Tosha ComendantTosha Comendant is a scientist working at the Conservation Biology Institute (CBI), a non-profit, that provides scientific and technical expertise to support the conservation and recovery of biological diversity. She is a project lead for Data Basin, an open-access system that facilitates the conversion of scientific knowledge and information about the natural, physical, and socio-econmic world into the practice of conservation. Prior to joining CBI, she was a member of the lead science advisory team at The Nature Conservancy based in Arlington, VA. As a UC Regents Postdoctoral fellow, Tosha worked with Island Conservation to eradicate invasive rats from Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park. She received her Ph.D from University of California, Santa Cruz and worked as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley. Her research interests have spanned life-history evolution, endocrinology, biogeography, and invasive species. Her current focus is the application of conservation science to decision making.
Stephanie Hampton: And so, is that what makes it the practice of natural history, is connecting with the living thing?
Tosha Comendant: For me it is. For me it's the wonder, it's the curiosity, it's the interaction, it's the chase in some sense when it's about catching a lizard. For me it came down to that I was a great lizard catcher. Some people were good at it and some people weren't. I could get my data from that.