Prof. (Rtd.) Dr. Muhammad Sharif Khan was born
in 1939. He Graduated from University of the Punjab in 1960 and obtained M.Sc.
in Zoology from Punjab University, Lahore in 1963. He was awarded a Gold Medal
for standing first in the M.Sc. final examination. He started his carrier from
Government T.I. College, Rabwah as Lecturer in 1963 and left that college
after about 38 years after his retirement. He spent 38 years in this small
town, and acclaimed international fame. He proved himself as the lone
herpetologist of Pakistan.
Dr. Khan started working on herps of Pakistan
when the knowledge about herps in Pakistan was about nil. When his first
research article was published in 1965 in Biologia, Lahore which was based on
his M.Sc. thesis "Development of Bufo melanostictus," Dr. Robert
Mertens from Germany sent a letter to Dr. Khan correcting the name of the toad
as Bufo stomaticus on which Dr. Khan and his supervisor had worked for
about 2 years. This shows the level of knowledge about amphibians among the
zoologists in Pakistan at that time.
Dr. Khan pioneered the study of herps in
Pakistan. Dr. Khan has searched almost every corner of Pakistan for reptiles
and amphibians and discovered 34 new species, which include 11 snakes, 15
lizards and 8 amphibians.
Prof. Khan has published about 200 research
papers in different scientific journals of the world. He has also published 10
books on amphibians and reptiles of Pakistan in English, Urdu and German
languages which included (i) A color guide to the amphibians and reptiles of
Pakistan. Krieger Publishing Company, Melbourne, Florida 32902, USA, 2001 (ii)
Die Schlangen Pakistans, Bucher-Kreth GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, 2001, (iii)
The Snakes of Pakistan, Bucher-Kreth GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, 2001, (iv)
Amphibians and reptiles of Pakistan, Urdu Science Board, 299-Upper Mall,
Lahore, 2000 in Urdu, (v) Snakes of Pakistan, Urdu Science Board, 299-Upper
Mall, Lahore pp. 299 (in Urdu) (vi) A field guide to the identification of Herps of Pakistan. Part-I: Amphibia. Biological Society of Pakistan, Lahore
1987, (vii) A field guide to the identification of Herps of Pakistan.
Part-II: Chelonia, Biological Society of Pakistan, Lahore, 1990, (viii)
venomous terrestrial snakes of Pakistan snake bite problem, In: Snakes of
medical importance (Asia-pacific region), pp. 419-446, P.
Gopalakrishnaconc and L.M. Chou (eds). National University of Singapore 1990,
(ix) Amphibians, Lizards, Turtles and Snakes. Chapter 2 In: Wildlife of
Pakistan, Urdu Science Board, 299-Upper Mall, Lahore 1991 (In Urdu), (x)
Endangered species of reptiles of Pakistan and suggested conservation
measures, pp. 42-45, In: Handbook published to mark second seminar on "Nature
Conservation and Environmental Protection," 12 March 1991, Islamabad,
Wildlife Conservation Foundation, Islamabad,
Dr. Khan has worked on different research
projects with WWF-Pakistan and Pakistan Science Foundation. He has supervised
a number of M.Sc theses. After his retirement, he donated all his collection
to the Natural History Museum, Government College, Lahore, which includes a
countless number of different species of amphibians and reptiles.
Dr. Khan has trained a number of young
scientists which are forwarding his mission. Now Dr. Khan is spending a
retired life in USA with his son. In recongnition of his contribution to the
field of Herpetology Dr. Khan was awarded the Zoologist of the year award in
- PROCEEDINGS OF PAKISTAN CONGRESS OF
ZOOLOGY, Volume 22, 2002. Twenty Second Pakistan congress of Zoology, The
Zoological Society of Pakistan, April 16 2002 to April 18, 2002.