Dr. Phil Sudman – Professor & Director, Timberlake Biological Field Station



  • Ph.D. Zoology, Texas A&M University, 1989
  • M.S. Biology, Fort Hays State University, 1985
  • B.A. Biology, Central University of Iowa, 1983


  • BIOL 1407 – Biology for Science Majors II
  • BIOL 4398 – Current Topics
  • BIOL 4430 – Ornithology
  • BIOL 4451 – Mammalogy
  • BIOL 5185 – Graduate Seminar

Research Interests:

My primary interests are in the general areas of vertebrate evolution, systematics, and conservation biology. While most of my training is in the area of mammalogy, I also work with avian species.  Recent research projects include using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data to reconstruct the phylogenetic histories of various groups of mammals in the order Rodentia, as well as assessing the genetic health of endangered or threatened birds through the use of microsatellite analyses.

Favorite research organisms include members of the squirrel family Sciuridae, pocket gophers (fossorial rodents in the family Geomyidae), and various birds including the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken and Black-capped Vireos. General research techniques include isolation of DNA, amplification of specific regions of the DNA via polymerase chain reaction (PCR), nucleotide sequencing, analyses of genetic variation of microsatellite DNA, and using AFLP to examine population genetics of rodents, especially pocket gophers.   Information derived from analysis of the sequence data is also used to reconstruct the historical biogeography of the group under study.

My research also entails a large amount of field work to collect research specimens. Recent collection expeditions have included trips to the desert southwest, the mountains of Wyoming and Utah, White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, and various localities within Texas.

Recent Publications:

  • Goetze, J.R., A.D. Nelson, D. Breed, P.D. Sudman, M.A. Nelson, and E. Watson.  2015.  Texas kangaroo rat (Dipodomys elator) surveys in Copper Breaks State Park and surrounding areas in Hardeman County, Texas.  Texas Journal of Science, 67:39-48.
  • Davis, D. H. and P.D. Sudman.  2012.  Effect of blood sampling on fledging success in white-eyed vireo nestlings.  The Southwestern Naturalist, 57:446-449.
  • Stasey W. C., J. R. Goetze, P. D. Sudman, and A. D. Nelson. 2010. Occurrence of the Texas kangaroo rat in two different habitats in Wichita County, Texas. Texas Journal of Science, 62:3-14.
  • Chambers, R.A., P.D. Sudman and R.D. Bradley.  2009.  A Phylogenetic assessment of Geomys: Evidence from nuclear and mitochondrial genes.  Journal of Mammalogy, 90:537-547.
  • Goetze, J.R., W.C. Stacey, A.D. Nelson and P.D. Sudman.  2007.  Habitat attributes and population size of Texas kangaroo rats on an intensively grazed pasture in Witchita County, Texas.  Texas Journal of Science, 59:11-22.
  • Sudman,  P.D., J.K Wickliffe, P. Horner, M.J. Smolen, J.W. Bickham, and R.D. Bradley.  2006.  Molecular systematics of pocket gophers of the genus Geomys.  Journal of Mammalogy, 87:668-676.
  • McAliley, L.R. and P.D. Sudman.  2005.  Genetic diversity within the Llano pocket gopher, Geomys texensis.  Southwestern Naturalist, 50:342-349.