Ecologist and herpetologist
Sterrin Smalbrugge (1993) is a Dutch ecologist and herpetologist.
She graduated with honours from Wageningen University and studies reptiles across the world. Sterrin is an experienced venomous snake handler, trained by snake expert Romilly van den Bergh.
Sterrin presents her own educational TV-show “Reptielengek” (Crazy about reptiles) on the Dutch streaming service Videoland.
She presented “De Grote Reptielenshow” (The Big Reptile Show) and is currently touring The Netherlands with a new educational theatre show (Superheroes of the Animal Kingdom).
Sterrin wrote a children’s book which is sold throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. “Het grote reptielenboek” (The big reptile book) is an exciting book for children aged 7 to 12, complete with photos of renowned reptile photographer Matthijs Kuijpers and funny illustrations by Wendy Panders.
In 2018 Sterrin co-founded The Conservation Front with well known wildlife photographer Jason Savage. The Conservation Front is a team of passionate conservationists with a mission of bringing people closer to wildlife. They make high quality documentaries about species that face problems such as habitat destruction, poaching and human-wildlife conflicts.
As of September 2019, Sterrin became a columnist at National Geographic Junior. In her monthly column she answers questions of children about reptiles.
In May 2020, Sterrin became an Honorary International Mentor for the Indian organisation WildRoots. Sterrin mentors a group of students and educates them on herpetofauna and conservation.
Sterrin also creates regular content on her social media platforms. The aim of this content is to educate people about wildlife and spread awareness about species that are normally despised by people.
As a young girl she noticed that reptiles are often underappreciated and misunderstood. This leads to human-wildlife conflicts and the mistreatment of these animals.
It is Sterrin’s mission to show people how incredible reptiles are and that they have their own place in our ecosystems. This way, she hopes to achieve that reptiles will be valued and will receive the same amount of attention that other species, like the panda and tiger, receive.
Furthermore, Sterrin aims to be an example for children with a passion for reptiles, conservation and science, in the hopes of being an inspiration for the next generation of conservationists.
Sterrin has also appeared on many Dutch TV-shows as a reptile expert and conservationist. Examples of this can be found under media.