The Herpetology Lab
Eastern Illinois University
image of SJM  
cartoon frog
Stephen J. Mullin, Ph.D.

Department of Biological Sciences
Eastern Illinois University
Charleston, IL  61920.3099
tel: 217.581.6234
fax: 217.581.7141

        Shameless plugs:
  Snakes: Ecology & Conservation (SJ Mullin & RA Seigel, editors):  Published by Cornell Univ. Press, and now available on Google eBooks or the Kindle platform.
  Field Herpetology of the Southwest:  A 10-day course offered mid-Summer through the American Museum of Natural History at their Southwest Research Station in Arizona.  See this link for further information and application materials.

Professional Activities
(Mullin's webpage)

Courses Offered

Research Projects
  :  Graduates
  :  Undergraduates

Former graduate students

Student publications
  Herpetology (Bio4952)
  Ethics Seminar (Bio5150)

  Animal Diversity (Bio1300g)
  Honors Environmental Life Science (Bio3092g)
  Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (Bio3620)
  Vertebrate Natural History (Bio3950)
Sociobiology (EIU4118g)

On-going research projects
  Research conducted by members of my lab group typically concerns behavioral and community ecology, with many projects focusing on predator-prey relationships that involve at least one species of reptile or amphibian.  Subtle changes in the structural complexity of a microhabitat may influence not only the expression of animal behavior, but also patterns of habitat selection and the frequency of organismal interactions.  Studies of this type can elucidate the factors regulating the community dynamics of species within particular habitat types, and have implications in conservation biology where the choice of sites appropriate for preservation is often debated.  Examples of recent projects include the population ecology of brownsnakes (Storeria), and the ecotoxicology of watersnakes (Nerodia).

: Graduate Students

Cyndi Carter

B.S. in ecology, Univ. of Georgia, 2013

– dietary ecology of Western Mudsnakes (Farancia abacura reinwardtii).
image of Carter
Meagan Thomas

B.S. in biology, Towson Univ., 2012

– trophic dynamics within a leaf-litter snake community.
image of Thomas
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Former Graduate Students

Andrew Durso  (2009-2011)

– interactions between diet and behavior in Plains Hog-nosed Snakes (Heterodon nasicus).

Presently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology at Utah State University.

Andrew's blog.
Image of Durso
Beth Flitz  (1999-2003)

-- demography and nesting ecology of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) in a fragmented habitat.

Presently employed by the McHenry County Conservation District , Illinois Department of Natural Resources

  image of Terrapene carolina
Angela Fornell  (2006-2008)

-- foraging ecology of Prairie Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis c. calligaster) in response to different environmental cues.

Presently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the Dept. of Biology at the University of Texas at Arlington.
image of angela f.
C. Drew Foster  (2002-2004)

-- performance of Two-striped Gartersnakes (Thamnophis hammondii) following ingestion of toxic and non-toxic prey types.

Presently employed as Curator, Department of Herpetology, Phoenix Zoo.
image of Drew Foster
 Lee (Gross) Diana  (2005-2009)

-- conservation and repatriation of pond-breeding amphibians.

Presently enrolled in the Univ. of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Program
image of Gross
Kathryn Hale  (2008-2010)

-- predatory responses in neonate gartersnakes (Thamnophis).

Presently employed as a Regional Sales Coordinator for Fisher-Thermo Scientific.
Hale image
Sarabeth Klueh  (2003-2005)

-- demography and population modeling of Jefferson Salamanders (Ambystoma jeffersonianum

Presently employed as the Herpetologist, Wildlife Diversity Section, Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources.
image of Klueh
Corissa Lennon  (2011-2013)

– dietary ecology of Blue Racers (Coluber constrictor foxii).

Presently employed as an instructor in the Department of Biology, Northeastern University.
image of Lennon
Lorin Neuman-Lee  (2008-2010)

-- effects of in utero toxicant transfer in Common Watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon).

Presently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biology at Utah State University.

Lori's website
Neuman-Lee image
Melanie Olds  (2005-2007)

 -- habitat selection and over-wintering site fidelity in Common Watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon).

Presently employed as a Wildlife Biologist at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Penn.).
image of Olds
J. Brian Towey  (2001-2007)

-- recovery of pond-breeding amphibian populations following predator removal.

Presently employed as a Staff Ecologist at the Richardson Wildlife Foundation (Illinois).
image of Towey
Lee Walston  (2003-2005)

-- conservation ecology of pond-breeding
amphibian communities.

Presently employed as a Staff Ecologist at Argonne National Laboratories.
image of Walston
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Student Publications
Davis, AK, & AM Durso.  2011.  White blood cell differentials of Northern Cricket Frogs (Acris c. crepitans) with a compilation of published values from other amphibians.  Herpetologica 65:260-267.

Durso, AM.  2011.  Interactions of diet and behavior in a death-feigning snake (Heterodon nasicus). 
M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Durso, AM, JD Willson & CT Winne. 2011. Needles in haystacks: Estimating detection probability and occupancy of rare and cryptic snakes. Biological Conservation 144:1506-1513.

Dunn, SJ.  2004.  Foraging and prey handling behaviors of the generalist Thamnophis hammondii offered various prey types.  Bios 75:58-64.

Flitz, BA.  2003. Nest-site Selection in the Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina carolina , in a population in central Illinois.  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Fornell, AM.  2008.  Foraging site selection in Prairie Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis c. calligaster): An experimental approach.  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Foster, CD.  2004. Physiological performance of Thamnophis hammondii is not affected after eating the toxic frog Xenopus laevis .  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Foster, CD, & PM Hampton.  2003.  Reptiles and amphibians of three state parks in east-central Illinois.  Transactions of the Illinois Academy of Sciences 96:219-228.

Foster, CD, P Hampton & JB Towey.  2004.  Natural history notes: Scincella lateralis (predation).  Herpetological Review 35:269-270.

Graham, SP, DA Steen, KT Nelson, AM Durso & JC Maerz.  2010.  An overlooked hotspot? Rapid biodiversity assessment reveals a region of exceptional herpetofaunal richness in the southeastern United States. Southeastern Naturalist 9:19-34.

Gross, LM.  2009.  Long-term assessment of predatory fish removal on a pond-breeding amphibian community in central Illinois.  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Hale, KA.  2010.  Prey preference as a function of feeding experience and prey type in neonate gartersnakes (Colubridae: Thamnophis). 
M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Klueh, S.  2005.  Size and reproductive activity of a geographically-isolated population of Ambystoma jeffersonianum in east-central Illinois.  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Lennon, CP.  2013.  Dietary ecology of an actively-foraging snake species: Coluber constrictor foxii
M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Neuman-Lee, LA.  2010.  Multiple endpoints of endocrine disruption in gravid watersnakes (Colubridae: Nerodia) as a function of ingestion of a common herbicide.  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois Univeristy.

Olds, MJ.  2007.  Habitat use and overwintering ecology of the Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) on an artificial levee in central Illinois.  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Towey, JB.  2007.  Influence of fish presence and removal on woodland pond breeding amphibians in central Illinois.  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Walston, LJ.  2005.  Resilience of an amphibian community following the removal of introduced fish
.  M.S. Thesis, Eastern Illinois University.

Walston, LJ, & KJ Register.  2004.  Natural history notes: Ambystoma opacum (frequency of albino life stages).  Herpetological Review 35:365.

For other publications of the lab's work, please see Mullin's website .
For reprints of any of these articles, feel free to e-mail me your request.

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