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A meeting of the world's top herpetologists every 3-4 years

The mission of the World Congress of Herpetology (WCH) is to promote herpetological research, education and conservation, by facilitating communication between individuals, societies and other organisations engaged in the study of amphibians and reptiles.

Vale Professor David Wake


The sad passing of Professor David Wake on 29 April 2021 represents the end of an era for the World Congress of Herpetology, and for the world of herpetology in general.


Every single herpetologist alive today will have been influenced – either knowingly or unknowingly – by David Wake. In addition to forging a glowing scientific career littered with awards, David Wake worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support and develop the careers of others around the world. This included chairing the committee that brought the World Congress of Herpetology into existence. David’s perceptive mind was amongst the first to identify that there was something very serious going on with amphibian declines around the world, and he was instrumental in the formation of the first initiative to do something about it – the IUCN Declining Amphibian Population Task Force.

The influence of David Wake will live on through the many students he supervised, and the many lives he touched all around the world. Our condolences go out to Marvalee and other members of his family.

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Goodbye Phil

WCH is mourning alongside the global herpetological community. This photo is from after the closing ceremony of the 9th World Congress of Herpetology in Dunedin, New Zealand on January 2020. It was organized by Phil Bishop and his team, and was one of the most successful congresses WCH has ever held. The photo below features the officers of WCH starting in 2020 to 2024, which, from the left to right, includes Alan Savitzky (Treasurer), David Bickford (IHC Chair), Phil (Secretary General Elect) and Judit Vörös (Secretary General). Who would have thought that this would be the last time we would all be together?

Phil left us on the 23rd of January 2021 and now there is a big void. Thanks to him we enjoyed an amazing congress in 2020, which was spiced by his vibrant personality and irreproducible humor. For many years, he has contributed to building and promoting WCH, as well as passionately helped with organizing the upcoming congress in Borneo, Malaysia. At this upcoming meeting set for 2024, he would have become Secretary General of the WCH.

We will miss you, Phil; from our discussions, your input in the committees, and from all the future congresses. You will be fondly remembered for your helpful and deliberate opinions, and your smart ideas. We are deeply sad that our community lost such an amazing scientist, person and leader.


Upcoming WCH10

We are pleased to announce that Kuching, Malaysia

will be the destination for the next WCH (WCH10) to be held in August 2024. More information to come!

To view an introductory ppt presentation



WCH9 in 2020

A very successful WCH9 was held between 5-10 January in Dunedin, New Zealand.

For a summary about the event

To view the archived website, click here

 To view photos taken by delegates at WCH9 click here

Aotearoa Climate Change Declaration

"Be it resolved that the participants in the 9th World Congress of Herpetology call for:

the partnership of science and society to build science-based solutions to the problems caused by carbon emissions; all air travel to the Congress to be carbon-mitigated via reputable and certified avenues, with eventual goal of being a 100% carbon-neutral Congress; renewable energy and materials alternatives, local food (including limited meat and dairy), and transparency by vendors providing services for all Congresses (including transport, housing, food, and other sectors), and recognizing and enabling resilient indigenous and local economies; and increased protection for biodiversity and wild places." 

View the full declaration here:

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