The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Dr. Philipp Wagner

former PhD student
Mail: P-Wagner [at]



Field of work

My scientific research is collection-based and focused on the systematics, evolution and conservation of reptiles, with a special emphasis on reptiles from Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. This research program includes different topics (e.g. zoogeography, evolution, ecology, paleontology) and I am familiar with a variety of methods in these disciplines.

I have published three books, more than 70 scientific (and 30 public) papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals in collaboration with international collaborators and graduate students. My publications were cited more than 230 times, with 22 citations being the highest for a single first-authored publication.  I have given 14 invited and more than 30 additional talks at national and international meetings or universities and I serve as an expert for African, Middle East and Central Asian reptiles for IUCN and TRAFFIC.

As a scientist I also provide honorable service as editor and reviewer to the scientific community. To date, I am associate editor or member of the editorial board of the following scientific journals: Bonn zoological Bulletin, Salamandra, Herpetology Notes and Sauria. Moreover I serve as reviewer for more than 25 journals e.g., Diversity & Distribution, Ecology & Evolution, and Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

Research interests

Agamid lizards are the focus of my research program as they are excellent models for studying e.g. variation, speciation, and evolution of coloration. Therefore, they can answer numerous questions in evolutionary biology and could serve as an example for developing methods of species delimitation or the study of sexual dimorphism and dichromatism. However, my taxonomic research program includes also species groups of the Gekkota, Lacertidae, Scincidae, Atractaspididae, Colubridae, and Viperidae. Moreover I have a broad overview about the entire herpetofauna in Africa, Middle East, and Central Asia, which I compiled on several field expeditions e.g., most recently to the Pamir region in Central Asia, funded by the National Geographic Society.


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