Areas of Expertise

Ecology, evolution, genetics of amphibians.


I teach in the Department of Biology. I’ve been at Southwestern for the past ten years. Prior to coming to Southwestern, I taught at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and Connecticut College in New London Connecticut.


PhD, University of Colorado 1980
BS, Southern Methodist University 1976


Professor and holder of the Lillian Nelson Pratt Chair
Southwestern University
January 01, 2005 - present
Baylor University, Waco, TX Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor of Biology, 1984-2005. Baylor University, Waco, TX Associate Dean for Sciences, 1996-2002. Connecticut College, New London, CT Assistant Professor of Biology, 1980-1984.

Teaching Philosophy

The teacher acts as a guide for student-centered learning.

Previous Courses

BIO50-112 Biodiversity, BIO50-334 - Evolution, BIO50-314 - Genetics, Bio50-222- Methods in Ecology and Evolution


population genetics, ecology, and evolution; amphibian biology; science education.


Author of :

Genetics: A Conceptual Approach, a leading college textbook in genetics, now in its 6th edition.

Genetics Essentials: Concepts and Connections, another college textbook in genetics, now in its 3rd edition.

Transmission and Population Genetics, a college textbook.

The Family Genetics Sourcebook, a tradebook about genetics.

Author of 42 research articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Recent Representative Publications:

McEntire, K. D. and B. A. Pierce. 2015. Eurycea naufragia (Georgetown salamander). Behavior. Herpetological Review 46:209.

Pierce, B. A., K. D. McEntire, and A. E. Wall. 2014. Population size, movement, and reproduction of the Georgetown Salamander, Eurycea naufragia. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 9:137-145.

Hua, J. and B. A. Pierce. 2013. Lethal and sublethal effects of salinity on three common Texas amphibians. Copeia 2013:563-567.

Pierce, B. A. and A. S. Hall. 2013. Call latency as a measure of calling intensity in anuran auditory surveys. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 8:199-206.

Biagas, T. D., A. S. Hall, A. L. Ritzer, and B. A. Pierce. 2012. Time of day does not affect detection in visual encounter surveys of a spring-dwelling salamander, Eurycea naufragia. Southwestern Naturalist 57:162-165.

Pierce, B.A., J. L. Christiansen, A. L. Ritzer, and T. A. Jones. 2010. Ecology of Georgetown salamanders (Eurycea naufragia) within a spring flow. The Southwestern Naturalist 55:291-297.2008. .

Granda, J. R., R. M. Pena and B. A. Pierce. 2008. Effects of disturbance, position of observer, and moonlight on efficiency of anuran call surveys. Applied Herpetology 5:253-263.

Pierce, B. A. 2008. Developing a sustainable research program for tenure. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly 29:23-28.

Honeycutt, B. B. and B. A. Pierce. 2007. Illustrating probability in genetics with hands-on learning: making the math real. American Biology Teacher 69:533-540.

Pierce, B. A. and K. J. Gutzwiller. 2007. Interobserver variation in frog call surveys. Journal of Herpetology 41:424-429.

Pierce, B. A. and K. J. Gutzwiller. 2004. Auditory sampling of frogs: detection efficiency in relation to survey duration. Journal of Herpetology 38:495-500.

Mullins, M. L., B. A. Pierce, and K. J. Gutzwiller. 2004. Assessment of quantitative enclosure sampling of larval amphibians. Journal of Herpetology 38:6-12.

Honors and Awards


Exemplary Teaching Award at Southwestern University, Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, United Methodist Church (2012)

Phi Beta Kappa

Fellow of the Texas Academy of Science


Ecological Studies of the Georgetown Salamander, Eurycea naufragia. $131,557. Williamson County Conservation Foundation, 2010-2015.

Student-Community Collaborative Research and Creative Works for the San Gabriel River Trail (with Michael Kamen and Laura Hobgood-Oster). $50,000. 3M Foundation, 2006-2010.

Equipment for Bioinformatics and Biochemistry Programs at Baylor University. $500,000. W. M. Keck Foundation, 2000.

Development of a Science Leadership Course for Community-Based Research (With Larry Lehr, Dan Wivagg, Ray Wilson, and Joe Yelderman) $49,500. 3M Foundation, 1999-2001.

Development of an Integrated, Multidisciplinary Science Literacy Course for Comprehensive Universities. (With Ann Rushing) $101,620. National Science Foundation, 1995.

Laboratory Activities for an Integrated, Multidisciplinary Science Literacy Course. (With Ann Rushing) $80,000. National Science Foundation, 1996.

Acid Sensitivity of Eggs and Larvae of Pothole-dwelling Amphibians From Canyonlands National Park. $3985. National Park Service, 1990-1992.

Geographic Variation in Acid Tolerance of Wood Frogs. $4,125. National Geographic Society, 1984.


Hiking, camping, canoeing, fly fishing, nature photography