Thomas LaDuke, Ph.D.

Dr. Thomas C. LaDuke is a professor of biological sciences at East Stroudsburg University where he has worked for the past 27 years teaching Herpetology, Tropical Ecosystems, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Field Zoology.  He earned his Ph.D. from the City University of New York in 1991, an M.S. from Michigan State University in 1983 and his B.S. was also from Michigan State in 1981. He has had a lifelong passion for herpetology, vertebrate paleontology and tropical biology and has conducted studies in all of those areas. His master’s thesis and dissertation topic pertained to the study of fossil snakes and snake skeletal anatomy. In graduate school, he was introduced to tropical studies through a field course taught by the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. Since that time, he has taught field courses at two field stations in northeastern Costa Rica, one of which he helped to establish. Dr. LaDuke has taught field courses in Costa Rica most years since 1995.

Some of Dr. LaDuke’s former students have also gone on to become well known professors who study the systematics of snakes and salamanders and the ecology of desert lizards. His students have also studied the ecology of tropical snakes, lizards and frogs in Costa Rica.  He has conducted conservation oriented research on the spadefoot and the mud turtle in Pennsylvania in conjunction with his graduate students and is currently working on a project that will contribute to the conservation of the Timber Rattlesnake.  Dr. LaDuke has also been a co-founder of two non-profit organizations devoted to conservation: MACHAC, which is primarily concerned with the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Pennsylvania and other northeastern states; and Neighbor Ape, which is concerned with the conservation of chimpanzees in West Africa.