The discovery of a new species on Earth is a rare occurrence these days and rarer still is the naming of such a species after a hedge fund manager. But amphibian biologists are welcoming just such a creature, the Appleby's Asian Toad (Leptolalax applebyi), a 2-centimeter-long brown frog that was discovered in central Vietnam by Jodi Rowley of the Australian Museum, Sydney.
Ms. Rowley's expeditions to map frog species in the jungles of the Indo-Burma corridor in Asia have been supported for the past three years by the ADM Capital Foundation. The foundation is associated with Asia Debt Management Hong Kong Limited (ADM Capital), an Asian distressed securities specialist hedge fund managing US$1.6 billion. Both the money management firm and the foundation are based in Hong Kong.
The foundation focuses on alleviating poverty, improving childhood education and conservation initiatives in Asia. It supported Ms. Rowley's work because “frogs are really the canaries in the coal mine. They have to move if temperatures change or die,” said Robert Appleby, chief investment officer and principal of ADM Capital in a speech at the frog naming party held by the company on Jan. 28.
Ms. Rowley said in a July 2009 article in Zootaxa, a zoological journal, describing the new frog species that she named the frog after Mr. Appleby, to recognize his support as “an investor in biodiversity conservation and scientific capacity building in Asia.”
“Zoology has always been a passion, although I have made a living as a hedge fund manager. Over the years, I have been delighted to support important conservation initiatives and offer a helping hand to remarkable individuals working to preserve biodiversity ... It is a great honor to have Jodi choose to name a new species of frog after me,” Mr. Appleby wrote in an e-mail. — Christine Williamson