Dr. Tom Lee
Professor of Biology
B.S., Texas A&M University, 1984
Meet Dr. Lee
First, my family is very important, and my wife and I have greatly enjoyed watching our three daughters grow up into young ladies. ACU is a great place to be a part of when you have a family because the administration is very supportive. I also enjoy the great friendships among the faculty here, and I look forward to mentoring our new professors.
Importance of research and publications
The significance of my research outside of ACU is very important and can be demonstrated in several ways. First, I have published my work at state, regional, national and international venues. My work has been cited in books produced by the Smithsonian Institute, which is the most prestigious institute of systematic biology in the world.
With regard to publications at the state level (Texas Journal of Science and Herpetological Review) I have tried to document the terrestrial fauna of the Southern Rolling Plains of Texas (which includes Taylor County). ACU students are on the author lines of almost all of these publications. The documentation of the presence of these animals is important in teaching local ecology and as a historic reference of current fauna.
In the publications at the regional level (Southwestern Naturalist), I have presented work that is significant in the southwestern United States. These works present studies done on the genetic variation in species of pocket mice and pronghorn antelope. I have collaborated with Dr. Dan Brannan on behavior of pupfish, and the study was published in the Southwestern Naturalist.
Mammalian Species accounts are nationally peer reviewed publications that incorporate all the known literature of one species of a mammal into one publication. Writing a Mammalian Species article is a class term paper assignment in Mammalogy. Students who do an outstanding job on their paper and are willing to work on it after the semester ends have their work published. This assignment teaches students how to conduct library research and how to write in publication format. For those disciplined enough to work beyond the semester, they get the satisfaction of their publication and seeing their name sited by famous mammalogists.
My national publications (Journal of Mammalogy, Journal of Wildlife Management and Copeia) present work of long-term studies. These studies were conducted in collaboration with researchers from other universities and museums. These publications are disseminated to national and international audiences.
The papers I published (mostly published in the Journal of Mammalogy) in which the name of a mammal was changed, are not only read and cited around the world, they are also time travelers. In those papers I have cited works from the 1800s, and when a new revision of those species names is published in the future, they will cite my work. In one of my current works, we have change the name of a genus of bat. This means that not only was the species name changed, but the name of a species complex was changed.
Foundation for graduate school
Many of the students who have published with me have earned their doctorates or are currently attending graduate schools. These publications were instrumental in helping them get into good schools and granting them scholarships. These students include: Rebecca Belcher, Ph.D from Auburn University and new faculty member at ACU;John Hanson, Ph.D. from Texas Tech University; Joel Brant, Ph.D. from Texas Tech University; Neal Platt, M.S. student at Mississippi State University; Sarah Weyandt, Ph.D. student at University of Chicago; and Tyler Cochran, M.S. student at Angelo State University.