Neil Ford

Neil Ford

Title: Professor - Retired
Department: Biology
Building: HPR 109
Phone: 903.566.7249


  • B. S. University of Kansas (Systematics and Ecology), 1973
  • M. S. University of Oklahoma (Zoology), 1976
  • Ph. D. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (Zoology), 1979



1979-84 Assistant Professor of Biology, Univ. of Texas at Tyler
1984-1991 Associate Professor of Biology, Univ. of Texas at Tyler
1991-present Professor of Biology, Univ. of Texas at Tyler
1985-1997 Faculty Research Participant, Savannah River Ecology Lab, U. S. Dept. of Energy
1988-2000 Adjunct Professor, Southeastern Louisiana University
1989-present Director of the Ophidian Research Colony, U. T. Tyler
2000-2003 Mary John and Ralph Spence Distinguished Professor 


1985- Phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits of snakes

1979- Snake behavior
The role of pheromones in snake sociobiology
Context-related activity and behavior of snakes

1989- Established the Univ. Texas at Tyler Ophidian Colony
(self-sustaining research colony

1984 - Issues of conservation of snakes and east Texas habitats
Surveys and research as the Texas Parks and Wildlife at the Old Sabine Wildlife Management Area
Mussel surveys on east Texas Rivers


I have given over 50 presentations at scientific meetings and have written 62 scientific papers, 9 book chapters and one book on my research. I have been invited to present 20 talks at Universities and scientific meetings. I have presented 16 symposium talks and have organized 6 national and international symposia in my field of research.


1987 Joseph Laslo Award for Excellence in Research (S.A.H.S.)
1996 Elected Fellow of the Texas Academy of Science
2000 Mary John and Ralph Spence Distinguished Professor (U. T. Tyler)


W. Hopkins, B. P. Staub, J. A. Baionno, B. P. Jackson; J. H. Roe; and N. B. Ford. 2004. Trophic and Maternal Transfer of Selenium in Brown House Snakes (Lamprophis fuliginosus) Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 58:285-293 

R. O'donnell, N. Ford, R. Shine and R. Mason. 2004. Male red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) determine female mating status from pheromone trails. Anim. Behav. 68:677-683. 

N. B. Ford, F. Brischous and D. L. Lancaster. 2004. Reproduction of the western cottonmouth,Agkistrodon piscivorus in a forested floodplain. Southwestern Naturalist. 49: 465-471. 

N. B. Ford and R. A. Seigel. 2006. Intra-individual variation in clutch size and offspring size in an oviparous snake. J. of Zoology: 268: 171-176. 

N. B. Ford and P. M. Hampton. 2005. The amphibians and reptiles of Camp Maxey, Lamar County, Texas with comments on census methods. Texas J. of Science. 57:359-370. 

R. Brenes and N. B. Ford. 2006. Seasonality and movements of the gulf coast waterdog (Necturus beyeri) in east Texas. Southwestern Naturalist. 51:152-156. 

N. B. Ford and M. Nicholson. 2006. Survey of the freshwater mussels of the Old Sabine Wildlife management area, Smith County, Texas. Texas J. Sci. 58:243-254. 

Fontenot, B. E., N. B. Ford, R. Brenes, P. M. Hampton. 2006. New county records for reptiles and amphibians from northeast Texas. Herpetol. Rev. 37: 111-112. 

Hampton, P. M. and N. B. Ford. 2007. The effects of flood suppression on diet and competition in natricines. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 85: 809-814. 

N. B. Ford and D. L. Lancaster. 2007. Niche apportionment and dispersal both influence snake assemblages in bottomlands. Journal of Herpetology. 41: 385-393. 

Coleman, J. L., N. B. Ford, and K. Herriman. 2008. A road survey of amphibians and reptiles in a bottomland hardwood forest. Southeastern Naturalist. 7: 339-348. 

Hunkapiller, T. R., N. B. Ford and Kevin Herriman, 2009. The effects of all-Terrain vehicle use on the herpetofauna of an East Texas Floodplain. Texas J. Sci. 61: 

N. B. Ford and P. M. Hampton. 2009. Ontogenetic and sexual differences in diet in an actively foraging snake, Thamnophis proximus. Can. J. Zool. 87: 254-261.


Ford, N. B. 2002. The ecology of the western cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus Leucostoma, in northeastern Texas. Biology of the Boas and Pythons. Ed. R. W. Henderson and R. Powell. Pp. 167-177. Eagle Mountain Press 

Burger, R. M. and N. B. Ford, 2006. Courtship, mating and alternative reproductive tactics in the Middle American Dwarf Boa, Ungaliophis continentalis. Vipers of the World. Pp. 167-177. Eagle Mountain Press. Eagle Mountain, UT.


Rossman, D., Ford, N. and R. Seigel. 1996. The Garter Snakes of North America: Their Evolution and Ecology. Univ. Oklahoma Press. 332 p.


2007 Status of freshwater mussels in sanctuaries of the Sabine River Texas Parks and Wildlife State Wildlife Grant. $7,000 

2007 Research Opportunity Award grant from the National Science foundation. "Experimental study of the effects of energy availability on development rate and cellular markers of rate of aging in African house snakes, Lamprophis fuliginosis. $24,450. 

2008 (P.I. - L. Williams). Hydrologic and Geomorphic Controls on Fish, Mussel, and Riparian Vegetation Communities in the Upper Neches River Watershed. Texas Parks and Wildlife State Wildlife Grant. $51, 561