Roger Birkhead Curator

Joined: Jun 18, 2017 Last Active: Mar 19, 2019

I have spent my entire life wandering around in the woods. I spent my formative years as an indentured field assistant to my dad who is an ichthyologist. Went to Berry College in Rome GA for my undergraduate degree and nearly became a botanist, but ultimately my love for turtles and snakes won out. I spent several years doing biological consulting work then became a field assistant at the Jones Ecological Research station in SW Georgia. I ended up doing my master's work there through Auburn University on seed dispersal by gopher tortoises. I made an attempt at a PhD but that ended up not being in the cards. I am currently an education/outreach specialist for a state science program for public high schools and am based at Auburn University. The fauna and flora of the southeastern US are my main interest areas but I enjoy all natural history. Box turtles and gopher tortoises are the taxa I am most interested in.

Selected publications:
Martin, B. T., Bernstein, N. P., Birkhead, R. D., Koukl, J. F., Mussmann, S. M., & Placyk, J. S. 2013. Sequence-based molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography of the American box turtles (Terrapene spp.) with support from DNA barcoding. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 68(1), 119-134.

Sean P Graham, David A Steen, Craig Guyer, Roger D Birkhead. 2012. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Tuskegee National Forest, Macon County, Alabama. Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History. 29: 1-59.

Joshua R Ennen, Brian R Kreiser, Carl P Qualls, Daniel Gaillard, Matthew Aresco, Roger Birkhead, Tracey D Tuberville, Earl D McCoy, Henry Mushinsky, Thomas W'Bill' Hentges, and Aaron Schrey. 2012. Mitochondrial DNA Assessment of the Phylogeography of the Gopher Tortoise. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 3 (1): 110-122.

Koons, D.N., R. D. Birkhead, S.M. Boback, M. I. Williams, and M.P. Greene. 2009. Survival and detection probability of Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) in an Alabama swamp: the effect of body size. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 4(2):221-235

Birkhead, R. D., C. Guyer, S. M. Hermann and W. K. Michener. 2005. Species composition and seasonal abundance of seeds ingested by gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in a southeastern pine savanna. The American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 154 (1): 143–151.

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