A totally serious herpetological podcast

About the podcast

SquaMates is a very serious herpetological podcast where we talk about the most recent big developments in herpetology, focussing especially on groundbreaking studies, or those that tie together many small pieces to bring new insights. We also talk about evolution, conservation, and herpetoculture.

The podcast is divided into sections. Currently, these are:


Wherein we talk about places we ‘eft’ up in the previous episodes and provide follow-up on the research we talked about.

Works in Froggress

Wherein we talk about what we’ve been working on recently

Breaking Newts

Wherein we discuss the biggest and most important herpetological stories of the last month


Wherein we discuss the works and contributions of a particular female herpetologist each episode


Wherein we talk in more detail about a particular topic.

Questions from Lizardners

Where we answer questions from YOU, the listeners! Have a question? Send it our way!

About the hosts

Gabriel Ugueto

Gabriel is a scientific illustrator, paleoartist and herpetologist. He does reconstructions and illustrations of both extinct and extant animals. He specializes in illustrations of tetrapods. Gabriel studied graphic design and illustration but grew up loving reptiles and amphibians, and for several years worked on the systematics and taxonomy of the South American herpetofauna as an independent researcher. He has authored numerous papers, including the description of several new species of neotropical lizards and various taxonomic revisions.

Currently, Gabriel works solely as a freelance scientific illustrator and paleoartist. His work has appeared in books, museums, journals, magazines, and TV documentaries. Recently, he was responsible for creating the concept art used to render the CGI animation that appeared in the BBC Two documentary “The Real T. rex with Chris Packham”. He has also done several illustrations for the book series “So You Think You Know About… Dinosaurs?” by evolutionary biologist and broadcaster Ben Garrod. Presently, Gabriel is preparing a book showcasing numerous examples of his paleoart, entitled “Journey To The Mesozoic vol. I: Tetrapods Of The Triassic And Jurassic”, intended to be published in 2019. Gabriel strives to make his reconstructions of extinct species appear as animals that could be alive today, not as monsters from a sci-fi movie. Gabriel tweets @Serpenillus.

Ethan Kocak

Ethan is a cartoonist, illustrator and herpetoculturist. His work has been featured on Scientific American’s website, and most recently the book he illustrated, Does It Fart? was an international bestseller and made the New York Times bestsellers list. He also draws the free webcomics BlackMudpuppy.com and PunchEveryone.com. While his career is drawing cartoons, his hobby has been keeping and breeding reptiles and amphibians for the last 28 years, especially salamanders and geckos. Currently, his basement is home to more herps than the local zoo (not a joke) and one lungfish named Trevor. Ethan tweets @Blackmudpuppy.

Mark D. Scherz

Mark is a herpetologist currently working on wrapping up the final few chapters of his PhD on the reptiles and amphibians of Madagascar. He studies their systematics and taxonomy, as well as their evolutionary history, with his major focusses being mantelline and cophyline frogs, and chameleons as a whole. Mark has co-authored quite a few papers during his PhD research and has described over 50 new species of frogs and lizards. He is also currently looking for a PostDoc in evolutionary and adaptive genomics—if you are interested in hiring him, get in touch. Mark blogs at www.markscherz.com and tweets @MarkScherz.