Office Location: FSC 335
Phone Number: (717) 477-1092
Personal/Research Webpage: http://prdelis.wordpress.com/
SUMMER CLASS - Natural History of Costa Rica
2001. Ph. D. Degree (Biology). University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
(Ph. D. Dissertation: Hyla gratiosa and H. femoralis [Anura: Hylidae] in West Central Florida: a comparative study of rarity and commonness)
1993. Masters of Science (Zoology). University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
(Master’s Thesis: Effects of Urbanization on the Community of Anurans of a Pine Flatwood Habitat in West Central Florida)
1987. Bachelor Degree in Biological Science (Zoology). University of Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
1986. Biology Major. University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
Born in Sevilla, Spain, I became interested in zoology (cool creatures!) early on in my childhood as I was moving to Madrid, Toledo, and Murcia. During my youth, largely in Murcia, I spent most of my weekends and summers hiking with the Boy Scouts of Spain and learning about nature. At this time, I also joined the environmentalist organization Asociacion de Naturalistas del Sureste and became involved in bird banding, amphibian surveys, and general conservation issues in Murcia and neighboring areas. While finishing college studies in Sevilla, I was interested in ornithology postgraduate studies on the ecology of wading birds in the Southwest of Spain. In 1988 however, I moved to the USA where I pursued my graduate degrees and developed my passion for amphibians and reptiles. I spent 12 years in Florida soaking Florida’s amazing biodiversity and, at the same time, saddened by its unbridled agricultural and especially urban growth. In 2002, I moved to Pennsylvania where I am happily teaching and doing research on species that I love, especially box turtles, and lately Pennsylvania snakes.
I am a vertebrate biologist, interested in ecology, behavior, morphology, and evolution. My research emphasis is population biology of amphibians and reptiles. With the use of comparative approaches, I examine morphological, ecological, and behavioral specializations that explain the current demographic status of species and communities. I am working on generating models that predict the fate of species under pressure from human disturbance.
I am establishing a long term and comparative study to address demographics and conservation of Pennsylvania's Herpetofauna. A major part of this study is being developed at Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, PA. I am interested on life history traits, behavioral characteristics, phenotypic plasticity, and their implications for the conservation of the species. In my research strategy, I combine traditional herpetological and field ecology techniques, as well as cutting edge remote sensing (GIS) and laboratory techniques such as genetics and molecular biology. I often cooperate with intramural and extramural colleagues interested in similar topics.
I am developing permanent lines of communication and interaction with research institutions in Florida (USA), Andalucia (Spain), and Murcia (Spain). I am committed to the early involvement of students in science through my teaching and my research projects, with the goal of developing their full understanding of the scientific methodology as well as the intricacies of the biological world
Capstone Seminar, BIO499
Field Research Techniques, BIO494 (ONLY IN THE SUMMER)
Natural History of Costa Rica (Special Topic), BIO491 (ONLY IN THE SUMMER)
Vertebrate Zoology, BIO463 (Not in catalogue anymore)
Biota of Florida, BIO425
Coastal Herpetology, BIO417 (ONLY IN THE SUMMER - AT WALLOPS ISLAND)
Vertebrate Zoology, BIO363
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, BIO370
Principle of Biology: Organismal Diversity), BIO162
Environmental Biology, BIO145
Introduction to Ecology, BIO142
Hughes, Daniel, F., Pablo R. Delis, and W.E. Meshaka, Jr. 2018. Studies of a snake assemblage from artificial ponds at an active-military site in Pennsylvania. Herpetological Notes, 11: 34-48.
Meshaka, W., E. Wingert, W. Humbert, M. Mccallum, and P. R. Delis. 2017. Gonadal cycles, clutch characteristics, and growth to sexual maturity in the American toad, Anaxyrus americanus (Holbrook), from an agricultural belt in south central Pennsylvania. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, 91(2): 84-94
Hughes, Daniel, F.,W.E. Meshaka, Jr, and Pablo R. Delis, Accepted for Publication 2017. Reproduction and Growth of the Southern Leopard Frog, Lithobates sphenocephalus (Cope, 1886), in Virginia: Implications for Seasonal Shifts in Response to Global climate Change. Basic and Applied Herpetology, 31: 17-31.
Meshaka, W.E. Jr., L. Long, A. Tegeler, W.S. Humbert and Pablo R. Delis. 2016. Reproductive phenophases of the American Toad, (Anaxyrus americanus Holbrook, 1836), in the Ligonier Valley of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society, 52(1-4): 23-37.
Meshaka, W.E. Jr., E. Wingert, T. Frey, M. Roberts, C. Zwemer, S.R. Bartle, N.A. Davidson, Pablo R. Delis, and G.R. Cline. 2015. Confirmation of species identity, body sizes, and clutch characteristics of the eastern gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor LeConte, 1825) from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Collinsorum, 4(1): 12-15.
Delis, Pablo R., W.E. Meshaka, Jr, E. Wingert, and S. Bartle 2015. A test of reproductive advantage in two competitive mole salamanders (Caudata: Ambystomatidae) from a single site in south-central Pennsylvania. Basic and Applied Herpetology, 29: 21-31.
Meshaka, W.E. Jr., S.I. Williams, E. Wingert, and Pablo R. Delis. 2015. Adult body sizes and clutch characteristics of the marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) from Letterkenny Army Depot in south-central Pennsylvania. Collinsorum, 4(3): 10-12.
Meshaka, W.E. Jr., V.R. Rep, Pablo R. Delis, and E. Wingert. 2015. Selected life history traits of the Bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw, 1802), and the Green Frog, L. clamitans melanota (Latreille, 1801) at a park in south-central Pennsylvania: geographic and interspecific comparisons. Collinsorum, 4(3): 13-18.
Meshaka, Walter E., Jr., Pablo R. Delis, and Katie Walters.2015. Geographic variation in selected life history traits of the Eastern Narrowmouth Toad, Gastrophryne carolinensis (Holbrook, 1836), along the northeastern edge of its geographic range. The Journal of North American Herpetology 2015(1): 1-5.
Meshaka, Walter E. Jr. and Pablo R. Delis. 2014. Snake Assemblage Structures and Seasonal Activity Patterns on a Military Base in South-Central Pennsylvania: Land Management Implications for Snake Conservation. The Journal of North American Herpetology 2014(1): 7-20.
Meshaka, E. Walter Jr., Stephanie I. Williams, Sarah R. Bartle, Pablo R. Delis, and Eugene Wingert. 2013. Breeding and Larval Growth of the Marbled Salamander, Ambystoma opacum (Gravenhorst, 1807), From Two Adjacent Sites in South-Central Pennsylvania. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society, 49: 22-29.
MS Student Research Projects
Shubham Sambhare (Starting spring 2017 - In Progress). Snake Ecology and Conservation.
Erica Coover (Starting Fall 2016 - In Progress). Amphibian Assemblage and Movements among Riparian Habitats at Letterkenny Army Depot, South Central Pennsylvania.
Vladimir. Rep (Starting Spring 2016 - In Progess). Snake Wetland Colonization in South Central Pennsylvania: Implications for Conservation and Wetland Management.
Julia Russell (In Progress - Expected Graduation 2018). An Examination of the Morphological Variation in the Ringneck Snake, Diadophis punctatus (Linnaeus, 1766), in Pennsylvania.
Stephanie. Williams (Graduated 2017). Terrestrial and Larval Ecology of the Marbled Salamander, Ambystoma opacum (Gravenhorst, 1807), at a Site in South-Central Pennsylvania: Implications for Conservation.
Jason Dallas (Graduated 2017). Ecology of the Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor) in South-Central Pennsylvania.
Safiya Abubakar (Graduated 2017). Morphometric, Ecology and Demographics of the Eastern Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum subrubrum (Lacépède, 1788) in Wallops Island, Virginia: Conservation Concerns in the Light of Global Climate Change.
Sarah Bartle (Graduated 2016). Home Range, Habitat Use, and Movement of Female Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) in South-Central Pennsylvania: Implications for Conservation and Management.
Benjamin Hepler (Graduated 2014). Turtle Community in Wetlands in Letterkenny Army Deport, South-Central Pennsylvania, PA.
Daniel Hughes (Graduated 2013). Ophidian Community in Wetlands in Letterkenny Army Deport, South-Central Pennsylvania, PA.
James Anderson (Graduated, 2011 - Non-Thesis). Ophidian Colonization of a Reclaimed Wetland in South-Central Pennsylvania, PA.
William Humbert (Graduated 2012). Morphometrics and Ecology of the Genus Anaxyrus in South Central Pennsylvania, PA.
Kristina Tarasan (Graduated 2008). Consequences of habitat anthropogenic disturbance on the distribution, abundance, and live history of the box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) in South Central Pennsylvania.
Lacey Conrad (Graduated 2005). “Transepidermal Water Loss in Shed skin from Aquatic and Terrestrial Snakes.” Research has been funded by the private company CyberDerm.
Matt Rach (Graduated 2005). “Thermal Biology of Gravid Timber Rattlesnakese (Crotalus horridus) at Basking Sites in North Central Pennsylvania.” Research has been funded by the state agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Sam Pelesky (Graduated 2005). “The influence of Prey Availability on the Dispersal and Movement Patterns of the Timber Rattlesnakese (Crotalus horridus) in North Central Pennsylvania.” Research has been funded by the state agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Undergraduate Student Research Projects
Sarah Flick (2015-2016) Terrestrial Amphibian Community in Altitudinal Gradient. LEAD. PA
Erica Coover (2015-2016) Terrestrial Amphibian Community in Altitudinal Gradient. LEAD. PA
Kayla Keller (2015-2016) Herpetofauna Survey of Savage Neck Dunes Park. Northampton Co. VA
Jillian Onyskiw (2014-2016). Automated Anuran Calling Surveys. LEAD. PA
Anna Rickard (2014-2015). Aquatic Turtle Communities in Wetlands. LEAD. PA
Kelly Babashan (2014-2016). Factors Affecting Radio Telemetry of Eastern Box Turtle. LEAD. PA
Joshua Wright (2014-2015). Factors Affecting Radio Telemetry of Eastern Box Turtle. LEAD. PA
Jordan Unger (2014-2015). Factors Affecting Radio Telemetry of Eastern Box Turtle. LEAD. PA
Alyssa Hay (2014-2015). Aquatic Turtle Communities in Wetlands. LEAD. PA
Vladimir Rep (2014-2015). Urban Snake Community in Shippensburg Campus. SU. PA
Heather Winter (2014-2015). Tetrodotoxin Characterization in Red-Spotted Newt, LEAD, PA
Dorissa (2013). Snake Community in Chincoteague Bay Field Station Campus. Accomack Co.VA
Kimberly Kakabar (2013-2014). Urban Snake Community in Shippensburg Campus, PA
Valerie Yohn (2013-2014). Aquatic Turtles in Large Disturbed Lakes. LEAD, PA
Casey O’Donnell. (2012-1014). Automated Anuran Calling Surveys. LEAD. PA
Ryan Klinger (2012). Automated Anuran Calling Surveys. LEAD. PA
Stephanie Williams (2012-2013). Marble Salamander Biology. LEAD. PA
Sarah Bartle (2011-2013). Box Turtle Biology and Marble Salamander Biology. LEAD. PA
Montrell Wilkerson (2011-2013). Urban Snake Community. SU. PA
Alexander F. Delis (2011-2012). Turtle Shell Biomechanics. LEAD. PA
Laurel Campbell (2011-2012). Reproductive Biology of Spring Peeper in South Central PA
Jaclyn Adams (2012). American Toad Automated Anuran Calling Surveys, LEAD PA
Jason Unrath (2011). Tetrodotoxin Characterization in Red-Spotted Newt, LEAD, PA
Sabrina Woodlief (2011). Amphibian and Reptilian Biology. LEAD. PA
Alexander Edward Eckman (2010-2011). Urban Snake Community. SU. PA
Justin Wissler (2010). Reproductive Biology of Spring Peepers. LEAD. PA
Matthew Pauli (2010). Tetrodotoxin Characterization in Red-Spotted Newt. LEAD. PA
Dustin Lowry (2009). Reproductive Biology of the Gray Treefrog in Wallops Island, VA
Bob Koroncai (2009). Fish Diversity and Demographics in Tidal Pools in Wallops Island, VA
Jennifer Patterson (2009). Tetrodotoxin Characterization in Red-Spotted Newt. LEAD, PA
Ryan Helcoski (2008). Snake Community in Letterkenny Army Depot. LEAD, PA
Laura Hock (2008). Tetrodotoxin Characterization in Red-Spotted Newt. LEAD, PA
Eve Freeh (2007). Cataloguing Specimens in Shippensburg University Museum of Zoology
Sarah Shimko (2006). Box Turtle Study, Herpetofauna of Letterkenny Army Depot. LEAD, PA
Scott Jones (2006). Box Turtle Study, Letterkenny Army Depot. LEAD, PA
Heather Gawton (2006). Box Turtle Study, Letterkenny Army Depot. LEAD, PA
Allison Ihde (2005). Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences Newsletter, PA
Nicole Waltemire (2005). Box Turtle Study, Letterkenny Army Depot. LEAD, PA
Ellen Laframboise (2003). Herpetofauna Study, Letterkenny Army Depot. LEAD, PA