This is a Commentary for the 50th Anniversary Issue of Herpetological Review on the Diseases section of the journal which I initiated in December 2007. This section aimed to accelerate the pace and communication of science findings relative to herpetological emerging infectious diseases. Since the section was launched in late 2007, 185 disease articles by 594 authors have been published, including reports on seven disease-causing agents and a geographic scope spanning 42 countries and 35 US states. A world community has engaged in this work, empowering land managers, local biologists, the public, and scientists to partner and develop worthwhile science that can have management implications. These studies are often puzzle pieces of a larger picture, which has been assembled by other synthesis papers and meta-analyses. In Aldo Leopold’s words, “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” The decade since this section's initiation has seen tremendous change in how disease science is conducted, with blooming collaborations, freer information sharing, and development of coalitions to address regional disease issues. The HR Disease section documents these patterns, and the recent advent of knowledge syntheses to guide further endeavors.
Olson, Deanna. 2019. A decade of herpetological disease papers: puzzle pieces of a bigger picture. Herpetological Review. 50:1 37–40.