1991 – present

BA Rutgers University
MS University of Central Florida
PhD Berkeley

Mary Mendonça has a long history of herpetological research in the fields of reproductive endocrinology and ecological immunology. She has published key papers on growth in Chelonia, cycles of reproductive hormones in Sternotherus and Agkistrodon, effects of pollutants on hormone cycles in Graptemys, and immunological response of Gopherus to environmental stressors. She maintains an active lab, located in Funchess Hall, that has examined model systems for all major vertebrate groups and that spans the range of work from the most intricate of lab assays to the most difficult of field situations. In fact, in field settings she is famous for surviving a long list of dangerous situations (e.g. bites from rear-fanged colubrids, harrowing encounters with semi tractor-trailers in remote Africa). She has been a longtime collaborator with the herpetological collections and a strong advocate for museum-oriented sciences. Additionally, she is an exceptional teacher, having won the prestigious Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for excellence in teaching.


Herpetology Students Advised

Hopkins, Bill
(1997, MS)
Hormonal responses and trace element concentrations of southern toads, Bufo terrestris, exposed to coal combustion wastes
Shelby, Jennifer
(2000, MS)
Comparison of reproductive parameters in Graptemys flavimaculata, the yellow-blotched map turtle, from a site with a history of contamination by endocrine disrupting pollutants
Ward, Chelsea
(2005, PhD)
The role of coal combustion waste as a stressor in the southern toad, Bufo terrestris
Kahn, Paula
(2006, PhD)
The physiological effect of relocation on gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus)
Beauman, Rich
(2008, MS)
The effects of burrow collapse on the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
Peterson, John
(2012, PhD)
Physiological effects of chytridiomycosis, a cause of amphibian population declines.