildlands management was a major draw for Karl to relocate to the American Southwest, and he takes every opportunity to play and explore where cell phones can take pictures but cannot receive calls.