Staff Profile

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Adam Ferguson

Negaunee Collection Manager, Mammals

Gantz Family Collections Center
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology

Adam is an evolutionary ecologist interested in the natural history, conservation, and disease of small carnivores (members of the order Carnivora < 15 kg). He has always been fascinated by animals that must kill to make a living. Even as a child he had an affinity for and dreams of working with hypercarnivores such as mountain lions and jaguarundis. Fortunately, and thanks to some great mentors (e.g. Dr. Robert C. Dowler, Angelo State University), Adam saw the light and moved from charismatic felids to understudied small carnivores like skunks and genets. These equally important, but often overshadowed cousins of the mountain lion, are understudied, overlooked, and often neglected by academic researchers, especially in continental Africa. The existing knowledge gap for this ecologically and evolutionary diverse lineage of mammals forms the foundation for Adam’s current research in Africa and beyond.

 

Additional Information

Education

B.S. in Wildlife Biology, Southwest Texas State University, 2003

M.S. in Wildlfie Ecology, Texas State University, 2005

M.S. in Biology, Angelo State University, 2008

Ph.D. in Biology, Texas Tech University, 2014  

Grants & awards

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Wildlife Management in the Anthropocene" and "Anthropogenic Disturbance and Small Carnivores in the Mau Forest”  (2016: $40,570)

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Biodiversity Information for Development Small Grant: “Kenya’s Other Carnivores: Harnessing Biodiversity Data for Effective Development of National Conservation Strategies” (2016: $5,400)  

National Science Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology, International Track: "Anthropogenic Disturbance and Mesocarnivores: Consequences for Disease Dynamics across Africa's Human-Wildlife Interface" (2014: $141,000)

 

Publications

Ferguson, A.W., M. M. McDonough, G. I. Guerra, M. Rheude, J. W. Dragoo, L. K. Ammerman, and R. C. Dowler. (2017) Phylogeography of a widespread small carnivore, the western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) reveals temporally variable signatures of isolation across western North America. Ecology & Evolution, 7(12): 4229-4240

Ferguson, A. W., R. E. Strauss, and R. C. Dowler. In press. Beyond black and white:  Assessing color variation in the context of local environmental conditions in the aposematic American hog-nosed skunk Conepatus leuconotus. Pp. XX in Small carnivores in space and time: Evolution, ecology, behaviour, and conservation (E. Do Linh San, J. Sato, J. L. Belant & M. J. Somers, eds.). Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

McDonough, M. M., R. Šumbera, V. Mazoch, A. W. Ferguson, C. D. Phillips, and J. Bryja. (2015) Multilocus phylogeography of a widespread savanna–woodland-adapted rodent reveals the influence of Pleistocene geomorphology and climate change in Africa’s Zambezi region. Molecular Ecology, 24(20): 5248-5266. 

Brashear, W. A., A. W. Ferguson, N. N. Negovetich, and R. C. Dowler. (2015) Spatial organization and home range patterns of the American hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus leuconotus). American Midland Naturalist, 174: 310-320.

Young, H. S., D. J. McCauley, R. Dirzo, J. R. Goheen, B. Agwanda, C. Brook, A. W. Ferguson, F. Keesing, S. N. Kinyua, M. M. McDonough, T. M. Palmer, R. M. Pringle, D. R. Salkeld, T. P. Young, and K. M. Helgen. (2015) Context-dependent effects of large wildlife declines on small mammal communities in central Kenya. Ecological Applications, 25(2): 348-360. 

McRoberts, J., A. W. Ferguson, D. E. Schwalm, J. Timmer, and W. B. Ballard. (2014) Analysis of publication rates from presentations given at annual conferences of The Wildlife Society, 1994–2006. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 38(1):134–141.

Bergstrom. B., L. Arias, A. Davidson, A. W. Ferguson, L. Randa, and S. R. Sheffield. (2014) License to kill: Reforming Federal wildlife control to restore biodiversity and ecosystem function. Conservation Letters, 7(2): 131-142.   

McDonough, M. M.,  C. G. Sotero-Caio, A. W. Ferguson, P. J. Lewis, M. Tswiio, and M. Thies.  (2013) Mitochondrial DNA and karyotypic data confirm the presence of Mus indutus and Mus minutoides (Mammalia, Rodentia, Muridae, Nannomys) in Botswana. ZooKeys 359: 35-51. 

Do Linh San, E., A. W. Ferguson, J. L. Belant, J. Schipper, M. Hoffmann, P. Gaubert, F. M. Angelici, and M. J. Somers. (2013) Conservation status, distribution and species richness of small carnivores in Africa. Small Carnivore Conservation, 48: 4-18.  

Ferguson, A. W., R. E. Strauss, A. W. Strong, S. J. Birnbaum, J. S. Poole, G. K. Janssen, and P. S. Williamson. (2013) Assessing regional differences in threats to endangered species: Implications from Texas populations of the endangered star cactus (Astrophytum asterias). Journal of Arid Environments, 97: 143-149.

Phillips, C., G. Phelan, S. Dowd, M. McDonough, A. W. Ferguson, J. Hanson, L. Siles, N. Ordónez-Garza, M. San Francisco, and R. J. Baker. (2012) Microbiome analysis among bats describes influences of host phylogeny, life history, physiology and geography. Molecular Ecology, 21(11): 2617-2627.

McDonough, M. M., A. W. Ferguson, L. K. Ammerman, C. Granja-Vizcaino, S. F. Burneo, and R. J. Baker. (2011) Molecular verification of bat species collected in Ecuador: Results from a country-wide survey. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University, 301: 1-28. 

McDonough, M. M., B. K. Lim, A. W. Ferguson, C. M. Brown, S. F. Burneo, and L. K. Ammerman. (2010)  Mammalia, Chiroptera, Emballonuridae, Peropteryx leucoptera Peters, 1867 and Peropteryx pallidoptera Lim, Engstrom, Reid, Simmons, Voss, and Fleck, 2010: Distributional range extensions in Ecuador. Checklist, 6(4): 639-643. 

Ferguson, A. W., M. M. McDonough, M. L. Thies, P. J. Lewis, and M. Gabadirwe. (2010) Mammals of the Koanaka Hills (Nqumtsa Hills) region of Botswana: A provisional checklist. Botswana Notes and Records, 42:163-171.

Ferguson, A. W., N. A. Currit, and F. W. Weckerly. (2009) Isometric scaling in home range size of male and female bobcats (Lynx rufus). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 87(11): 1052-1060.

Ferguson, A. W. and P. S. Williamson. (2009) A new host plant record, the endangered star cactus Astrophytum asterias (Zuccarini) Lemaire for Moneilema armatum LeConte (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Lamiinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin, 63(2): 218-220.  

Dowler, R. C., C. E. Ebeling, G. I. Guerra, and A. W. Ferguson. (2008) The distribution of spotted skunks, Genus Spilogale in Texas. Texas Journal of Science, 60(4): 321-326.  

Ferguson, A. W., F. W. Weckerly, J. T. Baccus, and M. R. J. Forstner. (2008) Evaluation of predator attendance at pitfall traps in Texas. The Southwestern Naturalist, 53(4):450-457. 

Ferguson, A. W., M. M McDonough, and M. R. J. Forstner. (2008) Herpetofaunal inventory of Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas: Community composition in an urban landscape. Texas Journal of Science, 60(2): 123-136. 

Ferguson, A. W. (2007) Masticophis schotti schotti (Schot’s Whipsnake) diet. Herpetological Review, 38(3):341.

Ferguson, A. W. and M. T. Dixon. (2007) Elaphe guttata emoryi (Great Plains Ratsnake) diet. Herpetological Review, 38(3): 340.

Ferguson, A. W. and M. R. J. Forstner. (2006) A device for excluding predators from pitfall traps. Herpetological Review, 37(3): 316-317.

Ferguson, A. W. and M. R. J. Forstner. (2005) Geographic distribution. Farancia abacura reinwardtii (Western Mudsnake). Herpetological Review, 36(2): 203.

Ferguson, A. W. and M. R. J. Forstner. (2005) Geographic distribution. Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster (Prairie Kingsnake). Herpetological Review, 36(4): 469.

Bailey, L. B., M. R. J. Forstner, A. W. Ferguson, J.T. Jackson, and S. Reiley. (2005) Geographic distribution. Pseudemys gorzugi (Rio Grande Cooter). Herpetological Review, 36(4): 465.

Book Reviews & Other Publications

Dowler, R.C., J. Clint Perkins, A. A. Shaffer, B. D. Wolaver, B. J. Labay, J. P. Pierce, A. W. Ferguson, M. M. McDonough, and L. K. Ammerman (2017) Conservation Status of the Plains Spotted Skunk, Spilogale putorius interrupta, in Texas, with an Assessment of Genetic Variability in the Species, Final Report, Texas Comptroller Office, Austin, 147 pp. 

Ferguson, A. W. (2014) Invited Book Review: Bones, Clones, and Biomes: The History and Geography of Recent Neotropical Mammals, Edited by Bruce D. Patterson and Leonora P. Costa. Quarterly Review of Biology, 89:50-51.  

Schlitter, D. A., A. W. Ferguson, and M. M. McDonough (2014) Book Review: Mammals of Africa (6 volumes), Edited by J. Kingdon, D. Happold, T. Butynski, M. Hoffmann, M. Happold, and J. Kalina. Journal of Mammalogy, 95(6): 1299-1303. 

Hamilton, D., A. W. Ferguson, M. Atanassov, and P. Hellman (2010) Biology 1402: Biology of Animals Lab Manual. Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University. 170 pp. 

Janssen, G.K., P. W. Williamson, J. M. Poole, S. Birnbaum, A. W. Ferguson, A. W. Strong, and A. W. Blair (2010) The research and recovery of star cactus (Astrophytum asterias) Final Section 6 Report, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin. 129 pp.

Dowler, R. C., M. T. Dixon, and A. W. Ferguson (2009) Final Report. Survey of the Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians of Camp Bowie 2006-2008. Final Project Report Submitted to Dawn L. Johnson, Ph.D. and the TXARNG. 25 pp. 

Janssen, G. K., P. S. Williamson, J. M. Poole, S. Birnbaum, and A. W. Ferguson (2008) Section 6 Interim Report. The research and recovery of star cactus (Astrophytum asterias). Submitted to Craig Farquhar, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 78 pp. 

Ferguson, A. W. (2008) Chasing our smelliest furbearer south of the border. Texas Fur Trails, January Issue, p. 11.

Ferguson, A.W. M.M. McDonough, and M.R.J. Forstner (2005) Final Report. A Herpetofaunal Inventory of Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas. Final Project Report Submitted to Dawn L. Johnson, Ph.D. and the TXARNG. 49 pp.

McDonough, M.M., A.W. Ferguson, and M.R.J. Forstner (2005) Final Report. Baseline Mammal Survey of Camp Mabry Texas Army National Guard Training Site, Austin, Texas. Final Project Report Submitted to Dawn L. Johnson, Ph.D. and the TXARNG. 41 pp.

Ferguson, A.W. and M.R.J. Forstner (2004) Final Technical Report. Active Predation of Pitfall Traps at a Study Site for the Endangered Houston Toad. Pgs. 4:1-11. In: Forstner, M.R.J. and T. Swannack (eds.). The Houston Toad in Context. Final Project Report Submitted to TPWD/USFWS. 746 pp.

     

 

Professional affiliations