Rob Gandola

Postgraduate (PhD) student
I am a herpetologist, a zoologist that specialises in the study of amphibians and reptiles. To date, my research has focussed on the ecology of both tropical and native Irish species. I am also a contributing member of the IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group.

I have recently joined the AREA 52 lab group as a PhD student, where my research is focussed on the phylogeography, status and conservation of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in Madagascar. This project is in collaboration with Operation Wallacea, the University of Antananarivo and the Crocodile Management Unit (DGF). This research employs a variety of in-field, lab and statistical skills to investigate the genetic diversity, population trends and threats faced by Madagascan crocodiles as well as assist with the creation of an appropriate action plan for their conservation.

I'm the senior herpetologist at the Operation Wallacea Madagascar field site where I lead and supervise a number of diverse, on-going projects on a number of species, ranging from crocodiles and leaf-tail geckos to amphibian communities and everything in between. I also have experience conducting herpetofaunal research in Central and South America.

Closer to home, I currently hold the position of Senior Scientist for the Herpetological Society of Ireland and lead a number of projects in collaboration with Dublin City Council and the Dublin Bay Biosphere Partnership, primarily focussing on the distribution and ecology of species in the context of persisting in an increasingly urban environment. I also engage in research on non-native and invasive species.

I feel that raising awareness via public outreach and education is an essential component of any efficient management or conservation strategy and so, every now and again I manage to get myself onto the tv and radio to try push this agenda. My most recent outing was as the presenter for Dublin on RTE's 'Wild Cities' series. I'm also a contributor and consultant to Mooney Goes Wild and other Irish natural history series (Wild Ireland, Living the Wildlife).


Miralles, A., Jono, T., Mori, A., Gandola, R., Erens, J, Kohler, J., Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2016). A new perspective on the reduction of cephalic scales in fossorial legless skinks (Squamata, Scincidae). Zoologica Scripta, 45, 380-393.

Dunbar, J.P., Zarelli, M., Martin, S.A., Gandola, R., Kavanagh, K.A., Walsh, F.M., and Rivas, J.A. (2015). Trunk vertebrae osteomyelitis in a spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus). Herpetological Bulletin. (Winter) Issue 134, p15-18. 4p.

Mann, G.K.H, Long, P., Rakotondraparany, F., The Seing, S., and Gandola, R. (2015). First record of Fossa Cryptoprocta ferox in Mariarano forest, Madagascar. Small Carnivore Specialist Group Newsletter 52&53

Gandola, R. and Hendry, C.R. (2014). Lissotriton vulgaris (smooth newt): Parasitism or phoresy? Herpetological Bulletin 128 (Summer)

Evans, B., Rakotondraparany, F., Cole., Graham, S., Long, P., and Gandola, R. (2013). Carnivores of the Mariarano Forest: First insights. Small Carnivore Specialist Group Newsletter 49(4)

Gandola, R., Graham, S., Rabenandrasna, M. and Hendry, C.R. (2013). Natural history notes. Dromicodryas bernieri (Bernier's Striped snakes) Diet. Herp. Review 44(4)

Gandola, R. and Hendry, C.R. (2013). No detection of the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in a multi-species survey of Ireland's native amphibians. Herpetological Journal 23(4) 233-236.

Gandola, R., Poland, R, Rabenoro, M., Graham, S. and Hendry, C.R. (2013). Natural history notes. Crodoylus niloticus (Nile crocodile) Diet. Herp. Review 44(2)

Gandola, R. and Hendry, C.R. (2011). Natural history notes. Ctenosaura oedirhina (Roatán spiny-tailed iguana) Diet. Herp. Review 42(3)

Hendry, C.R. and Gandola, R. (2011). Natural history notes. Ctenosaura oedirhina (Roatán spiny-tailed iguana) Saurophagy. Herp. Review 42(2)

Gandola, R., Buffetaut, E., Monaghan, N., and Dyke, G. (2006). Salt glands in the fossil crocodile Metriorhynchus. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26(4), 1009-1010.