Population Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles

Research is in the broad area of population biology, especially the genetic, demographic, and behavioral parameters of populations of species— in other words, life history or natural history. Specific projects that are currently being addressed include:

  1. Population biology of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, Sistrurus c. catenatus, in Illinois.  
  2. Effects of infectious disease (ranavirus, herpesvirus, mycoplasma) on free-ranging Eastern Box Turtles (with Matt Allender)
  3. The relationship between wetland parameters and amphibian breeding success in vernal pools (w/Andy Kuhns & John Crawford).

Terrestrial Gastropods

Terrestrial gastropods (land snails and slugs) are under-represented on most state lists of threatened and endangered species. This is especially true for Illinois, where only one species (Iowa Pleistocene Snail, Discus macclintocki) is listed.  Another 12 species are listed in the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan as Species in Greatest Need of Conservation. At present, my investigations into terrestrial gastropods include:

  1. Checklist and key to the terrestrial gastropods of Illinois.  The key is simply a modified version of Burch (How to Know the Eastern land Snails) with non-Illinois species removed and nomenclature updated.  If you are interested in giving this key a test drive, contact me.
  2. Database of specimens of terrestrial gastropods of Illinois from major collections in the Midwest including geo-referencing and construction of a GIS layer. To date I have downloaded all land snail records for Illinois species from InvertEBase.