Carl Hutter is broadly interested in molecular phylogenetics, macroevolution, and biogeography using amphibians and reptiles. As a polliwog, Hutter was an avid herpetologist, frequenting the turtle pond he lived near in rural Wisconsin. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin — Madison in Wildlife Ecology and Biological Conservation. During undergraduate, Hutter studied abroad in Ecuador and volunteered at several cloud forest reserves, discovering that much remains to be learned about amphibian diversity in the tropics. Hutter discovered and described several new species of frog and published several natural history observations. In one of these, Hutter documented the combat behavior of a species of glassfrog for territory. After graduating, Hutter attended Stony Brook University in New York, where he earned a Masters degree in Ecology and Evolution with Dr. John Wiens. For his Masters, Hutter studied the ecological and evolutionary causes of species richness patterns for glassfrogs in the Andes Mountains.
Hutter is now a PhD student in the KU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and KU Herpetology. He currently uses molecular phylogenetics, frog acoustic signals, and ecological information to investigate species co-occurrences and assemblage structure in frogs. He is also studying convergent evolution of frog signals and morphology with different habitat types on a global scale. Fieldwork is a crucial aspect of Hutter’s research, and he plans on studying a variety of frog communities globally to address these questions. Through Hutter’s fieldwork in South America and Madagascar, he has gained an appreciation for the incredible biodiversity in the tropics. Much of this biodiversity is unknown and increasingly threatened. Hutter strives to describe these unknown taxa from his study sites where biodiversity is underestimated, which can be used to inform conservation action. Hutter and his collaborators are currently working to publish an updated assessment of the taxonomic diversity of Madagascar, focusing on the incredible of Ranomafana National Park.