Dr. Thomas L. Anderson
Recent CV (December '22)
I grew up in southern Wisconsin, where my love of ecology was born out of many fishing, hunting and camping trips with my family. I completed my undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I had the opportunity to spend a summer as a research assistant at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. This experience completely altered my career path, directing my ambitions towards becoming a field ecologist. I spent a few years after undergrad working various field jobs in ecology to gain my experience with different taxa and ecosystems. I had excellent opportunities at these jobs to work with great people on a variety of wildlife demography projects, and with animals such as ground squirrels, black ducks, and spotted owls. I eventually came back to school to work on an MS at Murray State University with Howard Whiteman. While there, I discovered my love of both experimental ecology and amphibians. My research with Howard investigated the importance of intra- and interspecific competition between mole and spotted salamanders in both experimental mesocosms and in natural populations.
Near the end of my thesis work, I fortuitously learned about an opportunity to work with Ray Semlitsch at the University of Missouri for my PhD. I spent the next five years working on predator-prey interactions between larval ringed and spotted salamanders in a variety of laboratory, mesocosm and field studies. During this time, I also worked on a collaborative project with Ray and several other graduate students in the Semlitsch lab that investigated source-sink metapopulation dynamics of ringed and spotted salamanders at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.
From MU, I became a post doctoral researcher working with Dan Reuman at the University of Kansas. The focus of our research was on the mechanisms of spatial synchrony of population fluctuations, and geographic structure of synchrony. I worked with big data sets on a variety of taxa, including freshwater plankton and white-tailed deer.
Prior to my current position, I was a post doctoral researcher at Appalachian State University, working with Jon Davenport on how increasing phenological variation impacts intra- and interspecific interactions within and between pond-breeding salamanders. This position was part of a larger collaborative grant that I was co-PI on through the SERDP program, in collaboration with the USGS and Virginia Tech.