Scientists Are Tweeting Photos Of Themselves With Reptiles And Amphibians

“I wanted to remind people that some of us love to get muddy and catch awesome critters.”

1. Kirsten Hecht, a PhD student at the University of Florida, started the hashtag #HERpers to highlight the work of women in herpetology – the study of reptiles and amphibians.

2. Since then plenty of other women in science have taken up the call, tweeting photos of themselves in the field.

3. Hecht told BuzzFeed News the hashtag came about when she was with female colleagues on her way to a herpetology meeting last weekend.

4. “We were joking around about being a female herpetology gang,” said Hecht. “I kept thinking about how I know some really fantastic hard-working female herpetologists.”

5. “With the popularity of #WomeninSTEM, it seemed like it would be a great time to highlight all the science and conservation work being done by women in our field.”

6. “I also wanted to remind people that some of us love to get muddy and catch awesome critters.”

#HERpers this hashtag rocks!

— Amanda Sargent (@theamandafiles)

7. All kinds of critters are being shared on the hashtag. So far there have been lots of snakes.

Pretty Arizona elegans in 2012. Love seeing the tagged photos from #HERpers #LeadByExample

— Nicole F. Angeli (@Auratus_Nicole)

Racers rock! #HERpers

— Lisa Powers (@FroghavenFarm)

9. Some salamanders.

My current grad students are all awesome #HERpers! Amber Stedman (L) & Jenny Sutherland (R) with Ambystoma last year

— Katy Greenwald (@amphibs)

Nope not field work. Just first (Nov!) cold snap in Baton Rouge 😆 Ambystoma opacum Love #HERpers @HellbenderHecht!

— Cathy Newman (@cenewman0)

Challenge accepted, @HellbenderHecht. Here's me with my first siren ~1 year ago :) #HERpers #WomenInSTEM

— katie o'donnell (@katie_m_o)

12. And frogs and toads.

I adore frogs and toads! Hunting and watching tadpoles metamorphose made me a biologist. #HERpers

— Lady Gonopodia (@LizMarchio)

"Is that a spring peeper on your shoulder?" "Naturally." #HERpers

— Cathy Bell (@CathyMBell)

14. Even some alligators.

#Alligators big and small, I count them all... for my PhD research #HERpers

— Abby Lawson (@AbsLawson)

15. Some of the creatures are pretty tiny.

Love the new #HERpers hashtag. Posed for a pic with this cutie during field work (while pregnant!) - Oregon 2014

— Salamanda (@ajzellmer)

With a grass lizard in South Africa in 2009, when I decided herps are the best #HERpers

— Ambika Kamath (@ambikamath)

A young herper in action #HERpers #WomenInSTEM

— Pythons (@mylittlepython)

18. Others are a little harder to miss.

Boy: "You're not scared of snakes, but you're a girl." Me: I'm not scared, because I'm a girl. Boy: Cool #HERpers

— Kaytee Smith (@SciKaytee)

I've shared this one before, but it's too fun not to add to the #HERpers collection. Yoga with water snakes!

— Katy Greenwald (@amphibs)

20. Keep up the awesome work, #HERpers!

Being a girl in herpetology has always been challenging - but it's made me the person I am today! #HERpers

— Amanda Sargent (@theamandafiles)

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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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