Chuck Knapp, Ph.D.
Vice President, Conservation Research
Charles Knapp heads a rigorous conservation research program that includes his own groundbreaking fieldwork with endangered iguanas.
Ph.D. - Wildlife conservation and ecology, University of Florida
“My favorite thing about Shedd is the enthusiasm and passion of the people who work at the organization. Their love for the animals is apparent every day. I also am excited about the increased enthusiasm and organizational support for our conservation and research programs.”
Chuck Knapp oversees Shedd's conservation research programs with the goal of saving wild animals and imperiled ecosystems. His programs support Shedd’s mission to protect the aquatic animal world and inspire the public to become environmental stewards who protect aquatic life for future generations. He also oversees the crew, scheduling and budgeting for Shedd’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II.
For more than two decades, Knapp has advanced conservation initiatives in the United States and abroad. Using iguanas as model organisms, his research focuses on understanding the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on endangered taxa and designing conservation strategies to prevent further population declines and habitat degradation. His work with students, citizens, government officials and scientists led to the expansion of West Side National Park in the Bahamas, a considerable achievement in the region.
Knapp began working at Shedd as an 18-year-old volunteer, and three years later he was hired as the first tide pool aquarist in the Abbott Oceanarium. Later, as an aquarist in Shedd’s original galleries, he garnered extensive experience working with Caribbean and freshwater fish species while developing a lifelong passion for West Indian rock iguanas.
Knapp has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed journal publications and book chapters. He is co-chair of the IUCN Iguana Specialist Group, assessor of three species for the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and a science advisor to the Bahamas National Trust. Knapp also teaches marine and island ecology of the Bahamas to college students enrolled in a Shedd-based program with the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA).
Knapp received his Ph.D. and M.S. in wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Florida and was a conservation research postdoctoral fellow with the Institute for Conservation Research at the San Diego Zoo.
Iverson, J. B., K. Francois, J. Jollay, S. D. Buckner, C. R. Knapp. (2017). Cyclura cychlura figginsi. Allogrooming. Herpetological Review, 48, 188.
Stump, K. L., Dahlgren, C. P., Sherman, K. D. & Knapp, C. R. (2017). Migration patterns of Nassau Grouper suggest the collapse of a historic fish spawning aggregation and existence of an undocumented aggregation. Bulletin of Marine Science, 93, 375-389. doi.org/10.5343/bms.2016.1042
Stump, K.L., C.P. Dahlgren, K.D. Sherman, C.R. Knapp. 2017. Nassau Grouper migration patterns during full moon suggest collapsed historic fish spawning aggregation and evidence of an undocumented aggregation. Bulletin of Marine Science. https://doi.org/10.5343/bms.20...
Iverson, J.B., Grant, T. D., Knapp, C. R. & Pasachnik, S. A. (eds.). 2016. Iguanas: Biology, Systematics, and Conservation. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 11 (Monograph 6). http://www.herpconbio.org/cont...
Knapp, C. R., Prince, L., & James, A. (2016). Movements and nesting of the Lesser Antillean Iguana (Iguana delicatissima) from Dominica, West Indies: implications for conservation. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 11, 154-167.
Knapp, C. R., & Alvarez-Clare, S. (2016). Influence of morphological, chemical and physical leaf traits on food selection of a herbivorous iguana from The Bahamas. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 32(01), 75-78.
Knapp, C. R. (2015). Staying high and dry: a unique nesting strategy for an insular iguana. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13(2), 114-115.
Martin, J. L., Knapp, C. R., Gerber, G. P., Thorpe, R. S., & Welch, M. E. (2015). Phylogeography of the Endangered Lesser Antillean Iguana, Iguana delicatissima: A Recent Diaspora in an Archipelago Known for Ancient Herpetological Endemism. Journal of Heredity, 106(3), 315-321.
Durden, L. A., Knapp, C. R., Beati, L., & Dold, S. (2015). Reptile-associated ticks from Dominica and The Bahamas with notes on hyperparasitic erythraeid mites. Journal of Parasitology, 101(1), 24-27.
Knapp, C. R. 2015. Staying high and dry: a unique nesting strategy for an insular iguana. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 13:114–115.
Knapp, C., Breuil, M., Rodriques, C., and Iverson, J (eds.) (2014). Lesser Antillean Iguana, Iguana delicatissima: Conservation Action Plan, 2014–2016. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist Group. 42 pp.
Lesniak, T. C., Schirmer, A. E., & Knapp, C. R. (2015). Evaluating the role of temperature in the reproduction of the Yellow stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis). Zoo Biology, 34(1), 33-39.
Colosimo, G., Knapp, C. R., Wallace, L. E., & Welch, M. E. (2014). Inferred vs realized patterns of gene flow: an analysis of population structure in the Andros Island Rock Iguana. PloS One, 9(9), e106963.
Knapp, C. R., Hines, K. N., Zachariah, T. T., Perez-Heydrich, C., Iverson, J. B., Buckner, S. D., ... & Romero, L. M. (2013). Physiological effects of tourism and associated food provisioning in an endangered iguana. Conservation Physiology, 1(1), cot032.
Knapp, C. R., Durden, L. A., & Klompen, H. (2012). Iguana delicatissima. Ectoparasitism. Herpetological Review, 43, 134.
Wojick, K. B., Naples, L. M., & Knapp, C. R. (2013). Ocular health assessment, tear production, and intraocular pressure in the Andros Island iguana (Cyclura cychlura cychlura). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 44(1), 116-123.
Luther, B., C. R. Knapp, D. U. Greene, S. D. Buckner, and J. B. Iverson. 2012. Cyclura cychlura figginsi. Rodent kill. Herpetological Review 43:483.
Martin, J. L., C. R. Knapp, G. P. Gerber, R. S. Thorpe, and M. E. Welch. 2015. Phylogeography of the endangered Lesser Antillean iguana, Iguana delicatissima: a recent diaspora in an archipelago known for ancient herpetological endemism. Journal of Heredity 106:315–321.
Durden, L. A., C. R. Knapp, L. Beati, and S. Dold. 2015. Reptile-associated ticks from Dominica and the Bahamas with notes on hyperparasitic erythraeid mites. Journal of Parasitology 101:24–27.
Lesniak, T. C., A. E. Schirmer, and C. R. Knapp. 2015. Evaluating the role of temperature in the reproduction of the Yellow Stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis). Zoo Biology 34:33–39.
Colosimo, G., C. R. Knapp, L. E. Wallace, and M. E. Welch. 2014. Inferred vs realized patterns of gene flow: An analysis of population structure in the Andros Island Rock Iguana. PLOS ONE 9(9): e106963. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106963.
Knapp, C. R., K. N. Hines, T. Zachariah, C. Perez-Heydrich, J. B. Iverson, S. D. Buckner, S. C. Halach, C. R. Lattin, and L. M. Romero. 2013. Physiological effects of tourism and associated food provisioning in an endangered iguana. Conservation Physiology 1: doi:10.1093/conphys/cot032.
Capen, T., A. Schirmer, and C. R. Knapp. 2013. Ultrasound evidence of fetal resorption in the yellow stingray, Urobatis jamaicensis (Urotrygonidae). Cybium 37:314–316.
Hayes, W. K., J. B. John B. Iverson, C. R. Knapp, and R. L. Carter. 2012. Do invasive rodents impact endangered insular iguana populations? Biodiversity and Conservation 21:1893–1899.
Knapp, C. R., & Perez-Heydrich, C. (2012). Using non-conspicuous metrics to examine selected impacts of disturbance on a long-lived reptile. Endangered Species Research, 17(3), 193-200.
Hyatt, M. W., Anderson, P. A., O'Donnell, P. M., & Berzins, I. K. (2012). Assessment of acid–base derangements among Bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo), Bull (Carcharhinus leucas), and Lemon (Negaprion brevirostris) sharks from gillnet and longline capture and handling methods. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 162(2), 113-120.
Knapp, C. 2011. Andros Iguana Research Spotlight. Trust Notes: The Newsletter of the Bahamas National Trust 7(1):2-3.
Iverson, J. B., C. R. Knapp, K. N. Hines, S. A. Pasachnik, and L. Pieper. 2011. Cychlura cychlura inornata. Mortality. Herpetological Review 42:274.
Knapp, C. and L. Pagni (eds.). 2011. Andros Iguana Conservation Action Plan, 2005–2011. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN/SSC Iguana Specialist Group. 24 pp. ISBN: 978-2-8317-1402-8
Knapp, C. R., J. B. Iverson, S. D. Buckner, and S. V. Cant. 2011. Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles in The Bahamas. Pages 53–87 In A. Hailey, B. S. Wilson, and J. Horrocks, eds. Conservation of Caribbean Island Herpetofaunas, Vol 2 Regional Accounts of the West Indies, Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Knapp, C. R., S. Alvarez-Clare, and C. Perez-Heydrich. 2010. The influence of landscape heterogeneity and dispersal on survival of neonate insular iguanas. Copeia 2010:62–70.
Hines, K. N., C. R. Knapp, T. T. Zachariah, J. B. Iverson, and G. R. Smith. 2010. Cychlura cychlura inornata. Paraphimosis and prolapsed cloaca. Herpetological Review 41:77–78.
Goodman, R. M., C. R. Knapp, K. A. Bradley, G. P. Gerber, and A. C. Alberts. 2009. Review of radio transmitter attachment methods for West Indian rock iguanas (genus Cyclura). Applied Herpetology 6:151–170.
Knapp, C. R., and A. K. Owens. 2008. Nesting behavior and the use of termitaria by the Andros Iguana (Cyclura cychlura cychlura). Journal of Herpetology 42:46–53.
Knapp, C. 2008. Iguanas in the stream. Caribbean Compass No. 159:27–29.
Knapp, C. R., and A. K. Owens. 2008. Cyclura cychlura cychlura. Attempted Predation. Herpetological Review39:221–222.
Owens, A. K., and C. R. Knapp. 2007. Cyclura cychlura cychlura. Scoliosis; Kyphosis. Herpetological Review 38:454–455.
Knapp, C. R. 2007. The potential for iguana-based ecotourism on Andros: A first assessment. The Bahamas Naturalist and Journal of Science 2:10–17.
Knapp, C. R., J. B. Iverson, and A. K. Owens. 2006. Geographic variation in nesting behavior and reproductive biology of an insular iguana (Cyclura cychlura). Canadian Journal of Zoology84:1566–1575.
Knapp, C. R., andP. Gomez-Zlatar. 2006. Iguanidae or Iguaninae? A taxonomic summary and literature-use analysis.Herpetological Review 37:29–34.
Knapp, C. 2006. Out of the cooking pot: integrating education into field research for the Andros iguana. Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Connect November:50.
Knapp, C. R., and A. K. Owens. 2005. Home range and habitat associations of a Bahamian iguana: implications for conservation. Animal Conservation 8:269–278.
Durden, L. A., and C. R. Knapp. 2005.Ticks parasitizing reptiles in the Bahamas. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 19:326–328.
Iverson, J. B., S. A. Pasachnik, C. R. Knapp, and S. D. Buckner. 2005. Cyclura cychlura. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 810:1–9.
Knapp, C. R. 2005. Working to save the Andros iguana. Iguana 12:8–13.
Knapp, C. R., and A. K. Owens. 2005. An effective new radio transmitter attachment technique for lizards. Herpetological Review 36:264–266.
Knapp, C. R. 2004. Ecotourism and its potential impacts on iguana conservation in the Caribbean. Pages 290–301 In A. C. Alberts, R. L. Carter, W. K. Hayes, and E. P. Martins, eds. Iguanas: Biology and Conservation, University of California Press, Berkeley.
Knapp C. R., and R. D. Hudson. 2004. Translocation strategies as a conservation tool for West Indian iguanas: Evaluations and recommendations. Pages 199–209 In A. C. Alberts, R. L. Carter, W. K. Hayes, and E. P. Martins, eds. Iguanas: Biology and Conservation, University of California Press, Berkeley.
Owens, A. K., and C. R. Knapp. 2004. Leiocephalus carinatus coryi. Nest location. Herpetological Review 35:392–393.
Shipley, O.N., K.J. Murchie, F.G. Frisk, O.R. O’Shea, M.M. Winchester, E.J. Brooks, J. Pearson, M. Power. (2018). Trophic niche dynamics of three nearshore benthic predators in The Bahamas. Hydrobiologia 813:177-188.