Our Staff

"To conserve rattlesnakes and their habitat through research and education".
Tony Daly-Crews

President and Executive Director

Tony Daly-Crews is the director of the The Rattlesnake Conservancy, a passionate field biologist, and veteran. As a native Floridian growing up in Ocala, he spent a lot of time outdoors. Tony studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of North Florida. Research he was involved in was primarily focused on management and restoration of Florida scrub, focused on reptile and amphibian management.

 

Tony has been part of various aspects of venomous herpetology, from instructing new keepers to participating in the rule making process for venomous in Florida. In 2016, he served as a member of the Venomous Reptile Technical Assistance Group (VRTAG) for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and worked with a group of professionals to improve and update current rules regarding captive venomous reptiles. 

As the Executive Director of TRC, he is involved with large scale planning of conservation projects, coordination with other organizations and zoos, fundraising, and field research when he is able to make time!

 

Outside of his work with TRC, he has worked for the federal government for 5 years. His career began as a regulatory biologist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He now works and resides in Phoenix, AZ, as the Regional Biologist for Western Area Power Administration under the Department of Energy.

Tiffany Bright
SE Regional Director
 

Tiffany Bright is a Florida Master Naturalist with special training in natural resources advocacy and years of experience working with non profit organizations in fundraising, event planning, marketing, educational programs, and community outreach.

She is an outdoor educator with Project Learning Tree, a program of The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, with designations in environmental experiences for early childhood, urban forests, and environmental education for grades PK-8. She served on the board of the Free Range Learning Cooperative for three years, maintains a Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification, and is a nature guide with First Coast Explorers - a group that provides children in Northeast Florida with outdoor, adventure-based educational opportunities and experiences. Tiffany believes that providing environmental education and instilling a love for nature in children plays a vital role in conservation.

Derek Dykstra
Collections Manager, Director of Education
 

Derek has had a passion for wildlife and conservation since he was young. He started his career in wildlife while attending Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo (SFTZ) in Gainesville, FL and working as a zookeeper while earning his degree in Zoo Animal Technology. .While at SFTZ, Derek honed in on reptiles as a specialty, volunteering with us and Ashton Biological Preserve. After graduating, Derek took on a dual internship with TRC & Ashton and developed his skills as an educator, field technician and keeper. He has also since, expanded his knowledge and experience with venomous reptiles by working with many other exotic species of venomous snakes.

Currently, Derek works with The Rattlesnake Conservancy to develop and implement educational programs, give presentations and coordinate outreach programs, oversee our collection of reptiles, venomous and non, and teach our Venomous Handling Certification Courses..

Kim Daly-Crews doing hormone research at her full time job with the South-east Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation!

Noah Mueller, Ph. D
Research Associate
 

Noah Mueller is a board member of the The Rattlesnake Conservancy.  Growing up in Indiana he spent many of years of his youth in the rural countryside of the Midwest chasing frogs and garter snakes.  After completing a B.S. in Wildlife Management and a M.S. in Forestry and Natural Resources from Purdue University, he moved to Florida and earned his doctoral degree in Geography.  As an avid photographer, traveler, and lover of adventure, he has spent many years exploring Florida in search of remote landscapes and rarely seen animals.  Currently, he is employed as a teacher for the state of Florida and lives in Gainesville with his wife and an ever changing collection of snakes.

Kim Daly-Crews
Research Associate
 

Early in her adult life, Kim wanted to be a zoo keeper so she could work with large mammals. She attended the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo to learn the necessary skills of the trade. After meeting Tony and moving to Jacksonville, she began taking classes at the University of North Florida and later graduated with a bachelors degree in Biology. While at UNF, Kim became involved with a lab doing reproductive studies, her life plan took a serious turn and is now a full time employee with the lab.

Kim spends her spare time crafting and caring for the non-venomous and non-reptilian pets at home. Kim works on coordinating our research projects and works with her job doing enzyme immunoassays.

Jill Rials
Director
 
Paula Crews
Director
 

After years in the corporate world, Paula felt the need for a big change. Armed with a business degree, she and her young family purchased an existing pet shop and began to learn the “business” of animals. Fairly quickly, she realized her passion lay more with exotic mammals, reptiles, arachnids and amphibians so she re-organized and together with her husband, Matthew Crews, opened Wild Things Exotic Animals in Middleburg, Florida, specializing in the animals she loves so much. Having a brick and mortar shop has given her and her amazing staff the platform to educate people and de-bunk myths  urrounding these beautiful and important animals. Her
passion has taken her herping in Arizona, exploring the Amazon river basin, and walking the jungles of Thailand among other places in search of the most elusive creatures. In her free time, she and her husband surround themselves with albino alligators, albino eastern diamondbacks, giant pythons, crocodiles and all manner of venomous snakes!

Jill Rials began her involvement with reptiles as an exotic boa and python enthusiast over twenty years ago. Eventually, her focus shifted to the native reptiles and amphibians of the Sonoran Desert. She has worked as a relocation specialist for Rattlesnake Solutions for the past six years, assisting homeowners and unwanted reptiles to part ways unharmed. She also developed and oversees Rattlesnake Solutions’ avoidance training program for dogs.

Jill was named Education Coordinator for the Arizona Herpetological Association in 2014 and serves as a liaison for our community in order to provide factual information and dispel the common myths about these often misunderstood denizens that we share our desert homes with. She is one of 3 permit holders for the AHA. She privately maintains 20 of the 42 species that comprise the AHA’s impressive rattlesnake display.

Lauren Griffin
Director

Joseph Colbert grew up in Columbia, SC. In 2002, following the events of September 11th, at 19 years old Joseph enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman. After two combat deployments he went to college at the University of South Carolina. In search of a profession that was critically needed, and service driven, he was introduced to a wildlife research internship that involved plant and herpetological surveys, and Eastern diamondback rattlesnake and canebrake rattlesnake radio tracking. Wildlife research got into his blood, and he couldn’t picture himself doing much else after that. Following graduation, Joseph enrolled in two yearlong national service contracts as an AmeriCorps service member with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center Research Department, that involved establishing predator monitoring projects, including eastern diamondback rattlesnake research. Following AmeriCorps, he enrolled in graduate school at University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology, where he was selected as one of sixty students nationally, and the first UGA student to become a Tillman Scholar based on leadership and record service, which he considers his most meaningful affiliation. His Master’s thesis involved monitoring plant and trophic wildlife community response to the reintroduction of prescribed fire in rare maritime grasslands. Armed with a M.S. in Ecology, in 2016 Joseph rejoined the Jekyll Island Conservation Department as their first community Wildlife Manager. His background involves working predominately with terrestrial wildlife in developed coastal landscapes, human wildlife interactions, population ecology, and habitat ecology, all important skills that he will continue to use to make positive advancements in rattlesnake conservation.

Joseph Colbert
Director, Research Associate
 

Lauren Griffin's interest in herpetology began when she was given a "Poisonous Snakes" coloring book as a child. As snakes are difficult to find in the suburbs where she grew up, she spent most summers flipping rocks in the backyard in search of toads and trying to catch leopard frogs at a nearby pond. Her passion for the natural world and protecting it led her to earn her PhD in environmental sociology studying climate change in the media. Her research interests are at the intersection of conservation, communication, and public health. 

 

Lauren uses her training as a social scientist to assist The Rattlesnake Conservancy in developing tools to measure attitudes towards wildlife and the impact of outreach events. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for The Rattlesnake Conservancy, she manages communications for Ashton Biological Preserve and co-organizes Frog Drinks, a monthly environmental networking event in the Gainesville, Florida area. Lauren currently works in research regulations and resides in Gainesville with her husband and their many beloved snakes.

Ryan Zach
Director

Ryan is a self-proclaimed herp nerd and has been working with Reptiles for about 25 years now.  The past 20 years Ryan has spent working with Herps in a professional capacity, including his current role as collections Manager of Ectotherms at the Phoenix Zoo.  Ryan is an avid outdoorsman, who loves hiking, boating, camping etc, and he is a massive college football fan, Go Canes!  "I am Privileged to say I am a United States Air Force Veteran and Come from a long, proud history of Military members in my family.  I have been involved with the Rattlesnake Conservancy for about 6 years now and looking forward to helping carry the top-notch tradition of this organization." 

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Jacksonville, FL |  savethebuzztails@hotmail.com  |  1-800-690-5638

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© 2019 The Rattlesnake Conservancy, 501(c)(3) corporation