Students interested in pursuing a master's degree in biology with a thesis in herpetology are encouraged to consider work at Emporia State University. Emporia State University is located at the eastern edge of the Flint Hills in eastern Kansas. The Department of Biological Sciences has over 20 graduate students and 13 full-time faculty members. Emporia is a small town of 27,000 that is situated within easy driving distance to the Kansas cities of Topeka, Wichita, Lawrence, Manhattan, and Kansas City.
Current projects include: monitoring the herpetofauna of the Ross Natural History Reserve; snake community composition of the Flint Hills Wildlife Management Area; meal size and thermoregulatory behavior of cornsnakes; temperature effects on digestion of cornsnakes; diet composition and metabolic rate in an omnivorous turtle and lizard.
Past projects have included: cover choice in two small snake species; thermoregulation in toads; territorial behavior in salamanders; feeding effects on metabolism of toads; habitat differentiation among species of map turtles; investigation of turtle deformity rates in Kansas; surveys of aquatic turtle communities in SE Kansas; biotelemetry study of alligator snapping turtle movements; bait preferences of aquatic turtles; investigation of the microflora of treefrogs; blood parameters of hibernating herps; nematode parasites of amphibians; softshell turtle ecology; energetics of toads, long-term monitoring of amphibians and reptiles in a prairie; thermoregulation of salamanders; assimilation efficiency in toads; comparison of turtle assemblages in a river, stream, and oxbow.