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Meet the Team


Torsten Blanck

Founder & Executive Director

Torsten has been keeping and breeding Asian Turtles and especially Cuoras since three decades and travels through Asia in his mission to see every Cuora species in the wild to further improve his understanding of this fascinating Genus


Tanja Blanck-Kremser MSc

Zoological Curator

Tanja acts as our zoological Curator and oversees and manages our ever growing collection. Being married to an Cuora afficionado she keeps the balance at the CCC, especially when Torsten is in the field.


Johannes Wipplinger MSc


Hannes runs his Vet Clinic in Frauental and Wies, Austria, his main interest being exotic animal species, as such fitting perfectly in the role of our veterinarian in charge.


Maik Pressnitz MSc


Maik who holds his Master of Science in Biology works as a Botanist and spends his spare time as a volunteer in our zoological facility

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Kerstin Dengg MSc


Kerstin who holds her Master of Science in Biology works as a teacher and spends her spare time as a volunteer in our zoological facility


Julia Lamprecht MSc

Former Volunteer

Julia volunteered at our facility and is still a warmly welcomed guest, now fully focusing as a zoological Curator at Turtle Island in Graz


Peter Praschag PhD


Peter - known from Media as the Turtle Hero, is the founder and director of Turtle Island who has the ultimate goal to save every turtle species on earth from extinction.

Turtle Island is our closest Partner.


Elmar Meier


Elmar is likely the most successfull Cuora breeder on this planet. He has setup and managed the IZS in Münsters Allwetterzoo for the last two decades, saving Cuora zhoui from direct extinction thanks to his huge breeding success and understanding of this species needs.

Tingzhou and the FIRSTyunnanensis and my

Ting Zhou


Ting is based in Haikou, China, one of Chinas best known turtle researchers, she works for the Hainan forestry department and actively surveys turtle farms and organises the teams chinese field research. She is an eager writer and is always in the process of publishing new turtle literature.


Ben Anders PhD


Ben, of Arkansan origin is a teacher  based in Hong Kong and actively surveys the markets and streams and never misses our field research projects.


Jens Friederichs


Jens keeps and breeds Cuora species at the Bodensee in Germany and is part of our Asia Field Team.


Toni Pak Yin Ngai


Toni, one of the most experienced Hong Kong Herpers, spends more time in the jungle then at his home during nighttime and works in a vet clinic during daytime. Before that he worked at Kadoorie, successfully improving the C.trifasciata breeding facility there.


Jay Pak Ho Wan


Jay is also from Hong Kong, (as you might have noticed, the Asian Base of the CCC), he worked for Kadoorie Farms and has gained extensive field skills wih Cuora yunnanensis and other species.


Daniel Gaillard PhD


Dani, based in Dalton, Georgia, USA, working at the Dalton State College, fluent (self thought) in Mandarin, spends all his spare time in the field in China and other parts of Asia and runs genetic analysis of many Asian Turtle Species.


Dave, one of Hong Kongs most experienced Herpetologists, is working as a official Snake Catcher and for Kadoorie Farm Herpetological Surveys and is clearly one of the best Cuora trifasciata trappers.

Dave Willot




Bastian Esser


Bastian living in Rostock, Germany spend his free year as a volunteer at our facility and is now working as a Curator in a Nature Park in Mecklenburg, Germany. He loves doing field research in China and maintains several Cuora species at his home.


Sebastian Nickl


Keeping and breeding Asian Turtle Species is his passion, based in Mainz, Germany. He loves to travel in Asia to learn more about the habits of the turtles he maintains.


Christopher Riou


Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Chris oversees ours Projects in Indonesia and focuses on Cuora amboinensis himself.


Paul Crow MSc

Advisory Board

Paul is the senior wildlife officer of our Partner - Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden, based in Hong Kong and in charge of their C.trifasciata assurance program. A lot of his time he spends in the swamps and streams of Hong Kong, tracking Pythons and Turtles, always in the hope to find a remaining C.trifasciata population hidden somewhere. 


Cris Hagen

Advisory Board

Cris is the collection Manager of our Partner the Turtle Survival Alliance based in Cross, South Carolina. We exchange our breeding experiences and join forces in the field where we can.

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James Liu PhD

Advisory Board

Jim is a Vet and the director of our Partner, the Turtle Conservancy based in New York and Ojai, California. Traveling around the globe to fight turtle extinction is his declared goal and his ancestors homeland China his new chelonian destiny.


William P. Mccord PhD

Advisory Board

Bill is one of the foremost Asian Turtle experts and has described several species. Based in New York he maintains a large private collection that has helped generations of scientists to learn more about rare turtles.


Tim Mccormack BSc

Advisory Board

Tim is the director of our Partner the Asian Turtle Program based in Hanoi and the UK. 

He focuses on protecting Vietnams native turtle species, especially Mauremys annamensis, Rafetus swinhoei and of course the Cuora species.


Brian D. Horne PhD


Advisory Board

Brian served as the Chair of the IUCN TFTSG and works for the Wildlife Conservation Society. He spends more time in Asia searching for turtles than at his homebase in San Diego, California.


Steffen Szymanski

Advisory Board

Steffen from near Karlsruhe, Germany loves Asia, frequently joining our field research and keeps and breeds Asian Turtle Species at his home.


Sebastian Braun

Advisory Board

Sebastian from near Stuttgart, Germany breeds many Asian turtle species, being most successfull with Platysternon, but also working with Cuora and frequently joining our field research in Asia.


Richard Struijk MSc

Advisory Board

Richard is a dutch Herpetologist and breeds a range of Asian Turtle species, especially successfull with the terrestrial Cuora species. He sits at the TSA Europes board.


Yi Li

Advisory Board

Yi owns the largest Cuora trifasciata/Cuora cyclornata breeding farm, the Huizhou LiYi Golden Coin Turtle Farm, in China and on this planet. We actively exchange our knowledge on these species which also resulted in the description of a new subspecies not to long ago


Markus Auer

Advisory Board

Markus works in the Senckenberg Museum Dresden and is the Editor of the Radiata Magazine. In his spare time he travels trough Asia in search for Turtles and activelys keeps and breeds many turtle species at his home.


Pipeng Li PhD

Advisory Board

Pipeng, one of the most renowned Chinese herp scientists focuses on chinese amphibians and turtle species, often joining our field research, he works as a Professor at the Shenyang Normal University.


Minh Le PhD

Advisory Board

Minh works as a Professor at the Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies of Vietnam National University and travels between Hanoi and New York. He is partnering us in Field Research in Vietnam, Genetic studies and Taxonomy like the description of Cuora cyclornata.


Richard Vrzal

Advisory Board

Ritschi served many years as the President of the Herpetological Association of Austria and is now focusing in breeding tortoise species at home. He loves travelling and has joined us on several of our Field research projects in the past.


Fang Zhang PhD

Advisory Board

Fang is a Professor at the Anhui Wuhu Normal University and focuses on the herpetology of Anhui. He was the first scientist to discover Cuora aurocapitata in the wild.

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