Director of Key Biodiversity Areas
Penny leads ASA’s work to identify and promote the conservation of globally important sites for amphibians, as part of the ground-breaking new Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership. As co-chair of the IUCN WCPA-SSC Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas, Penny led the development of “A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas,” for which she received the George Rabb Award for Conservation Innovation from the IUCN Species Survival Commission. Equally passionate about amphibians, Penny studied the impact of chytridiomycosis on the common coqui frog in Puerto Rico for her PhD, exploring the conditions under which this emerging infectious disease can drive populations to extinction. Penny co-facilitates the Infectious Disease Working Group for the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, together with Reid Harris, and maintains active research collaborations with the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, where she is an adjunct professor of biology.