Welcome! I'm Ryan Wagner

I am a herpetologist and wildlife photographer. My research focuses on the ecology and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. I use photography and storytelling to connect my audience with the rarely seen sides of their local ecosystems.

Ryan Wagner

Research · Photography · Storytelling

Timber Rattlesnake


As a Master’s student at the Ohio State University, my research focuses on the spatial ecology and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. Broadly speaking, I am interested in anthropogenic changes to the environment and their effects on herpetofauna. My research aims to better understand how organisms are distributed on the landscape and how human impacts are influencing those distributions. I use a combination of field observation, experimentation, and quantitative modeling to inform wildlife management strategies.



My photography has always been closely tied to my research projects. I find that images are one of the best ways to connect a broad audience with science and the environment. I specialize in reptile and amphibian portraiture. In recent years, I have expanded my photography to document my research and the work of my fellow wildlife biologists. I hope that my images can broaden the public’s understanding and appreciation of ecology and wildlife science. In the often technical world of wildlife biology, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.



Telling stories about my experiences with wildlife and scientific research has been an important part of my life as a scientist. Narratives about contemporary  conservation issues can often feel full of ‘doom and gloom,’ so I aim to craft stories that connect my readers with the world around them, inspire a scientific mindset, and create the drive to turn that mindset into conservation action. I believe there is nothing more powerful than a good story, illustrated with stunning photography, and supported with robust science.