I am a zoologist, and in 1982 started to work in the Department of Zoology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary. In 2013, I was appointed as General Director for the Museum. As Curator of the Myriapoda (many-legged arthropods) Collection in the Museum, my main research interests are taxonomy, systematics, faunistics, geography and ecology of millipedes (Diplopoda) and centipedes (Chilopoda). My major contribution to this subject is a modern identification book on Hungarian millipedes – still in progress. In addition to the millipede fauna of the Carpathian Basin, I mainly work on East Asiatic millipedes (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Himalayas), but also have participated at collecting trips to the Caucasus, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines as well.
My recent research project (2007-2012) is to outline a biogeographical analysis and to discover new species in the millipede fauna of Taiwan and the surrounding archipelagos (Japan: the Ryukyus, the Philippines). Three biogeographical regions (Oriental, Palaearctic, and Southeast-Asian tropical) encounter here, and the situation provides an interesting study for speciation and evolution of soil animals. Between August 2009 and December 2012, I spent 34 months in the Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, as invited professor. I have visited 53 islands of the Ryukyu Archipelago, and built a millipede reference collection of about 1200 vials, with many new island records, and up to now 12 new species to science.
Apart of myriapodology, since the beginning of my studies I have worked with reptiles and amphibians as well. My main herpetological interest focuses on the population biology and conservation of Hungarian reptile species. I have represented herpetological research and conservation in a number of international fora (such as Vice Secretary of the European Herpetological Society [= SEH], and as Chairman of the Council of Europe Bern Convention Group of Experts on European Amphibians and Reptiles). For more than 15 years, an important topic of my research has been the ecological study of the endangered snake, the Hungarian Meadow Viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) which nowadays only occurs in the territory of Hungary. Presently I am also investigating the population distribution, biology, conservation genetics and phylogeography of the Balkan Whipsnake (Hierophis caspius) and the Pannonian Snake-eyed skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri) in Hungary. With Hungarian and foreign colleagues, I have participated in conservation assessments of exotic herptiles in their natural habitat as well,forexample of the Günther's Gecko (Phelsuma guentheri) on Round Island, Mauritius, of the Milos Viper (Macrovipera schweizeri) on Milos, Greece, and of the Giant Hierro Lizard (Gallotia simonyi), El Hierro, Canary Islands. Inthe latest international herpetological co-operation with the South African Stellenbosch University, we studied the biological and nature conservation importance of melanistic (black) populations of the Cape Kingdom saurofauna.
As a university teacher, I took part in the education of applied zoologists at the Szent István University, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Institute of Biology, teaching the subjects of "Zootaxonomy" and "Zoosystematics". In 2005 I achieved habilitation, and was appointed associate professor, since 2008 I am Head of the Auxiliary Department of Zootaxonomy.
I am Vice President of the Hungarian Biological Society, a member of the Hungarian Entomological Society and of the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (BirdLife Hungary). I was elected as Vice President for the International Society of Myriapodology at its 13th International Congress in Görlitz, Germany, 2008. Since 2006 I am the editor-in-chief of the long-standing Hungarian scientific journal "Zoological Communications". I have taken part in museum collecting trips and study tours to over50countries. My list of publications enumerates 165 papers, and I have described 38 new millipede species for science.