As an undergraduate at Furman, Dr. Travis Perry interned with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for the management of threatened and endangered species. Dr. Perry also participated in study away courses to the Pacific Northwest, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and the Galapagos. For his independent study, he examined the effects of deer on forests in the context of an expanding wolf population in the North Woods. These experiences lit a fire that continues to burn. As a graduate student at the University of New Mexico, Dr. Perry conducted conservation research and survey work for the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Department of Defense, and Bat Conservation International. As a Furman professor, he has continued to work with species of concern in South Carolina and the conservation of vertebrates in the Southwest, adding the Turner Endangered Species Fund, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the San Carlos Apache Reservation to his list of collaborators. Dr. Perry thrives on engaged teaching, giving students first-hand experience in the subject matter. He believes that these are the academic experiences, more than any others, that change lives. He has introduced students to the wilderness of New Mexico, the South African bush, the tropical forests of Costa Rica, and the natural environments of South Carolina. Dr. Perry feels his greatest professional achievement as an educator has been the design and implementation of Furman's Wild Semester.

Name Title Description


Seminar in Biology

Presentations of current topics in biology by students, faculty, and visiting scientists. Emphasis is on effective oral communication and critical examination of scientific information and ideas.


Biology and the Environment

The basic principles common to living organisms, with emphasis on environmental biology. Designed for non-science majors. Topics include: ecology, evolution, biodiversity, and environmental issues, plus a synopsis of cellular biology, genetics, and physiology.


Foundations of Biology

Introduction to the unifying concepts of biology. Topics include: cell structure and function, metabolism, genetics, evolution, and the diversity of life. Laboratories emphasize an investigative approach. Designed for science majors.



The interactions between organisms and their environments, and the consequences of these interactions for population dynamics, community structure, and the flow of energy and matter through ecosystems. Also, consideration of environmental issues and conservation. Laboratories include local field work, experiments, and possibly one or two overnight/weekend field trips.


Conservation Biology

An overview of all modes of living natural resource management from the strictly utilitarian use of fisheries and wildlife, through endangered species conservation, the preservation of biodiversity, and adaptive management at the ecosystem level.� The course also includes a review of U.S. environmental treaties, law, policy, and the environmental movement�since 1900.� Two overnight field trips to view conservation biology in action.

Dr. Travis Perry is a community ecologist who focuses on issues of conservation and management. As a community ecologist, his interests are quite broad as reflected in his research with Furman students on species as diverse as the bunched arrowhead (endangered plant) to spotted salamanders to meadow voles to desert bighorn sheep. However, in Dr. Perry's research program, the primary species of interest are large carnivores (puma), which may have disproportionate effects on the structure of ecological communities and ecosystem function, and bats, for which little is known regarding natural history and appropriate conservation practices.

  • Thibault, K. M. and T. W. Perry. 2011. Bat diversity and maternity roost survey of Kirtland Air Force Base, Department of Defense Report. 73Pp.
  • Perry, T. W., K. M. Thibault, and T. Newman. 2010. Evaluation of Methods Used to Estimate Size of a Population of Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) in New Mexico. The Southwestern Naturalist 55(4): (517-524)
  • Perry, T. W. 2010. Mountain lion habitat model and population estimate for New Mexico 2010. Report New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 20Pp.
  • Ingram, K., T. W. Perry, and T. J. Ryan. 2001. Geographic range extension for Farancia abacura (mud snake). Herpetological Review 32(3): 195.
University of New Mexico
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