Principal Investigator

Donald B. Shepard

Assistant Professor, Louisiana Tech University, 2016-present

Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana-Monroe, 2015-2016

Assistant Professor, University of Central Arkansas, 2013-2015

Postdoctoral Associate, University of Minnesota, 2010-2013

Postdoctoral Researcher, Colorado State University, 2009-2010

Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 2008

M.S., Illinois State University, 2000

B.S., University of Illinois, 1997



Graduate Students

Andrew Brown

MS student (LA Tech)

Andrew is working on phylogeography and species delimitation of slimy salamanders (Plethodon) of the West Gulf Coastal Plain.




Undergraduate Students


Undergraduate student

We are looking for motivated undergraduates interested in ecology, evolution, and/or conservation of amphibians and reptiles.




Lab Alumni

Amber Anderson (UCA MS student): Amber is currently an MS student in the Gifford Lab at the University of Central Arkansas. In our lab, she screened microsatellite markers and helped with lab work to determine the species identity and geographic origin of an introduced salamander in Illinois.

Derek Filipek (UCA MS 2016): Derek worked on the rangewide phylogeography of the queensnake (Regina septemvittata) for his MS thesis. He will be starting a PhD program at the University of Kentucky in Fall 2017, where he will join the Weisrock Lab.

Nick Ledbetter (UCA undergraduate): Nick conducted lab work for several projects, including one to determine the species identity and geographic origin of an introduced salamander in Illinois. He is currently a PhD student in the Bonett Lab at the University of Tulsa.

Michael Sutton (UCA undergraduate): Michael conducted lab work for a project on the phylogeography of western slimy salamanders (Plethodon albagula). He is currently in pharmacy school at UAMS.



Ron Bonett (Univ. Tulsa)

Frank Burbrink (AMNH)

Guarino Colli (Univ. de Brasilia, Brazil)

Tim Colston (Univ. Mississippi)

Gabriel Costa (Univ. Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil)

John Crawford (Great Rivers Research Center)

Mike Dreslik (Univ. Illinois)

Nate Franssen (US Fish & Wildlife)

Adrian Garda (Univ. Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil)

Matt Gifford (Univ. Central Arkansas)

Kelly Irwin (AR Game & Fish)

Ken Kozak (Univ. Minnesota)

Andrew Kuhns (Univ. Illinois)

Chris Leary (Univ. Mississippi)

Marta Lyons (Univ. Minnesota)

Daniel Mesquita (Univ. Federal da Paraiba, Brazil)

Rachel Mueller (Colorado State Univ.)

Bill Peterman (Ohio State Univ.)

Chris Phillips (Univ. Illinois)

Eric Pianka (Univ. Texas)

Michi Tobler (Kansas State Univ.)

Laurie Vitt (Univ. Oklahoma)

J.D. Willson (Univ. Arkansas)